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23 April 2008
JSU Now Distinguished as First University
in Alabama to Attain Storm Ready Site

When Seconds Count, StormReady® Communities are Prepared

For the last few years, Jacksonville State University has been preparing for the worst – from storms to power outages, everything from natural disasters to an incident at the chemical weapons incinerator or a college campus shooting incident such as the one at Virginia Tech.

Melonie Carmichael, the new Emergency Management Specialist for the University Police Department, has been actively involved in formulating an Emergency Operations Plan. Carmichael recently was successful in working to make JSU Storm Ready, following guidelines established by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).

Only a few schools nationwide hold this distinction, and Jacksonville State University has now become the first university in Alabama to gain this recognition by the National Weather Service (NWS). Visit the NOAA National Weather Services' Storm Ready Web page to view the citing of JSU among the FY 2008 newest sites.

StormReady, as defined by NOAA, is a “grass roots” program sponsored by NOAA’s National Weather Service that focuses on improving communication and severe weather preparedness in communities. The program provides assistance to community leaders and emergency managers in strengthening their local hazard mitigation and emergency response plans. From tornadoes to tsunamis, floods to winter storms, and wildfires to hurricanes, communities are better prepared knowing they have the best possible chance of being warned before a weather disaster strikes.

According to statistics provided by the National Weather Service, Americans live in the most severe weather-prone country on Earth. Each year, Americans cope with an average of 10,000 thunderstorms, 5,000 floods, 1,000 tornadoes, and an average of 6 deadly hurricanes. . . And this on top of winter storm, intense summer heat, high winds and other deadly weather impacts. You can make sure your community is ready for the weather with the National Weather Service’s StormReady® program.

Some 90% of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $14 billion in damage. StormReady, a program started in 1999 in Tulsa, OK, 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.

StormReady communities are better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through better planning, education, and awareness. No community is storm proof, but StormReady can help communities save lives.

Source: NOAA/NWS

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