UTSA receives StormReady accreditation from National Weather Service

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(Sept. 28, 2010)--UTSA recently became the first institution in the UT System, the first higher education institution in San Antonio and the fifth Texas university to be StormReady accredited. StormReady is a National Weather Service (NWS) program created to ensure American communities have advance warning of hazardous weather.

>> A StormReady University Accreditation Award Ceremony is 2 p.m., Wednesday, Oct.6 in Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering Building Room 2.102 on the UTSA Main Campus. The event is free and open to the UTSA community.

The benefits of the StormReady program for UTSA are:

  • Faster and more effective hazardous weather warnings
  • Detailed, clear recommendations and requirements to help establish and improve hazardous weather operations
  • Enhanced preparedness for emergency situations

Developed in 1999 in Oklahoma, StormReady accreditation requires early-warning and monitoring systems, along with educational and awareness events. Training and preparation are key to ensuring public safety and preserving property.

UTSA began preparation in August 2009 and received "StormReady University" accreditation July 29, 2010. The accreditation must be renewed every three years. To be officially certified "StormReady," six guidelines must be met:

  • Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center.
  • Establish multiple ways to receive severe weather forecasts and warnings.
  • Utilize local weather and water monitoring equipment.
  • Establish multiple ways to alert the public.
  • Promote community preparedness through community seminars and training and community guidelines to react in the event of hazardous weather.
  • Develop a formal hazardous weather plan that includes reporting damage to NWS and an annual NWS visit to the campus.

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Why is the StormReady program important?

Of all the countries on Earth, the United States is the most prone to severe weather. Each year, Americans cope with an average of 10,000 thunderstorms, 5,000 floods, 1,000 tornadoes and an average of two deadly hurricanes making landfall. This is on top of intense summer heat, high winds, wild fires and other potentially deadly weather in San Antonio. "StormReady University" accreditation helps ensure the UTSA community is ready for weather emergencies.

Some 90 percent of presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to approximately 500 deaths and nearly $14 billion in damage each year. StormReady helps arm America's communities with the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property through safety programs, planning, education and awareness.