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Are Local Colleges Prepared for Severe Weather?

StormReady Designation
Posted at 6:22 PM, Dec 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-17 06:02:33-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) -- Communities in North Florida and South Georgia continue to find ways to improve weather safety and awareness.

Recently Valdosta State University received the "StormReady" designation from the National Weather Service (NWS). But what does it actually mean to be "StormReady?"

Rain pounding down can look innocent enough, but if an area is not prepared for severe weather, it can cause major problems.

That's why Tallahassee Community College (TCC) is upgrading their weather equipment on campus. They're installing a new and improved weather station to help the college prepare itself in an event of bad weather.

"We're actually increasing our capabilities and our ability to respond," said G. W. Lupton, Emergency Manager at TCC. The college is deemed storm ready by the NWS.

"StormReady is a national community preparedness program that focuses on severe weather safety so we at the national weather service work closely with local emergency managers to make sure their communities are prepared to take immediate action in case of severe weather," said Katie Moore, meteorologist at the NWS in Tallahassee.

To be designated StormReady, organizations have to meet a certain number of guidelines, including a 24 hour warning point, an emergency operations center, multiple ways to monitor the weather, ways to receive and pass on severe warnings, and have plans in place in case severe weather strikes.

"This validates our existing system but it adds to the skills that we have as risk managers", said Lupton on the program, "In other words, giving our leaders up-to-date information providing them with the information they need to make a better decision.... So anything that you can add to your toolbox, to help your leaders make those decisions, oh by all means, every university should have it. every college should have it. every high school should have it."

The StormReady designation isn't just for colleges. To learn more about the program and how to apply, click here. Also click Florida and Georgia to see what counties/schools are already "StormReady".