Campus Life

National Weather Service awards UWF with StormReady designation

Representatives from the National Weather Service traveled to the University of West Florida Main Campus Monday to present President Judy Bense with a plaque designating UWF as a StormReady university. UWF is the third university in Florida to achieve this designation and the 29th in the nation.

“We are delighted with this designation,” said Bense. “And while no university or community is storm proof, being part of the StormReady program gives us the preparation and skills to help save lives.”

StormReady is a nationwide preparedness program started in 1999 by the National Weather Service (NWS) to help arm America’s universities and communities with the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property-before and during a severe weather event. The program encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations by providing emergency managers with clear-cut guidelines on how to improve their hazardous weather operations.

“In order to qualify as a StormReady university, UWF had to meet rigorous criteria established by the NWS,” said Peter Robinson, director of Environmental Health and Safety. “UWF then had to undergo a comprehensive inspection of our systems by meteorologists from the NWS in order to prove compliance.”

The required criteria that UWF had to meet included: establishing a 24-hour warning point emergency operations center; implementing numerous ways to receive severe weather warnings and putting mechanisms in place to disseminate the information to the campus community; creating a system that monitors weather conditions locally; promoting public readiness throughout the campus; and developing a formal hazardous weather plan which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.

Many of these notification requirements have been rolled up into the UWF ArgoAlert Emergency Notification System. The ArgoAlert System provides numerous mechanisms for alerting the campus community to all manners of emergencies which might occur on campus.

Written by Janice Cooper, University Marketing Communications