National Weather Service officials recognized the University of Arkansas at Monticello as a ‘StormReady’ university during a ceremony at the Centennial Clock Tower on the university campus on December 8.
Renee Fair, meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service forecast office in Little Rock, presented Jay Hughes, vice chancellor for student affairs, pictured in the center, and UAM Chancellor Jack Lassiter, pictured on the right with a certificate and special StormReady signs.
NOAA’s StormReady program helps community leaders and residents better prepare for hazardous weather and flooding. StormReady campuses have made a commitment to implement the infrastructure and systems needed to save lives and protect property when severe weather strikes.
“Drew County is no stranger to severe weather,” said John Robinson, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Little Rock. “Since 2000, we have documented 10 tornadoes, 28 flash floods and 125 severe thunderstorms in the county. It was only last year that a severe thunderstorm caused damage on the University’s campus. We are proud of the University of Arkansas at Monticello for becoming the third university in Arkansas to achieve StormReady status.”
“We pride ourselves in being prepared for any emergency and taking all the necessary measures to protect our students, faculty and staff,” said Jay Hughes, vice chancellor for student affairs. “Being prepared for dangerous weather is a must, particularly in a part of the country that is known for the unpredictability of its weather. We are very pleased to be part of this program.”
The nationwide community preparedness program, founded in 1999, is a grassroots approach to preparing for natural hazards. Today, more than 2,200 U.S. communities are better prepared for severe weather through the StormReady program.
To be recognized as StormReady, a campus must maintain a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center; have more than one way to receive National Weather Service warnings and to alert the public; be able to monitor local weather and flood conditions; conduct community preparedness programs; and ensure hazardous weather and flooding are addressed in formal emergency management plans, which include training SKYWARN weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.