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There are an average of 12 billion-dollar weather disasters per year in the United States. On top of that, the National Weather Service issues between 45,000 and 50,000 severe weather warnings across the country each year.

And if that's not enough, 40 years of weather data collected by the National Centers for Environmental Information shows an increase in the frequency and cost of weather disasters. Flooding, hurricanes, heatwaves, and drought are some of the biggest challenges facing state and local government agencies.  

Is your community prepared to face this year's severe weather challenges? 

This Weather Management Solutions for State & Local Government Buying Guide will help you plan out your weather safety plan, determine which weather monitoring and alerting tools you need to support your plan, and help you evaluate those tools. 

Key takeaways: 

  • Learn about the 3 stages of developing an effective weather safety policy
  • Get an overview of monitoring and alerting technology available to help you prepare for for severe weather events like lightning, heat, and severe thunderstorms
  • Find out the suggested solutions for different government functions 

Find out how to effectively protect your community, your employees, and the general public from severe weather threats using the right weather technology.

Flip through a sneak peek:



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Table of Contents

  • Introduction to Weather Management Solutions for State & Local Government

  • Three Stages of Developing an Effective Weather Policy

    • Stage One: Analyze

    • Stage Two: Plan

    • Stage Three: Implement

  • Key Features of a Weather Management Solution

  • Example Solutions by Government Function

    • Airport Operations
    • Emergency Management
    • Parks & Recreation
    • Transportation

  • Selecting the Right Weather Services Vendor

  • BONUS: Printable 2-Page Planning Worksheet


Introduction to Weather Management Solutions for State & Local Government

When you think about severe weather hitting your city, county, or state, the uncertainty and extreme damage it can cause may leave you with a sense of panic. Not to worry, severe weather can have less of an impact on your community if you are well-informed and prepared before the next “Big One” strikes.

Weather tracking and alerting solutions are invaluable (and required) tools for state and local governments that want to get ahead of the storm and be Weather-Ready Certified. NOAA’s Weather-Ready Nation initiative is all about readying your community for extreme weather, water, and climate disasters. The right weather solution helps you prepare your community for extreme weather events like heavy snowfall, tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, drought, and extreme temperatures through advanced action, real-time tracking, and life-saving alerts.

This guide covers the severe weather planning and action process from beginning to end for state and local government agencies. From building your comprehensive weather plan to knowing how to find the right vendors to support it, this guide has you covered.

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Three Stages of Developing an Effective Weather Policy

The first step in preparing your department to mitigate weather risks is developing a comprehensive plan. Over the span of 25 years, we’ve found that an effective approach to weather safety includes three easy-to-remember stages: Analyze, Plan, and Implement.

We’ve included some key questions you need to ask for each stage that ensures across-the-board severe weather preparedness. Head to the end of this guide for a print-ready worksheet for you to use as you work your way through the Analyze – Plan – Implement process. Be sure to jot down notes, follow-up questions, and names of people you need to reach out to for answers. Once completed, you’ll have a solid foundation and clear plan for weather safety.


Key Features of a Weather Management Solution

A weather-ready government function relies heavily on weather tracking technologies, alerting systems, and the established expertise of professional meteorologists. The combination of these components is what we call your “weather solution.” Depending on your specific focus area (airport operations, emergency management, parks & recreation, transportation, etc.), your ideal weather solution could include some or all of the following five features:

  • Lightning Alert Horn & Strobe
  • Weather Map
  • Commercial Mobile Application
  • Weather Station
  • Meteorological Services 

Review the government use case that best matches yours to start exploring the key features of an ideal weather management solution.


Weather Threats: Lightning, winds, precipitation, heat

At-Risk Parties: Ground operations, airline crew, passengers

Suggested Solution Component(s): Lightning Alert Horn & Strobe, Weather Map


Weather Threats: Thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, snowstorms, floods

At-Risk Parties: First responders, general public

Suggested Solution Component(s): Commercial Mobile Application, Weather Station


Weather Threats: Lightning, winds, precipitation, severe weather events, heat

At-Risk Parties: Park employees, park visitors

Suggested Solution Component(s): Lightning Alert Horn


Weather Threats: Snowstorms, floods, thunderstorms

At-Risk Parties: DoT employees, motorists, property owners

Suggested Solution Component(s): Meteorological Services, Weather Map


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