Thursday, May 26, 2016

National Weather Service officials have recognized the University of Iowa as StormReady®.

By Office of Strategic Communications

The StormReady program is a grassroots effort designed to help communities and universities establish severe weather safety plans and actively promote weather awareness. StormReady communities and universities have made a strong commitment to implement the infrastructure and systems needed to save lives and protect property when severe weather strikes.

“This is about being proactive in planning for and responding to weather situations that pose a threat to the campus community,” says UI Emergency Management Coordinator Floyd Johnson. “This process has enabled us to provide members of our community with the tools and information they need to stay abreast of the dynamic weather conditions that we face in Iowa.”

The nationwide preparedness program was founded in 1999. Today, more than 2,200 StormReady communities and universities throughout the nation help citizens become better prepared for severe weather.

“The University of Iowa has developed a severe-weather strategy that is both practical and proactive,” says Donna Dubberke, warning coordination meteorologist with National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office in the Quad Cities. “This StormReady designation recognizes their efforts and also acknowledges their growing role as a strong partner during severe weather events.”

To be recognized as StormReady, a university must:

  • Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center;
  • Have redundant ways to receive severe weather warnings and to alert the public;
  • Create a system that monitors local weather conditions;
  • Promote the importance of public readiness through community education;
  • Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.

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 UI also recently became the first university in Iowa, and the second in the Big 10, to be recognized by the National Weather Service Lightning Safety Program.

Rich Kinney, senior meteorologist at the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities presented the UI with a certificate during a ceremony on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016.

“Many people call my dad a hero. I know I sure do,” she writes. “As a firefighter, my dad’s passion is helping others. Nothing makes me more proud as a daughter than when my dad tells me he saved a life, or helped an elderly person who fell, or delivered a baby, or rescued someone from a fire. The list of things that make me proud of my dad goes on and on. His priorities are helping the Iowa City community and loving his family to the fullest, leaving very little time to himself.”

Mom and Dad of the Year are sponsored by the UI Parents Fund for Student Support, with support from the UI Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Iowa Hawk Shop/University Bookstore. Honorees are chosen by two student honor societies, Mortar Board and Omicron Delta Kappa, based on personal achievements and dedication to family. Any student can nominate a parent for an award.