As natural disasters become more common, often leaving damages behind in the billions of dollars, the National Weather Service's Weather-Ready Nation program is committed to reducing the risk of lives, and mitigating property loss.
But in order for the program to meet it's goals and build community preparedness by keeping the public safe and informed about dangerous weather events, it must lean on relationships cultivated within the entire American Weather Enterprise, including government organizations, Weather Industry and academic institutions.
To make sure the nation is equipped to handle severe weather, the Weather Ready-Nation Ambassador initiative is designed to connect government agencies, emergency managers, researchers, media, and many others.
Through weather-ready ambassadors, such as AccuWeather, valuable weather services that provide accurate information can be distributed to the public-including critical infrastructure such as utilities and railroads-in a variety of ways, as well as further in advance.
In an interview with AccuWeather CEO Barry Myers during a recent visit to AccuWeather's global headquarters, in State College, Pennsylvania, NWS Director Dr. Louis Uccellini said "the basis for establishing the Weather Ready Nation Ambassador initiative was we can't do it alone, we need other government agencies, we need the entire weather enterprise."
"It has to be a partnership taken beyond the forecast to work with the public, to work with industry, to ensure that they're weather ready," Uccellini said.
Preparation goes a long way towards ensuring safety in the midst of damaging storms. Retailers have recognized this effort and many have taken the efforts to preposition products to ensure customers have access to the products when they need them, such as water, batteries and snow shovels.
Uccellini said there are already examples of at-risk locations, such as hospitals and nursing homes, begin the planning process well before an event begins, in case they lose electricity from a tornado or an ice storm.
"This has become a very important part and that's the nation part of Weather-Ready, it really does affect everybody in this country," he said.
While preparation is vital, it wouldn't be possible without reliable weather information. In order to rely on these accurate forecasts, continuing to invest in computer models becomes equally significant.
As people prepare for hurricanes, snowstorms and other severe weather events, it's not just about getting the forecast correct, it's about getting it correct as far in advance as possible.
"There's no questions these forecasts and warnings are saving lives," Uccellini said.
AccuWeather was named one of NOAA's first Weather-Ready Nation Ambassadors. AccuWeather's ability to provide critical life-saving weather services and warnings with Superior Accuracy™ to foundational infrastructure like rail lines and businesses where people gather, is further strengthened by the company's leadership designation in this initiative. Businesses and organizations worldwide rely on solutions from AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions, AccuWeather's Commercial Services division, to be Weather-Ready, saving lives, protecting property, and helping people prosper.