Minnetonka is a StormReady community
Americans live in the most severe-weather-prone country on Earth. Each year, Americans cope with an average of 10,000 thunderstorms, 2,500 floods, 1,000 tornadoes, as well as an average of six deadly hurricanes. Some 90% of all presidentially declared disasters are weather related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $14 billion in damage.
StormReady, started in 1999, helps arm America's communities with the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property – before and during the event. StormReady helps community leaders and emergency managers strengthen local safety programs.
StormReady communities are better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through better planning, education, and awareness. No community is storm proof, but StormReady can help communities save lives.
The city of Minnetonka was the second community nationwide, and the first in Minnesota, to be named StormReady in 2001. To meet preparedness criteria and receive the StormReady designation, Minnetonka:
- Established a 24-hour warning point and two emergency operations centers
- Has more than one method of receiving severe weather forecasts and warnings and alerting the public
- Created multiple systems that monitor local weather conditions
- Promoted the significance of public readiness through community seminars
- Refine the formal hazardous weather annex of the city’s emergency plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding exercises.
An advisory board of National Weather Service warning coordination meteorologists and federal, state, and local emergency managers reviewed the city’s application and visited Minnetonka to verify the steps made in the process to become StormReady. After the advisory board approved certification, Minnetonka received a formal letter and was recognized at the city council meeting May 21, 2001.
StormReady communities must stay freshly prepared, so every three years Minnetonka must re-certify with up-to-date information and procedures.