Ready for the Storm

Ferris was recognized as a StormReady University by the National Weather Service

During times of inclement weather, Ferris students, faculty and staff can be assured that their safety is a top priority now that FSU is StormReady.

On Nov. 18 the National Weather Service recognized Ferris as a StormReady University, one of only four in Michigan to receive this acknowledgment.

In the spring, students in Dr. Tom Behler’s Sociology of Emergency and Disaster class began examining campus emergency preparedness at Ferris and initiated the StormReady application process.

The class worked with the Assistant Director of Emergency Management in the Department of Public Safety, Tricia Walding-Smith, to gather the proper information needed to evaluate the university’s readiness for severe weather emergencies.

Walding-Smith said, “Ferris has done a great job of implementing emergency notification systems as well as putting emphasis on emergency preparedness in general.”

StormReady is a voluntary program that was started in 1999 in Tulsa, Okla. aimed at improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness. It helps provide communities with the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property before and after inclement weather.

Criteria for becoming a StormReady community or facility includes establishing a 24-hour, 7 days/week emergency operations center; having at least four redundant systems to receive severe weather forecasts and alerting and warning the public; creating a system to monitor local weather conditions; promoting the importance of public and community readiness in events of severe weather; and developing a formal hazardous weather plan.

Ferris utilizes several emergency systems to keep the campus updated including emergency text alerts, an outdoor broadcast system, emergency phone alerts, a computer alert messaging system, and alerts on the Ferris homepage.