NOAA 2004-R247
Contact: Marcie Katcher

NOAA News Releases 2004
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Seventh University in Nation to Receive Designation

As part of a nationwide program to help communities prepare against the ravages of severe weather, officials from the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) presented the University at Albany with letters of recognition and signage designating the university as a StormReady community. The formal presentation will take place at New Library Garden April 30 at 10:30 a.m.

The University at Albany is the first university in New York State to achieve StormReady status. It is the seventh university to achieve StormReady status in the nation. Other universities declared StormReady include Northeastern Illinois University; Abilene Christian University, Texas; University of Maryland; University of Kentucky; University of Louisville, Ky.; and Midwestern State University, Texas.

“As a StormReady community, the University at Albany has gained the skills necessary to survive severe weather, both before and during the event,” said Gene Auciello, meteorologist-in-charge of the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast Office at Albany. “Albany has a long history of significant weather and it is the goal of StormReady to reduce the impact of severe weather in the state. The state experiences about 20 weather-related fatalities per year and we are doing everything we can to see that number reduced.”

"We are honored to receive the StormReady designation, and I am pleased with the continued efforts of our Office of Environmental Health and Safety to promote the safest possible environment for our students, faculty and staff," said University of Albany Interim President John R. Ryan. "This recognition is a testament to the University's proactive approach to severe weather management and preparedness in dealing with emergency situations."

StormReady is a voluntary program that gives communities the skills and education needed to survive severe weather before and during the event. StormReady helps community leaders and emergency managers strengthen their local hazardous weather operations by ensuring that they have the tools needed to receive life-saving NWS warnings in the quickest time possible.

To be officially StormReady, a community must:

  • Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center
  • Have more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public
  • Create a system that monitors weather conditions locally
  • Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars
  • Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.

“The StormReady program is a great example of federal, state and local governments working together to help prepare communities for severe weather and flood events. Having NOAA weather radios in the home, office, schools, churches, and other facilities to provide around-the-clock weather information is a part of StormReady, and an excellent way to stay safe,” Auciello said.

Specifically, StormReady helps communities understand the types of weather they can expect, when it is most likely to occur, and how they can prepare for it in advance. As an example, the peak threat for tornadoes in New York occurs during spring and summer, yet most flooding occurs during the late winter and spring with hurricanes and tropical storms posing a summer and fall flood threat. Much of the NWS preparedness information, awareness materials and other data can be accessed at a Web site devoted to StormReady:

“While Storm Ready is designed to prepare communities as a whole, the actions of a single individual can often mean the difference between life and death. Every individual must be aware of weather threats and constantly monitor them,” Auciello said.

The University at Albany is served by the NWS Weather Forecast Office located on the Albany campus. The office is equipped with Doppler weather radar, advanced computer and communication equipment, automated observing systems and data from weather satellites, giving forecasters the ability to provide communities with more accurate and timely weather information than ever before.

NOAA’s National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. The NWS 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.

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