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June 14, 2013

ULM earns StormReady recertification

The University of Louisiana at Monroe has again received StormReady recertification from the National Weather Service.

The purpose of the program is to improve local safety programs to help community leaders and emergency managers during severe weather events like tornadoes and flash floods.

In 2010, ULM became the state’s first StormReady university, and is now one of three university sites in the state.

“This is significant because it shows that we have plans in place to respond to severe weather events,” said Dr. Eric Pani, Vice President for Academic Affairs at ULM.

“When severe weather threatens, emergency responders turn to the plan and immediately know what steps to take—they don’t have to waste valuable time trying to figure out what to do.”

To be considered StormReady, a community or university must establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center, have more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public, create a system that monitors weather conditions locally, promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars, and develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.

Being StormReady also means that the university educates people about how to respond to severe weather. 

“Often, the first step is to notify people of the threat so that they can seek shelter or take other actions to protect themselves and their property,” Pani continued.

“That preparedness helps during a severe weather situation because people know what to do. Having StormReady plans ready can literally mean the difference between life and death for some people.” 

According to the National Weather Service, StormReady started in 1999 and helps arm America’s communities with the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property—before and during the event.

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