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University retains National Weather Service’s StormReady® status

BOONE—Appalachian State University’s StormReady® certification has been renewed for three years by the National Weather Service office in Blacksburg, Va.

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The designation means the university has a 24-hour warning system to keep campus apprised of hazardous weather, has established an emergency operations center and has a formal hazardous weather operations plan, among other criteria.

The StormReady® designation is an important part of the overall safety strategy for Appalachian, according to Jason Marshburn, director of environmental health, safety and emergency management.

“This designation demonstrates that Appalachian is committed to safety and prepared to handle one of the most prominent hazards faced by the university, which is weather. Being designated StormReady® ensures that the university is continuously evaluating plans and policies to provide a safe living and learning environment for all its students, as well as a safe work environment for faculty and staff,” Marshburn said.

“Each year, the university strives to improve emergency plans and resources to meet the dynamic impacts weather events bring to this community. The StormReady® program ensures that we are meeting the best guidelines possible and provides Appalachian with direction for continued improvements well into the future,” he added.

StormReady® is a nationwide community preparedness program that uses a grassroots approach to help communities and universities develop plans to handle local severe weather and flooding threats.

The program is voluntary and provides clear-cut advice from a partnership between local National Weather Service forecast offices and state and local emergency managers.

To be recognized as StormReady®, a university must:

  • Have 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 community
  • Create a system that monitors local weather conditions
  • Promote the importance of readiness through community seminars
  • Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises