The office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPaR) is preparing Augusta University to become one of nearly 200 StormReady colleges and universities across the United States.
Being part of a StormReady university is about preparing the university and medical center’s increasing exposure to extreme weather events. The StormReady initiative will help the community with communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property. This program is sponsored by the National Weather Service, and it has established guidelines that Augusta University must meet in order to be certified as StormReady.
These criteria are:
- Establish a 24 hour warning point and emergency operations center (EOC). Currently, there are two EOCs in the Medical Center, and CEPaR has established and are outfitting two additional EOCs on the university campus: one on the Forest Hills campus and one on the Health Sciences campus.
- Have more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public. Along with Jaguar Alert, CEPaR will use the weather sirens on the Health Science Campus. CEPaR has recently purchased weather radios to be placed throughout the university campuses that will also alert office staff of weather warnings and forecasts.
- Create a system that monitors weather conditions locally. Currently, staff monitors local weather as well as receives notifications through several sources for severe weather.
- Promote the importance of public readiness through seminars. CEPaR will be hosting seminars for students, staff and faculty as well as promoting this program through university and hospital events.
- Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises. CEPaR’s hazardous weather plan is incorporated in the Emergency Operations Plan. CEPaR will be training severe weather spotters as part of the CERT (Campus Emergency Response Team) training and incorporating a severe weather event into one of its yearly exercises.
Once Augusta University completes the criteria and passes inspection, it will join the nearly 200 colleges and universities that are StormReady.
Below are the latest links from the National Weather Service.
Weather Websites for Monitoring and Situational Awareness
- NWS webpage (mobile device)
- Hourly Weather Graphs (planning)
- Enhanced Data Display (interactive situational awareness platform)
- Weather Prediction Center (weather maps/forecast maps)
- Georgia DFIRM (Flood Insurance Rating Map)
Please consider registering for the fall CERT class. CERT (Campus Emergency Response Team) is a program sponsored through FEMA and provides education to individuals about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact the university and medical center. The class also provides basic disaster response skills. After completing the training, participants will be able to assist others in the community following a disaster when professional responders are not immediately available. Classes will be every Thursday beginning Sept. 8 through Oct. 27 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Please register by emailing Kevin Wells by Aug. 30 to ensure you are on the roster. All class graduates will receive a CERT backpack with emergency supply items. There is no cost to participants.