Follow the steps below to enhance your hazardous weather plan. Once completed, be recognized as a Weather Ready Nation Ambassador by accepting the terms and filling out the form at the NOAA WRN web site.
Enhance or Create your Hazardous Weather Plan
1. Develop a Severe Weather Emergency Plan
A baseline document of severe weather safety recommendations is available on the tab above and Schools are encouraged to customize this plan.
2. Take the Severe Weather Threat Assessment Training above
At a minimum, we ask that the principal, assistant principal(s), severe weather coordinators, physical education teachers, athletic directors and coaches complete an online severe weather threat assessment course which is available on the resources page. This course will help you decide if your school is under immediate threat of severe weather.
3. NOAA Weather Radio
Weather Radio automatically tone alerts for NWS severe weather watches and warnings, even when in silent, alert mode. The radio constantly broadcasts the latest forecast and observation information. Schools should have at least 2 weather radios which were provided by the Department of Homeland Security and the NWS. These radios are available at electronic, grocery, and big box stores for about $30-40.
4. Back-Up Weather Information
The school must establish at least one backup method of receiving real time weather information.Examples of backup weather information sources include, but are not limited to, pagers, phone tree, Emergency Alert System, AM/FM radio station/TV, internet, cable television, Blast Fax, text messages of warnings from Smartphone Apps, etc.
5. Tornado Shelter Areas (FEMA: Tornado Protection)
i. Tornado Shelter areas on school property must be indentified and prominently marked (signs, stencil. etc.). See http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/2246 for details.
ii. Routes to the nearest Tornado Shelter Areas should be prominently marked if students and staff are normally located some distance from the Shelter Areas.
6. Tornado Drills
The School must participate in two annual tornado drills; one must coincide with the Florida Hazardous Weather Awareness Week statewide tornado drill (held in February).
7. Daily Forecast
Disseminate the daily NWS weather forecast to the school. Some recommendations include reading the forecast during morning announcements via the intercom or school network TV and/or posting the Hazardous Weather Outlook (HWO) product in the front office and near the school’s athletic office. The HWO details where and what type of weather hazard is expected when strong or severe thunderstorms are in the forecast.
8. Hazardous Weather Awareness Week (HWAW)
The school must participate in HWAW, normally each February. The school must communicate the weather related topic each day during HWAW to the faculty and students (for example during morning announcements).
9. Weather Equipment: Highly Encouraged
Equipment below is highly encouraged for schools to obtain and utilize:
i. A portable SAME Alert capable weather radio receiver available and present for outdoor events, especially when a large population will be present (examples: graduations, athletic events, carnivals).
ii. A portable lightning detector (or ideally a permanent lightning detection system) foroutdoor activities.
iii. A weather station. Involvement in the CoCoRaHS program is encouraged.