Officials from NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) will recognize the University of Michigan-Flint as a leader by naming it among the agency’s "StormReady" communities. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
“StormReady encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness," said Richard Pollman, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the NWS weather forecast office in White Lake. “StormReady arms communities with improved communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property – before and during the event.”
The nationwide community preparedness program uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle local severe weather and flooding threats. The program is voluntary and provides communities with clear-cut advice from a partnership between the local NWS weather forecast office and state and local emergency managers. StormReady started in 1999 with seven communities in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area. There are now nearly 2000 StormReady communities in the United States. There are about 100 colleges and universities across the nation designated as StormReady. The University of Michigan-Flint became the 5th college or university in Michigan to be granted with the StormReady designation.
On September 11th, 2012, the University of Michigan-Flint will host a StormReady award ceremony. At the ceremony the NWS weather forecast office in White Lake will present a recognition letter and special StormReady signs to university officials. The StormReady recognition will be in effect for three years when the university will go through a recertification process.
To be recognized as StormReady, a community must:
· establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center
· have more than one way to receive severe weather forecasts and warnings and to alert the public
· create a system that monitors local weather conditions
· promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars
· develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises
“The United States is the most severe weather prone region of the world. The mission of the National Weather Service is to reduce the loss of life and property from these storms, and StormReady will help us create better prepared communities throughout the country,” Richard Pollman said.
“Just like communities, families need to be storm ready by having an action plan for severe weather. Through StormReady, the National Weather Service plans to educate every American about what to do when severe weather strikes because it is ultimately each individual’s responsibility to protect him or herself,” said Pollman.