Washington University in St. Louis has been named the 104th national StormReady University by the National Weather Service. The designation recognizes communities — schools, cities and businesses — that take measures to ensure they are prepared for a severe-weather emergency.
“Washington University is concerned about our students’, employees’ and visitors’ safety,” says Mark Bagby, emergency management coordinator. “This designation recognizes the university for taking steps to ensure that our community has ways to obtain information about severe weather and is prepared for when severe weather strikes.”
Some of the initiatives the university has implemented to prepare the WUSTL community for severe weather emergencies are WUSTL’s Where to Go program and the WUSTLAlerts system. The university also works closely with university groups to help groups with emergency planning for large events, such as ThurtenE Carnival, WILD and Commencement.
“Preparing the community to respond effectively to severe-weather threats is one of the most challenging aspects of the emergency management mission,” says Michael Smiley, director of the Office of Emergency Management at the St. Louis County Police Department.
“It is noteworthy that our community has progressive institutions that are willing to accept the responsibility of enhancing the safety of their constituents through programs like StormReady,” Smiley says. “In becoming a StormReady University, Washington University continues to demonstrate its commitment to excellence in emergency preparedness and crisis management.”
StormReady, which began in 1999, helps ensure U.S. cities, schools and businesses are prepared for severe-weather emergencies and that people in those communities have the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property before and during the event through advanced planning, education and awareness.
Other storm-ready universities are Saint Louis University, William Woods University in Fulton and Park University in Parkville in Missouri and fellow University Athletic Association member Carnegie Mellon University.
For more information about the StormReady program, visit stormready.noaa.gov.