SLU recognized by National Weather Service

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Weather spotting program available to faculty and students

After one of the most active tornado seasons in Missouri history, Saint Louis University has been awarded the StormReady Award by the National Weather Service.

Though the recognition does not come in a direct response to the weather season, students and faculty at SLU now have the ability to become trained weather spotters, and severe weather safety areas are now designated throughout campus. According to Assistant Vice President and Director of the Department of Public Safety, Securtiy and Services (DPSSS) Roland Corvington, the University submitted their application in May and received their certification on Aug. 17.

The award is valid through 2014.

Corvington said the efforts of Connie Tillman, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator of DPSSS and “a number of SLU personnel” led to the recognition from the NWS.

“SLU offered storm spotting through a continuing education training opportunity for community emergency response team (CERT) members,” Corvington said. “SLU’s efforts with the National Weather Service to provide Storm Spotter training to students, faculty and staff, to ensure equipment such as weather radios were deployed on SLU’s campus, SLU’s ability through the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences to monitor weather, the installation by SLU Facilities Services Division personnel of lightning rods on buildings, all contributed to SLU being recognized for this award.”

StormReady, a program started in 1999 in Tulsa, Okla., helps arm America’s communities with the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property–before and during the event. StormReady helps community leaders and emergency managers strengthen local safety programs.

“To become a StormReady University, there are several items that the University needs to have in place.  Among them are communications systems , reception of NWS information, monitoring of local conditions, dissemination of warnings and preparedness activities,” Warning Coordination Meterologist for the National Weather Service in St. Louis, Jim Kramper said.

“Local emergency management officials are also consulted to verify that the University has an acceptable Emergency Operations Plan.”

More than 1,979 StormReady sites, 90 of which are universities, exist in the United States, but SLU is the first school in the metropolitan area to have successfully completed the program.

Other major universities that participate in the StormReady program include Oklahoma State University, Auburn University, Texas A&M University and Xavier University.