Tuesday, July 07, 2020

UIS certified as a StormReady® University by the National Weather Service

The University of Illinois Springfield has been certified as a StormReady® University by the National Weather Service.

According to the National Weather Service, StormReady® universities are better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through advanced planning, education and awareness.

The UIS Police Department participated in severe storm spotter training and worked with the National Weather Service to create a StormReady® plan.

“The StormReady® certification was something we felt would help reinforce our dedication to the safety of our community,” said Donald Mitchell, chief of the UIS Police Department. “While we felt that we were following the best practices for notifying our community of hazardous weather, this certification allowed us the opportunity to have weather experts evaluate our systems to help us improve. I’m proud to have the endorsement of the National Weather Service showing our efforts are right on track.”

To be officially StormReady®, a 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.

“This is clearly the result of the leadership, extensive planning, and commitment by you and those at the UIS Police Department, and cooperating departments on campus. The willingness, of more than a dozen of your staff members, to complete severe storm spotter training was exceptional,” said Chris Miller, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Lincoln.

The StormReady® recognition will be valid for three years, expiring on Feb. 27, 2023, at which time it can be renewed.

For more information, contact Blake Wood, UIS assistant director of public relations, at 217-206-6716 or bwood8@uis.edu.

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