Virginia Tech earns StormReady University designation
March 14, 2019
In a weather climate as dynamic as Blacksburg's, it is essential that the university community be prepared for severe weather.
Virginia Tech has once again completed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service (NWS) preparedness requirements necessary to earn the distinction of being a StormReady University.
The StormReady program helps communities develop plans to handle severe weather and flooding threats. Through engagement and collaboration with local NWS forecast offices and state and local emergency managers, communities gain insider knowledge into best practices around severe weather preparation, monitoring, and public awareness and notification.
In 2010, Virginia Tech became the first higher education institution in Virginia to receive StormReady designation. Since then, Virginia Tech has completed the renewal process three times.
A strong partnership with NWS is at the heart of the StormReady program. Virginia Tech Emergency Management and the NWS forecast team in Blacksburg work in concert to monitor weather events to ensure the university is prepared to handle weather events and keep the campus community informed. Whether it is a football game, commencement, Gobbler Fest, or another day in Blacksburg, Emergency Management and NWS cooperate on a daily basis to keep the community safe.
“Collaboration with the National Weather Service is fundamental to Virginia Tech’s severe weather preparedness and safety efforts. We’re pleased to earn StormReady designation for the third time and to deepen our partnership with the National Weather Service,” said Assistant Vice President of Emergency Management Michael Mulhare.
“Virginia Tech continues to exhibit steadfast dedication to ensuring students, employees, and the campus community are informed when severe weather approaches. We’re proud to partner with the university in implementing best practices around significant weather preparation and public awareness,” said Phil Hysell, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office in Blacksburg.
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 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.
The StormReady University recognition will be in effect through February 2022, at which point Virginia Tech will go through the renewal process again.