(L - R) - LSU Alexandria Vice Chancellor David Wesse, Health and Safety Dir. Chad Gauthier, Chancellor David P. Manuel, Rapides Parish Homeland & Emergency Preparedness Dir. Sonya Wiley-Gremillion, WFO Lake Charles MIC Andy Patrick and Meteorologist Robert Deal (Photo: WFO Lake Charles)
(Dec. 11, 2012) - National Weather Service officials have recognized Louisiana State University in Alexandria as a StormReady® community. Home to more than 2,600 students and faculty, the university is the third in the state to earn StormReady recognition.
"The StormReady designation represents an excellent achievement for Louisiana State University," said Andy Patrick, meteorologist-in-charge of the Lake Charles forecast office. "The university is now better prepared to handle impacts and decision making prior to and during significant weather events. This has not only strengthened the relationship between the university the forecast office, it has greatly enhanced public safety."
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 2,000 StormReady communities.
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.
The StormReady program is part of the National Weather Service's working partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers and the National Emergency Management Association.
The StormReady recognition expires in three years, after which the university will go through a renewal process. For more information, visit: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/stormready.