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NOAA’s National Weather Service declares university StormReady® site
August 15, 2012

NOAA’s National Weather Service declares university StormReady® site

Texas A&M-San Antonio announced its designation as a StormReady® site at a press conference Aug. 15 with the National Weather Service, recognizing the University’s completion of a rigorous national program designed to strengthen its ability to respond quickly to life-threatening weather, according to a University Communications media release. Photo by Chris Ramos.
Texas A&M-San Antonio announced its designation as a StormReady® site at a press conference today with the National Weather Service, recognizing the University’s completion of a rigorous national program designed to strengthen its ability to respond quickly to life-threatening weather, according to a University Communications media release.
The program is part of NOAA National Weather Service’s working partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers and the National Emergency Management Association.
“Texas A&M-San Antonio takes great pride in being recognized as StormReady,” said Damon Shodrock, director of safety, risk and emergency management, CSP. “The safety of our students and employees is a top priority, and with the help of the National Weather Service, we can now send out effective warnings with important storm safety information.”

Students, faculty, staff, community members and the media gathered in the lobby for the official announcement. President Maria Hernandez Ferrier and Joe Arellano, Meteorologist-in-Charge of the National Weather Service’s Austin-San Antonio Region,  were also in attendance.

Arellano, Meteorologist-in-Charge of the National Weather Service’s Austin-San Antonio Region, presented a letter of recognition and StormReady road signs to University officials.

“San Antonio can be especially vulnerable to paralyzing flash flooding from devastating thunderstorms during the spring and summer season.  Even ice storms can affect San Antonio,” Arellano said. “This new StormReady designation allows key decision makers at Texas A&M University-San Antonio to take timely and effective actions to protect lives.”

To achieve StormReady status, Texas A&M-San Antonio completed a rigorous national program that strengthened its ability to respond quickly to life-threatening weather situations through better communications infrastructure, community outreach and hazardous weather training.

The University was required to meet with six guidelines to qualify as a StormReady university. The requirements include:

Guideline 1: Communications & Coordination Center – The University must have a center manned 24-hours/day, seven days/week to implement emergency procedures in the event of severe weather. In addition, the university must have an Emergency Operations Center and a Hazardous Weather Operations Plan to manage the University in the event that a weather disaster may occur.

Guideline 2: National Weather Service Warning Reception — The Communications and Coordination Center must have at least four redundant systems to receive weather warnings.

Guideline 3: Hydrometeorological Monitoring — The Communications and Coordination Center must have at least three methods of monitoring local weather information on an ongoing basis.

Guideline 4: Local Warning Dissemination — The University must have at least three redundant systems to notify the University community of severe weather warnings.

Guideline 5: Community Preparedness — The University must have plans in place for building occupants to follow in the event of severe weather. The University also offers awareness training to the community on an annual basis.

Guideline 6: Administration — The University must also meet a number of administrative criteria that include: inviting National Weather Service Staff to visit the campus annually, training UPD patrol officers to be Storm Spotters (a National Weather Service Training Program). The University was also required to develop a Hazardous Weather Operations Plan that includes procedures of notifying the NWS of damage caused by storms on campus.

The StormReady® designation has put A&M-San Antonio as one of the 114 other universities in the nation with StormReady status.

According to National Weather Service,  StormReady® communities are better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through better planning, education, and awareness. No community is storm proof, but StormReady can help communities save lives.

About National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. Visit www.noaa.gov or www.stormready.noaa.gov to learn more about the StormReady® program. StormReady® is a registered trademark used by the National Weather Service.

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