The National Weather Service (NWS) has recognized the University of North Georgia (UNG) as a StormReady University. The recognition highlights UNG's dedication to making campus a safe place for students, faculty, visitors and other personnel to work and reside.
"UNG was commended for its ability to monitor weather conditions and the use of UNG Alert to inform the campus community of severe weather, which allows the campus community to take the appropriate protective actions," said Justin Gaines, chief of the university police department.
StormReady began in 1999 to help communities validate their communication capabilities and safety skills needed to respond to severe weather. StormReady communities are better prepared through improved planning, education, and awareness programs. While no community is storm proof, being StormReady does help save lives.
UNG was required to meet six guidelines in order to qualify as a StormReady University.
- Guideline 1: Communications & Coordination Center – The university must have a center staffed 24-hours a day, seven days a week to implement emergency procedures in the event of severe weather. In addition, the university must have an Emergency Operations Center and a Hazardous Weather Operations Plan to manage the university in the event a weather disaster occurs.
- Guideline 2: NWS Warning Reception – The Communications & Coordination Center must have at least four redundant systems to receive weather warnings.
- Guideline 3: Hydrometeorological Monitoring – The Communications & Coordination Center must have at least three methods of monitoring local weather information on an ongoing basis.
- Guideline 4: Local Warning Dissemination – The university must have at least three redundant systems to notify the university community of severe weather warnings.
- Guideline 5: Community Preparedness – The university must have plans in place for building occupants to follow in the event of severe weather.
- Guideline 6: Administration – The university must also meet a number of administrative criteria that include inviting NWS staff to visit the campus annually and training Department of Public Safety patrol officers to be Storm Spotters — an NWS Training Program. The university also had to develop a Hazardous Weather Operations Plan that includes procedures of notifying the NWS of damage caused by storms on campus.
"With this recognition, UNG has achieved a very important level of readiness in protecting students, faculty and staff from severe weather," Gaines said.