Grambling State University – Grambling State, NWS team will be StormReady


University communication

While meeting with freshmen and their parents during summer orientation sessions, Grambling State University’s new police chief, Rod Demery, stressed that the main task of his department was to ensure that GSU students, faculty, and staff were safe.

Potential security risks can take many different forms, and that’s why GSU has partnered with the National Weather Service for the StormReady program.

To be recognized as StormReady, a community or university must establish a 24-hour alert point and emergency operations center; have more than one means of receiving severe weather forecasts and warnings and alerting the public; create a system that monitors local weather conditions; promote the importance of public preparation through community seminars; and developing a formal hazardous weather plan that includes training severe weather spotters and conducting emergency drills.

Meteorologist Charlie Woodrum of the National Weather Service Office in Shreveport met with Demery and GSUPD Deputy Chief Albert Ernest on Tuesday to discuss the plan, which is designed to help the GSU improve the communication and safety skills needed to save lives. before, during and after severe weather. an event.

Woodrum also presented GSU with a certificate of recognition and a special StormReady sign at this meeting on Tuesday.

“StormReady is an all-hazards preparedness program where the National Weather Service recognizes universities, communities, parishes, and counties across the United States to have a plan that sets out how they work with the National Weather Service, how we provide them with weather support and then what they do on campus,” Woodrum said.

“For example, here at Grambling, what do students do when they receive a tornado warning? They need to know how to move away from windows and into an interior room on the top floor of the building they are in. There are many ways for students, faculty, and staff to get information about a tornado warning, so it’s a matter of establishing them and making sure Grambling has the most up-to-date and complete information. from our office.

Woodrum said tornadoes can occur in Lincoln Parish at any time of the year, but there are two peak seasons when special vigilance should be maintained.

“Tornadoes here are more common in the spring, but they also happen in the fall,” Woodrum said. “Fall is a secondary period and we have had very bad tornadoes here between November and December. Then spring is our peak – March and April to May.

But the StormReady program goes far beyond tornadoes.

“StormReady isn’t just about tornadoes,” Woodrum said. “It’s a question of preparation. These are flash floods. It is heavy snowfall and freezing rain. But most of all it’s about having a close relationship with the National Weather Service and making sure you’re prepared for all the vagaries of the weather.

“As in this excessive heat we have experienced, people should drink plenty of water, take breaks and monitor temperatures for outdoor sporting events and training, be it football, soccer or even soccer practice. band. Every summer, we unfortunately see deaths in the United States due to athletic practices conducted during excessive heat. Appropriate precautions should therefore be taken and supervision should be carried out to try to ensure everyone’s safety as much as possible.

Woodrum said recent extreme flooding in the central United States is yet another sign of the need for the StormReady program.

“We see a lot of high-impact events,” Woodrum said. “We are seeing climate change in different parts of the country, so we need to be prepared for more extreme events.”

Demery said he was proud to see GSU establish the StormReady partnership with the NWS.

“It’s really important – the whole plan,” Demery said. “Our mission is to keep everyone safe and the weather is part of that. We’ve had some extreme weather here and we want to make sure everyone has a plan, whether it’s an evacuation, retrieving someone from deep water, or bringing in knowledge and comfort when utilities go out.

“So we want to make sure that we have a plan in place and that the partnership with the (National Weather Service) helps us stay on top of things, follow trends and get real-time information.”

Demery added that he plans to research ways to integrate the map and StormReady information into Grambling’s G Safe mobile app.

“We’re going to have to discuss that because I think it should be part of the (GSU) SAFE app,” Demery said. “We will definitely look into that.”

There are more than 3,100 StormReady communities across the United States. GSU has joined the ranks of more than 300 universities across the country that have achieved StormReady status, and only the fourth university in the state of Louisiana.

GSU StormReady the recognition will expire in four years, before which the university will go through a renewal process.

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