Reinhardt University Certified as a StormReady University by the National Weather Service
Reinhardt University was recently certified as a “StormReady University!” After completing a site visit with the National Weather Service, Reinhardt has become the third institution of higher education in the state of Georgia to earn the certification.
“Becoming StormReady was a nearly year-long process for the Emergency Operations Planning Committee at Reinhardt University,” said Kevin W. Martin, GA-CEM, assistant director of public safety. “Some of the pieces were in place, some required tweaking, and other parts are new. Overall, working through this certification process, along with facing the challenges that North Georgia weather offers on a regular basis, makes me believe that this University has never been more prepared for severe weather events.”
Strengthens Hazardous Weather Operations
Ninety percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather related. Through the StormReady program, NOAA’s National Weather Service gives communities and universities the skills and education needed to survive severe weather – before and during the event. StormReady helps community and university leaders and emergency managers strengthen their local hazardous weather operations.
“The National Weather Service designed StormReady to help communities better prepare for and mitigate effects of extreme weather-related events,” said Kent Franz, senior service hydrologist and Georgia StormReady coordinator for the National Weather Service. “StormReady also helps establish a commitment to creating an infrastructure and systems that will save lives and protect property. Receiving StormReady recognition does not mean that a community is storm proof, but StormReady communities will be better prepared when severe weather strikes.”
StormReady Certification Process
The process of becoming a StormReady University involves three main categories: weather data gathering capabilities, information processing and emergency protocols and community alerting systems. Notable and recent capability changes at Reinhardt to be more hazardous weather prepared include: designated Skywarn Storm Spotters, direct links to communicate with the National Weather Service and the Cherokee County Emergency Management Agency, an expanded new mass notification and alert system, and a revised hazardous weather plan.
Hazardous Weather Preparation Tips
Here are some tips from Martin on how the general public can help prepare themselves for hazardous weather. “As the weather quickly changes, it is time to start thinking about what is in our cars,” said Martin. “We all remember the fun and hassles associated with last winter, and most forecasts are pointing to at least as interesting weather this year. Toward that end, here are some of the essentials that you should consider keeping in your car, as these items will definitely help should your travels be interrupted: extra warm hats, socks and gloves; blankets, or preferably a sleeping bag; bottled water; food – energy bars, trail mix, etc.; a flashlight with extra batteries; first aid kit; necessary medications; alternative phone charger or external battery; fluorescent flag, reflectors or road flares; whistle; matches and small candles; change of clothes and toiletry items; and booster cables or jump box.
For more information about the StormReady program and what more you can do to prepare for hazardous weather, visit ww.stormready.noaa.gov/publications