Athens, Ga. – On Nov. 6, the University of Georgia will join a short list of universities and colleges that hold a StormReady designation from the National Weather Service. A reception to recognize the certification will be held at 10:30 a.m. in Room 480 of the Tate Student Center.
Nationwide, just over 150 university campuses are designated as StormReady—about 1 percent of the nearly 10,000 institutions of higher education in the U.S.
“We are joining a small community of universities who have prepared for severe weather and related emergencies,” said Steve Harris, director of the UGA Office of Emergency Preparedness. “And we will strive to be on the cutting edge. This is certainly not an ending point. It’s a beginning point for the university.”
Every year, the U.S. is hit with an average of 100,000 thunderstorms—10,000 of which are severe—5,000 floods, 1,000 tornadoes and an average of two land-falling deadly hurricanes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This is in addition to winter storms, summer heat, high winds and wildfires.
At UGA, the main weather concern is tornadoes, Harris said, although the campus also experiences thunderstorms, snow and flooding from time to time.
The journey toward being named StormReady has been a multiyear process for UGA. The designation means the university has the same or greater capabilities of severe weather monitoring, notification and response than would be expected of a city or county with a similar population size.
For more information on the Office of Emergency Preparedness and preparing for emergencies on the UGA campus, see http://www.osep2.uga.edu/EE/Home/.