Allegany County designated as National Weather Service StormReady community

Bonnie VanHousen, assistant director of the Allegany County Office of Emergency Management and Fire Services, and Jeff Luckey, director, hold a StormReady community sign following award of the National Weather Service designation.

Allegany County, NY, has been designated as a StormReady community by the National Weather Service (NWS).

Jeff Luckey, Allegany County Office of Emergency Management and Fire director, has advised the Board of Legislators Public Safety Committee of the authorization to be part of the more than 20 year-old NWS initiative which is designed to help arm communities with the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property before, during and after an adverse weather event.

The county was among the last in Western New York to receive the designation, with 15 others in various parts of the state still to join the initiative to help community leaders and emergency managers strengthen local safety programs.

NWS reports that some 98 percent of all Presidentially-declared disasters are weather-related, leading to some 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage.

The StormReady designation started in 1999 as StormWise in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in an area which had experienced and continues to face a significant number of severe tornadoes.

The following year it was re-named StormReady and has since grown to 3,140 sites in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Pacific Islands, including 47 county, seven communitiy and 16 college and university locations in New York State.

To be officially StormReady, a community must:
– Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center;
– Have more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public;
– Create a system that monitors weather conditions locally;
– Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars; and
– Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
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Allegany Hope is a Weather-Ready Nation AmbassadorTM and provides slightly delayed weather alerts directly from the National Weather Service at Buffalo for its forecast area, which includes Allegany County, on our Facebook page, along with other weather-related and community information.

Such alerts should not be considered a substitute for a weather alert radio or a portable instant warning device. “Like” and “Share” this Page and applicable posts with family members and friends to help keep them informed.