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Illinois State maintains Storm Ready University status

Man pointing to screens with a projected PowerPoint.

Emergency Manager Eric Hodges leads an exercise in the Emergency Operations Center. Photo by Illinois State alumnus Bill Gaither.

The National Weather Service has renewed Illinois State University’s designation as a StormReady University. The three-year renewal recognizes Illinois State’s ongoing preparations for severe weather conditions and weather emergencies. Illinois State first earned the StormReady University designation in the spring of 2016.

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.

“Illinois State University has a strong commitment to ensuring the University is prepared for and ready to respond to the severe weather threats that we could face any time of the year,” said Eric Hodges, the University’s director of emergency management. “The renewal of our StormReady designation is a testament to our campus culture of preparedness.”

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.

Officials in the University Police Department and Emergency Management 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, 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.

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