NIU Weather, part of the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, was named last week as a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Service (NWS).
“I am proud to announce our designation of Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador,” said NIU meteorologist Gilbert Sebenste. “What this means is that we are not only prepared to deal with severe weather, we also do significant amounts of outreach to the university community and also in the city and county that we are a part of.”
The Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador initiative is an effort to formally recognize NOAA partners who are improving the nation’s readiness against extreme weather, water and climate events. As a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador, NIU is committed to working with NOAA and other ambassadors to strengthen national resilience against extreme weather.
“I have long argued that without a communiversity response to weather, we cannot be fully prepared to deal with it,” Sebenste said. “By all of us being on the same page, we are able to help mitigate and defend ourselves from the hazards that the atmosphere brings DeKalb and our surrounding areas every year.”
“Because of our partnerships, whenever there is a tornado warning, everyone knows about it at the same time,” Sebenste said. “Members of the university and of the community can see the storm that is causing the trouble, look at high-resolution radar and be able to see where the storm and tornado is headed.”
When Mother Nature strikes, Sebenste and his team are ready.
“We assist within the university community, and offer our outreach programs to DeKalb city and county officials,” Sebenste said. “It’s important to coordinate our efforts to keep everyone aware and as safe as possible with the many weather hazards we face every year.”
by Jane Donahue