Leaders of NOAA’s National Weather Service and the American Red Cross (redcross.org) signed a groundbreaking agreement that will enhance collaboration between the organizations before and during large-scale weather disasters.

This agreement designates the Red Cross as a National Weather Service core partner and reinforces that the agency can provide impact-based decision support services to the Red Cross at any level, including the local chapters supporting disaster preparedness and response. The Red Cross, which has a Congressional Charter to provide humanitarian and disaster relief services, is the first nonprofit organization to hold this formal designation.

A key part of the National Weather Service’s mission is supporting public safety officials who make key decisions to protect life and property in the face of extreme weather. Called “impact-based decision support services,” this assistance to core partners includes weather forecast advice and interpretations of the impacts a weather event will bring. Until now, “core partners” have consisted of local, state and federal governmental organizations. The Red Cross is often involved in formal response efforts, working closely with established public sector core partners to plan preparation and recovery efforts during weather disasters, making the organization uniquely positioned to receive weather support directly from the National Weather Service.

The mission of the American Red Cross is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. Visit redcross.org or call 1-(800) RED-CROSS to support Red Cross efforts.