(L to R) - NWS Huntsville Warning Coordination Meteorologist David Nadler, UAH Emergency Management Coordinator Kevin Bennett, UAH Vice President for Finance and Administration Ray Pinner, Huntsville City Administrator Rex Reynolds and Police Chief Michael Snellgrove (Photo: WFO Huntsville)
(Oct. 24, 2011) - National Weather Service officials have recognized the University of Alabama in Huntsville as a StormReady® community. Home to more than 9,000 students and faculty members, it is the fifth University in Alabama to achieve StormReady status.
"StormReady encourages communities to take a proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness in partnership with their local National Weather Service office," said David Nadler, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service forecast office in Huntsville. Nadler presented university officials with a recognition letter and special StormReady signs during a special recognition ceremony.
The nationwide community preparedness program uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle local severe weather and flooding threats. The program is voluntary and provides communities with clear-cut advice from the local National Weather Service forecast office and state and local emergency managers. The program began in 1999 with seven communities in the Tulsa, Okla., area. Today, there are more than 1,800 StormReady communities.
The program is designed to help StormReady communities improve communication and safety skills needed to save lives — before, during and after a severe weather event.
To be recognized as StormReady, a community must establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center; have more than one way to receive severe weather forecasts and warnings and to alert the public; create a system that monitors local weather conditions; 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.