National Weather Service officials have recognized Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University as a StormReady community during a ceremony at the school’s Jim W. Henderson Administration and Welcome Center this week. Home to more than 7,000 students, faculty and staff at the Daytona Beach, Florida Campus, Embry-Riddle becomes the 12th Florida university to achieve StormReady status.
The StormReady program helps community leaders and residents better prepare for hazardous weather and flooding. StormReady communities across the country have made a strong commitment to implement the infrastructure and systems needed to save lives and protect property when severe weather strikes.
The StormReady program is part of the National Weather Service’s working partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers and the National Emergency Management Association. The StormReady recognition is valid for three years and can be renewed.
“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 Scott Spratt, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Forecast Office in Melbourne, Florida. Spratt will present university officials with a recognition letter and a special StormReady sign during the ceremony.
“Embry-Riddle already has a culture of safety that is the gold standard for the profession and the industry, so it’s only natural that we continue to build on that culture by becoming a StormReady university,” said Dr. Richard H. Heist, senior vice president for academic affairs and research. “The safety of everyone on all of our campuses is paramount, and by being StormReady the university is able to extend a greater level of protection.”
Founded in 1999, the nationwide community preparedness program is a grassroots approach to preparing for natural hazards. As a result, more than 2,300 communities across the nation are better prepared for severe weather through the StormReady program.
“As a StormReady community, Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus maintains a 24-hour communications and emergency operations center. We monitor local weather and flood conditions and have multiple ways to alert the campus and the public when severe weather threatens,” said Dan McCune, the university’s associate vice president for safety and risk. “We conduct emergency preparedness and response training exercises and we help our surrounding communities prepare by organizing public preparedness programs. This is just one more tool to enhance the overall safety culture of our entire campus, which in turn helps us be prepared for any and all emergencies.”
The National Weather Service’s Melbourne Forecast Office is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for about four million people in 10 east-central Florida counties. Working with partners, the National Weather Service is building a “Weather-Ready Nation” to support community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather.