Contact: John Leslie
NOAA News Releases 2003
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced today that the University of Maryland-College Park is officially StormReady, a special distinction that means it has met safety criteria for handling severe weather. StormReady is a program of NOAA’s National Weather Service. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“NOAA’s National Weather Service watches and warns for severe weather, but a community’s readiness and preparation are what help save lives and property when the warnings are given,” said Dr. James R. Mahoney, assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, and NOAA’s deputy administrator. “StormReady helps improve communication and increase awareness and preparedness in communities ranging from universities to counties and small towns.”

StormReady is a voluntary program that seeks to prepare communities and strengthens their ability to deal with severe weather before and while it strikes. Once a community meets certain guidelines, such as creating a severe weather action plan, the NOAA’s National Weather Service recognizes it as StormReady.

So far, NOAA has certified more than 648 StormReady communities nationwide. The University of Maryland is one of four universities to achieve the designation since StormReady was developed in 1999.

“Safety is one of the most important features of campus life at Maryland. We can’t prevent the storms, but we can greatly reduce the chances that people might get hurt in storms, and this recognition by the National Weather Service shows that we have taken the steps needed to do that,” said C.D. Mote, Jr., president of the University of Maryland.

Mahoney and Watson presented a StormReady certificate and two signs with the StormReady logo to Mote.

“The University of Maryland is demonstrating its seriousness about promoting awareness and safety from severe weather,” said Barbara Watson, the warning coordination meteorologist at the NOAA’s National Weather Service Washington/Baltimore Forecast Office in Sterling, Va. “These are lessons that students will carry on for the rest of their lives, and may inspire their respective home towns to get onboard.”

NOAA’s National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. National Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

On the Web:


NOAA National Weather Service: