Valdosta, GA. (WTXL) -- Valdosta State University received an accolade from the National Weather Service (NWS).
The university has been named a "StormReady" campus.
Only 5.6% of four-year degree-granting institutions have received the title nationwide.
"StormReady" is a grass roots program with the goal of making sure communities are prepared in the event of severe weather. To be recognized as a StormReady site, VSU had to establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center,
They also had to make sure to have more than one method of receiving severe weather forecasts and warnings and alerting the public, create a system that monitors local weather conditions
as well as promote the significance of public readiness, and develop a formal hazardous weather plan.
"Valdosta State University uses an automated message system to not only send text messages and emails, but voice calls to faculty and staff who enroll in the program", said Lt. Alan Rowe of the VSU Police, also with Emergency Management. "We encourage enrollment in the program, however, with private devices, it is a volunteer program. Right now, we have reached 78% of the campus thats signed up".
VSU says the program is important becase more than 90% of all presidentially declared disasters are weather related, leading to nearly 500 deaths and over $23 billion dollars in damage each year.