Date: Fri, October 2, 2015 12:00 AM
GC receives NOAA StormReady designation
The National Weather Service has recognized Grayson College as a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration StormReady® entity. NWS officials will present Grayson College with a recognition letter and special StormReady signs on Oct. 2 at 12:15 p.m. during a ceremony at the college’s Faculty Professional Development Program on the Main Campus.
Grayson College is the first educational facility in Grayson County to earn the designation and the second governmental organization after the county itself to receive it. GC is only the third community college and the 21st higher education institution in Texas to receive StormReady recognition.
“This is quite an accomplishment for a college our size since we will be joining many of the major universities in attaining this level of preparedness,” said Dr. Wade T. Graves, program director of business and management at the college, who was instrumental in helping the college complete the requirements of the designation.
To be recognized as StormReady, an entity must establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center; have more than one way to receive severe weather forecasts and warnings and to alert the public; create a system that monitors local weather conditions; promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars; and, develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
Graves said Grayson College made a significant investment in preparedness by purchasing notification software, a new outdoor warning siren and alert boxes for large classrooms. It designated tornado shelters in all campus buildings, trained a campus CERT team, conducted campus-wide drills, built an emergency operations center on campus, and development partnerships with the Grayson County Office of Emergency Management and the Grayson County Amateur Radio Emergency Service storm spotters. The college also hosted amateur radio training classes conducted by the National Weather Service and Grayson County OEM.
“StormReady encourages communities to take a proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness in partnership with their local National Weather Service office," said Tom Bradshaw, meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service forecast office in Fort Worth. “It is designed to help them improve communication and safety skills needed to save lives — before, during and after a severe weather event.”
The nationwide program uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle local severe weather and flooding threats. The program is voluntary and provides communities with clear-cut advice from the local National Weather Service forecast office and state and local emergency managers. The program began in 1999 with seven communities in the Tulsa, Okla. area. Today, there are more than 1,700 StormReady communities.
StormReady is a registered trademark used by NOAA. The program is part of the NWS's working partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers and the National Emergency Management Association. Grayson College’s StormReady recognition expires in three years, after which the college will go through a renewal process.
NWS is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. It operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy. Visit NWS online at weather.gov and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/US.National.Weather.Service.gov.
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine resources.