News 19 Receives StormReady Designation, First in the La Crosse - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

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News 19 Receives StormReady Designation, First in the La Crosse Area

LA CRESCENT, Minnesota (WXOW) - StormReady is a national weather preparedness program. It’s sponsored by the National Weather Service, and encourages communities, groups, and businesses, to be prepared for severe weather and other weather hazards before they pose a threat.

If you’re a StormReady community or business, that mean when severe weather hits, there’s a plan in place, the equipment to see that plan through, and for TV stations, the ability to communicate that hazard to others.

The National Weather Service recognizes this effort with the StormReady designation.

“The StormReady program itself doesn’t keep severe weather from occurring,” said Todd Shea, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the La Crosse National Weather Service. “But what it does is it recognizes those efforts that you are going above and beyond to try to do all you can to keep people safe.”

To be recognized as StormReady, applicants have to go through a rigorous evaluation. For a TV station this evaluation looks at the number of ways the station can receive NWS issued watches and warnings, if there is a written action plan for different severe weather events, and even if there are redundant systems so communication and severe weather coverage can continue in the event of a power outage or some other system failure.

“It’s not just the National Weather Service saying ‘yes’ or ‘no,’” said Shea about the StormReady application process. “We’re taking input and getting critique by emergency management officials that do this for a living.”

On Thursday News 19 received the official seal as a StormReady supporter. Right now there’s only one other TV station in Minnesota and two TV stations in Wisconsin that have StormReady supporter status. WXOW is also the first and only La Crosse TV Station with the StormReady designation.

“It’s sort of like validation, in that, I always knew that we were able to do our job and to the best of our ability, and that we keep people safe,” said Dan Breeden, WXOW Chief Meteorologist. “But this just validates it. It comes from the National Weather Service, the corner stone of the severe weather warning process and getting that information out to the people. They recognize us now so we know we’re doing our job.”

 “We have a great team and they take this very seriously,” said Dave Booth, News 19’s Vice president and General Manager. “It can give viewers the confidence of knowing we’re going to be ready and prepared to give them the information they need to stay safe.”

The StormReady designation means News 19 is proactive in monitoring weather conditions and has all the tools to provide the best severe weather information possible. So no matter what the conditions, News 19 is StormReady, and has you covered.
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