Destructive, damaging weather can wreak havoc across communities, especially vulnerable ones with limited resources and education about preparing for detrimental impacts.
Powerful storms such as Superstorm Sandy, the deadly Moore tornado and dangerous flash flooding on Long Island are all examples of how a community needs to be ready for relentless weather that spawns massive amounts of monetary loss and devastation.
The National Weather Service, along with partners throughout the weather enterprise including AccuWeather, is on a mission to change that.
With the Weather-Ready Nation Program, NWS Director Dr. Louis Uccellini hopes to see communities across the country become better prepared and informed about extreme weather to protect structures and, more importantly, lives.
The strategic plan includes updating technology and enhanced partnerships with all aspects of the American Weather Enterprise - industry, academic and government, to assure communities have the preparations and information they need to avoid hazardous impacts of any weather phenomenon.
The program's the goal is clear: better information for better decisions.
Workers continue to dig through the rubble of Plaza Towers Elementary School after a tornado moved through Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
In a recent visit to AccuWeather global headquarters in State College, Pennsylvania, Uccellini talked with Barry Myers, AccuWeather CEO, about the success of the program so far and the influence weather-ready nation ambassadors, like AccuWeather, can make on keeping people safe and informed.
By being a weather-ready ambassador, AccuWeather is committed to working with the NWS as an action-oriented company, building a steadfast nation equipped to face severe weather.
Uccellini said the cooperative work from the entire weather enterprise will make communities "ready, responsive and resilient."
"It's not just making a forecast or producing warnings, it's how people respond to the forecasts and warnings that brings the resiliency [of communities] in," Uccellini said.
A destroyed helicopter lies on its side in the parking lot of the Joplin Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Mo., Sunday, May 22, 2011. A large tornado moved through much of the city, damaging the hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Accentuating the necessity of having a thorough, well-executed plan, Uccellini added that whether it be individuals, businesses or organizations, it is imperative to have a strategy in place ahead of threatening weather to ensure maximum safety.
By building an informed and equipped nation, enhancing forecast methods and working with the weather enterprise, billions of dollars and cherished lives have the chance to be saved.
More than two dozen people have died in West Virginia as a result of extreme flooding that inundated portions of the state on Thursday.
Severe storms will bring large hail and damaging wind gusts to eastern Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas on Monday.
Following a rain-free weekend for many in the Northeast, residents may be wondering if this is a sign of things to come for July.
The next round of thunderstorm downpours will swing into the Appalachians with the risk of isolated flash flooding on Monday.
Another round of sizzling heat threatens to aggravate the ongoing wildfire situation across the southwestern United States through early week.
With the start of summer comes more time traveling and the unfortunate mess some items will leave if left baking in a hot car.
Parks County, MD (1993)
Hail drifted several feet deep.
Gordonsville, FL (1995)
8.65" of rain.
Garfield, OK (2007)
7.5 inches of rain; 3.5 inches in just a little over 3 hours.