Topics: Administrative, Awards

August 28, 2018

Ball State University recently received the National Weather Service’s StormReady Community designation in recognition of efforts to make the campus community safer through emergency readiness and procedures.

National Weather Service StormReady logoThe National Weather Service on Wednesday, August 28, awarded members of the University’s Crisis Team with the designation during an informal ceremony. The certification reflects the extensive planning and preparation to protect students, staff, faculty, and visitors to Ball State during severe weather, said Alan Hargrave, associate vice president for student affairs and director of housing and residence life.

“Over the last decade, University leaders across the nation recognized the need to prepare their campuses for a variety of potential issues, including severe weather,” said Hargave, co-chair of Ball State’s Crisis Team. “Living in the Midwest, we know that the campus community could be struck by a variety of weather issues, ranging from tornadoes to blizzards.

“We are very fortunate at Ball State to have outstanding professionals across campus who worked tirelessly to bolster our emergency readiness. We have plans and procedures for severe weather that could quickly strike with little notice. In those cases, our preparation should help keep the campus community as safe as possible.”

Being StormReady mostly acknowledges the steps that the University put into place to receive severe weather information from the NWS, as well as the systems set up to disseminate that information, said Nathan Hitchens, a geography professor and co-director of the Cardinal Weather Service, a student-driven forecasting service that provides daily weather information for the area.

To become Storm Ready, organizations must have:

  • a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center
  • more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts, and to alert their communities
  • a system that monitors local weather conditions
  • community seminars to promote public awareness and readiness
  • a formal hazardous weather plan that includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises

“We have worked diligently to tie our existing systems into a comprehensive and interlocking program,” Hitchens said. “Our students helped distribute NOAA weather radios to most buildings on campus, and their role will likely be to ensure they're still in place and properly set up every so often."