The National Weather Service has certified both Oklahoma State University campuses in Tulsa as StormReady, denoting communities that have implemented NWS-recommended measures to prepare for and respond to severe weather events. They are the first university campuses in the city of Tulsa to receive this designation.
Officials from the NWS Tulsa office recognized public safety officers from OSU-Tulsa and OSU Center for Health Sciences with certificates and StormReady placards during a ceremony today at the OSU-CHS campus.
Melvin Murdock, chief of the OSU-Tulsa Police Department, said the National Weather Service designation means the campuses are better prepared through education and awareness.
“Becoming StormReady has equipped our campuses with the tools to look at the weather through informed eyes and make better decisions when severe weather situations occur,” Murdock said. “That, in turn, allows us to advise administration and quickly alert the campus communities.The more advance information we have, the better.”
To achieve StormReady certification, OSU-Tulsa University Police and OSU-CHS security office documented policies and equipment in six areas, including communication, NWS information reception, hydrometeorological monitoring, local warning dissemination, community preparedness and administrative. These were verified by a team of local StormReady advisory board representatives and then approved by the board. Some of the program guidelines, such as campus-wide public address systems and weather information on the campus websites, were in place prior to seeking certification.
New additions include a trained storm spotter in the OSU-Tulsa University Police Department and NOAA weather radios placed in strategic locations throughout each campus.
StormReady is a voluntary program started in 1999 by the National Weather Service to help communities prepare for and respond to severe weather. StormReady universities and communities commit to creating policies and putting tools in place to help protect lives and property. Five of the seven StormReady campuses in Oklahoma are OSU campuses, making the entire OSU system now StormReady.
For more information about the StormReady program, visit http://www.stormready.noaa.gov.