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Logan John - People of WRN

NOAA’s Weather-Ready Nation is about building community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather and water events. The People of Weather-Ready Nation is an interview series that sits down with some of the people responsible for building a Weather-Ready Nation. We recently talked to Jeff Jumper, State Meteorologist for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

1. What does a Weather-Ready Nation mean to you?

A Weather Ready Nation provides access to an accurate, reliable and easy to understand forecast with a focus on any impacts associated with potentially dangerous weather. A Weather Ready Nation is an educated public as to risk of weather hazards and how to plan, prepare, and react to dangerous weather in the best way possible.

2.How are you helping to build a Weather-Ready Nation?

PEMA is working to expand weather data collection across Pennsylvania.  More rain, snow, and hail reporting stations will help provide the state with a better understanding of risk areas to better educate risks to the community.
Working with partners including the NWS, we are hosting a weather safety poster and video PSA contest.  Pennsylvania students will produce posters for lightning safety for display at state parks.  Students will create videos pushing the flood safety messaging, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown,” which will air statewide on TV stations.  These efforts engage the whole community on dangerous weather risks, statewide.

3.What is the biggest challenge you see in making the nation ready, responsive, and resilient to extreme events?

The biggest challenge to making a ready, responsive, resilient nation is risk perception. Without understanding the risk and consequences of dangerous weather events in your area, it is difficult to make educated and informed decisions. All too often we hear people referencing a previous storm that caused no damage as a reason why they choose not to prepare. Even more dangerous is the phrase “______ never happened here before.” We need to overcome this challenge through education, and we’re doing our best at PEMA to educate all groups on all hazards.


Jeff Jumper is the State Meteorologist for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.  He holds a Master’s Degree in Emergency Management from Millersville University and a Bachelor’s Degree in meteorology from Penn State.  Jeff has ten years’ experience as a broadcast meteorologist and has served as a volunteer firefighter and EMT for nearly two decades.