Bring it on, Mother Nature! NIU re-certified as StormReady

From left: Kyle Ullmark (EM specialist of the NIU Deptarment of Police and Public Safety) and NWS Chicago Lead Forecaster Matt Friedlein join NIU Staff Meteorologist Gilbert Sebenste.
From left: Kyle Ullmark (EM specialist of the NIU Deptarment of Police and Public Safety) and NWS Chicago Lead Forecaster Matt Friedlein
join NIU Staff Meteorologist Gilbert Sebenste.

Northern Illinois University has been re-certified at a very important level of readiness in protecting students, faculty and staff from severe weather.

StormReady locations, including universities, are better prepared to take the right actions to save lives when severe weather strikes. This preparedness comes about through better planning, education and awareness of weather hazards.

The requirements to become and maintain StormReady are rigorous and include strengthening communications, a formal hazardous weather plan, advance planning and monitoring weather conditions when storms are possible.

Key preparedness in place at NIU includes:

  • A 24-hour dispatch office and an emergency operations center;
  • More than one way to receive severe weather warnings and to alert the public;
  • NOAA Weather Radio in almost all buildings on campus;
  • A system to monitor weather conditions locally;
  • Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars; and
  • A formal hazardous weather plan.

Northern Illinois University was originally designated as StormReady in 2002, and was the first university in the nation to receive StormReady certification.

StormReady can’t stop storms from coming, but it does enable procedures that will reduce the potential for disastrous weather-related consequences when severe weather strikes.

StormReady is a National Weather Service program begun in 1999 in Tulsa, Okla., which helps arm U.S. communities with the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property before and during the event. StormReady helps community leaders and emergency managers strengthen local safety programs.

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