National Weather Service designates University of Massachusetts Amherst as ‘StormReady’



Last modified: Thursday, January 14, 2016

AMHERST — The University of Massachusetts Amherst is the first public university in the state to receive a “StormReady” designation from the National Weather Service, according to a university statement.

It joins private universities Harvard, Boston College, Boston University and Tufts as well as 14 communities, one military site and one commercial enterprise in the state.

To earn that status, valid for three years, a university must fulfill several requirements, including offering public weather readiness seminars, establishing an emergency operations center, developing a formal hazardous weather plan and having the ability to receive weather warnings from multiple sources, according to the statement.

“A lot that goes into being a StormReady university is part of our comprehensive all-hazards emergency management program,” said Jeff Hescock, director of emergency management at UMass. “All of us have the potential to be impacted by a weather-related emergency on campus, and it is critical that we have plans in place to respond to any type of weather-related emergency.”

National Weather Service officials were on campus Jan. 7 to conduct the on-site portion of the accreditation, and praised the university for its atmospheric sensing system led by the electrical and computer engineering department.

Donald Robinson, executive director of environmental health and safety for UMass, called the designation a “major accomplishment.”

“Emergency preparedness and training is an ongoing effort that often goes unnoticed, but this designation highlights the achievements of our campus team,” he said.

Dave Eisenstadter can be reached at deisen@gazettenet.com.


 


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