UA is Northeast Ohio’s best prepared for weather emergencies


Students, faculty and staff at The University of Akron can feel comfortable about any impending weather emergency now that UA has completed a set of challenging warning criteria to earn the distinction of being a StormReady university by the National Weather Service.

UA is the first university in Northeast Ohio to be designated StormReady and one of only five in the state.

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Gary Garnet, warning coordination meteorologist  at the National Weather Service office in Cleveland (left), stands with Paul Callahan, assistant vice president for campus safety, and Mark Beers, coordinator of Emergency and Occupational Health and Safety Department.

Communities certified as StormReady are better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through better planning, education, and awareness, says Mark Beers, coordinator of UA’s Emergency and Occupational Health and Safety Department.

The top goal of StormReady is to prepare communities with an action plan that responds to the threat of all types of severe weather – from tornadoes to floods, as well as Northeast Ohio’s specialty, snowstorms.  A voluntary program created in 1998 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which oversees the National Weather Service, StormReady provides clear-cut advice to city leaders, emergency managers and media with the communication and safety skills to spread the word quickly about oncoming severe weather.

“Being StormReady means community leaders and emergency managers have strengthened local safety programs and are ready to save lives and property,” Beers said. “We’re very pleased and proud that the National Weather Service meteorologists and state and local emergency managers have honored us with this designation. Our team works very hard every day to keep our campus community safe.”

To become StormReady, a community must:

  • Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center.
  • Have more than one way to receive severe weather forecasts and warnings and to alert the public.
  • Create a system that monitors local weather conditions.
  • Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars.
  • Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.

Other universities in Ohio designated as StormReady are Ohio University, Athens; Wright State University and Sinclair Community College in Dayton; and Xavier University in Cincinnati.

Media contact: Laura M. Massie, 330-972-6476 or