South Carolina Becomes Fourth State to Earn NOAA StormReady® Designation

March 3, 2009

Downed utility poles and lines.

Downed utility poles and lines in Garden City, S.C., after passage of Hurricane Hugo in 1989.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA’s National Weather Service today recognized South Carolina as the fourth state to be StormReady®. Over the past seven years, each of the state’s 46 counties has completed this rigorous program to strengthen the state’s ability to protect life and property during severe weather. The Palmetto State joins Hawaii, Delaware and Florida as StormReady®. 

Kimberly Campbell, meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service’s Columbia Weather Forecast Office presented South Carolina Lt. Gov. André Bauer with the certification at the state capital in Columbia during a news conference to kick-off severe weather awareness week.

“I am pleased to accept the StormReady® designation on behalf of the citizens of South Carolina. The threats posed by tornadoes and severe weather should never be overlooked. Thanks to the hard work of our emergency managers and guidance from NOAA, we will be better prepared in the future,” said Lt. Gov. Bauer.

To achieve StormReady® status, each county met national guidelines, which include maintaining a multi-tiered communications system to ensure immediate notification of watches and warnings as well as developing and promoting severe weather safety plans, awareness activities and safety training.

StormReady poster.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

“It is especially meaningful that South Carolina is now StormReady® given that this is the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Hugo, which struck the Caribbean and U.S. East Coast including South Carolina, killing 56 people and causing more than $10 billion in damages,” said Dean Gulezian, director of the National Weather Service’s Eastern Region.

The National Weather Service and South Carolina emergency managers began working toward StormReady® designation seven years ago. Then, only a handful of emergency managers had Internet access, and only 60 percent of South Carolina was covered by NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards transmitters. Today, every county has full Internet access and complete coverage by NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards transmitters, making South Carolina a safer and more prepared state.

The StormReady® program is part of the National Weather Service's working partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers and the National Emergency Management Association.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.