The National Weather Service (NWS) has recognized Bossier Parish Community College as StormReady®. Serving over 9,000 students, faculty, and support personnel, the campus is a vital part of the educational and economic enterprise in Bossier Parish and northwestern Louisiana.
“Northwestern Louisiana experiences very active severe weather episodes throughout the year,” said Charlie Woodrum, Warning Coordination Meteorologist of the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Shreveport, Louisiana. He added that “Due to our geographic location, potentially deadly weather could impact Bossier Parish Community College and Bossier Parish on any given day. In order to prepare for severe weather and keep its citizens safe, college staff members partnered with the NWS to meet the criteria required by the StormReady® program.” Woodrum presented the college with a recognition letter and a special StormReady® sign during a ceremony on campus.
The nationwide StormReady® community preparedness program uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle local severe weather and flooding threats. The program is voluntary and provides communities with clear-cut advice from their local NWS forecast office as well as state and local emergency managers. StormReady® communities are better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through better planning, education, and awareness. No community is storm proof, but StormReady® can help communities save lives.
To be recognized as StormReady®, a community college or university 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; and develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
There are more than 3,100 StormReady® communities across the United States. Bossier Parish Community College joins the ranks of over 300 colleges and universities across the nation that have achieved StormReady® status. The program is designed to help StormReady® communities improve communication and safety skills needed to save lives — before, during, and after a severe weather event. The establishment of StormReady® universities are vital given the EF-4 tornado which tore through Bossier Parish on April 3rd, 1999, leading to 7 fatalities and 112 injuries.
The StormReady® recognition will expire in four years, before which the college will go through a renewal process.
The NWS is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. It operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy. Visit the NWS online at weather.gov and on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NWS.