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Left to right: Wayne County OEM/E911 Director BJ Willis, Commissioner Robert Thompson, Commission President Jeff Maddox, Commissioner Travis Thompson, and NWS Charleston Warning Coordination Meteorologist Tony Edwards.


Wayne County was designated as the 19th StormReady County in West Virginia at a ceremony during the Wayne County Commission Meeting on Monday, April 15, 2024.

The StormReady program is designed to help protect citizens from the dangers of all types of severe weather by arming America's communities with the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property before, during and after a hazardous weather event.  Wayne County Office of Emergency Management and E911 Director BJ Willis and Deputy Director Jami Drake worked closely with officials from the National Weather Service in Charleston to complete the designation process. 

"Earning the StormReady designation won't stop severe weather from happening," said Tony Edwards, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston.  "However, the steps taken by Director Willis and Deputy Director Drake to complete the process means Wayne County is more prepared for the next weather challenge."

In order to earn the StormReady designation, a county must:

  • Have an Emergency Operations Plan that addresses likely hazardous weather scenarios
  • Establish redundancy in how the Emergency Operations Center and 911 Center receives official hazardous weather information and then relays that information to the public
  • Work collaboratively with the National Weather Service and/or the Private Weather Enterprise in drills and exercises
  • Make community preparedness and education for hazardous weather an ongoing activity

With the goal of improving redundancy in the weather warning system, Wayne County purchased NOAA Weather Radios and installed them in all county schools and many public buildings.  The radios serve as a backup to the RAVE Early Warning/Notification System used by the county and other public warning systems such as Wireless Emergency Alerts, ensuring weather warnings are received across the county in a timely fashion.  

Wayne County also established a local weather monitoring system, installing new automated weather stations in Lavalette, Wayne and Genoa.  The stations allow NWS meteorologists, county officials and the public to monitor local weather conditions in real-time during hazardous weather events.

Finally, Wayne County 911 established procedures that ensures critical information received by dispatchers during ongoing severe weather and flooding events is automatically sent the National Weather Service in Charleston, WV.  This allows meteorologists to better understand how severe weather events are affecting the local community and improves the accuracy and timeliness of life-saving weather warnings.

For more information about StormReady, and other National Weather Service weather safety programs, please visit