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Illinois State named StormReady University

Photo of Chris Miller, National Weather Service; President Larry Dietz; Eric Hodges, University emergency manager; and Patrick Bak, National Weather Service

Chris Miller, National Weather Service; President Larry Dietz; Eric Hodges, University emergency manager; and Patrick Bak, National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has named Illinois State University a StormReady University. The designation recognizes Illinois State’s preparations for severe weather conditions and weather emergencies.

“There is nothing we can do to prevent storms from occurring and the weather can have an enormous impact on our lives,” said Chris Miller, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “Preparedness is the key when it comes to severe weather. The elements of the StormReady program give students, employees, and visitors the peace of mind that officials at Illinois State are ready and willing to help.”

To qualify for the StormReady University designation, an institution must demonstrate extensive planning for weather emergencies and have resources in place to monitor local weather conditions and communicate severe weather information to the campus community. At Illinois State, the University Police Department serves as the 24-hour warning point for severe weather information and a campus emergency operations center serves as a command center in case of weather emergencies. Designated storm shelters are located in buildings across campus and University Police officers and other staff members are trained as storm spotters.

“Illinois State University promotes a culture of preparedness and this designation illustrates that commitment,” said Eric Hodges, the University’s emergency manager. “In addition to planning efforts outlined, we also regularly test those plans by conducting drills and exercises.”

Officials in the University Police Department and Environmental Health and Safety office monitor conditions with an on-site weather station and receive warning information through National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radios. NOAA weather radios are also strategically located in residence halls, athletic venues, the Bone Student Center, the Student Fitness Center, and Milner Library.

Severe weather information is relayed to the campus community through the ISU Emergency Alert text system, the campus telephone system, classroom computer displays, digital display boards, and the campus flagship social media accounts.

“Illinois State University is proud to receive the National Weather Service’s StormReady University designation,” said Illinois State President Larry Dietz. “It is a fitting recognition of the tireless efforts by our Environmental Health and Safety office, our University Police Department, and others to make this a safe campus. Severe weather can strike during any season, but we know that Illinois State University is prepared.”

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