The National Weather Service (NWS) has designated Southeast Missouri State University as StormReady®, highlighting the University’s preparedness for extreme weather and water events.
The StormReady® program focuses on communication, mitigation and community preparedness to save lives and property from severe weather. Communities, like universities, must meet certain guidelines before the NWS certifies the community as StormReady®.
To be officially StormReady®, Southeast was recognized for:
- Establishing a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center.
- Having more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public.
- Creating a system that monitors weather conditions locally.
- Promoting the importance of public readiness through community seminars.
- Developing a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
The NWS StormReady review team noted Southeast’s communication tools, said Steven Eddy, meteorologist in charge with the National Weather Service.
Southeast’s SE Alerts emergency notification system includes multiple communication tools that can be deployed by the University during emergencies to alert the entire campus community, or certain portions of the community and regional campuses, to events, dangerous situations or threats that impact the safety of students, faculty and staff. The system includes a mobile app, emails, text message, desktop notification, indoor and outdoor sirens, website and social media accounts.
“Weather events are happening and changing quickly, moment by moment, and it’s important to get that information efficiently and effectively to students,” Eddy said. “We were really impressed with the way Southeast stays in contact with its students and community.”
The NWS was also impressed by the University’s incorporation of and participation in the City of Cape Girardeau and Cape Girardeau County’s emergency operations. Because of Southeast’s location in the heart of both the city and county, and by integrating with and collaborating with the local and regional resources, the University can better serve and respond to the campus community, Eddy said.
For more information on the StormReady® program, visit www.weather.gov/StormReady.