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April 12, 2016

University of Montevallo Receives “Storm Ready” Designation

Montevallo, Ala. – The National Weather Service recognized the University of Montevallo as StormReady, a nationwide program that helps communities plan for severe weather through advanced planning, education and awareness.

“We have put extensive time and effort to receive this distinction, and our University has always and will continue to provide exceptional communication and preparedness in the threat of severe weather,” UM Chief of Police Chadd Adams stated.

Meteorologist-in-Charge Jim Stefkovich and Senior Forecaster Mark Rose of the Birmingham National Weather Service Office visited the campus on Wed., April 12 to present President John W. Stewart and the UM Department of Safety with an official letter of recognition.

“The staff here has done everything possible to make sure that faculty, students and everybody else on campus is aware when severe weather is occurring and then takes the proper actions and that’s a great thing,” said Stefkovich.

The StormReady distinction indicates that the University has done everything possible to improve emergency preparedness in the event of a natural disaster. There are currently 2,452 StormReady sites across the United States, with 59 active sites across Alabama. UM becomes the 11th StormReady university within the State and one of 194 universities in the nation.

The University will carry the designation for three years and will undergo a secondary evaluation at that time. The University of Montevallo is equipped with an NOAA radio, wind and rain monitoring systems and an extensive warning system including text, email and voicemail alerts.

“There are five criteria to become StormReady, including establishing a 24 hour warning point and emergency operation center, having more than one way to both receive and transmit forecast and severe weather warnings, creating a system that monitors weather conditions locally, promoting public readiness through local training and developing a hazardous weather plan including spotter training and holding emergency exercises,” Stefkovich added. “The University has done all of these criteria and have done it well.”

In addition to the standard criteria to meet the designation, UM has constructed a state of the art tornado shelter on campus. The shelter, housed in the 3D Art Building, is used as a classroom space, but can serve double-duty when needed. The room can hold up to 192 people and is designed to withstand winds of up to 250 miles per hour.

For more information, please contact Carrie Smith, Media Relations and Communications Specialist at 205-665-6227 or csmith58@montevallo.edu.

About The University of Montevallo

The University of Montevallo seeks to be unique in higher education in Alabama, by providing students from throughout the state an affordable, geographically accessible, “small college” public higher educational experience of high quality. Settled within an atmosphere of national historic beauty and offering a tradition of innovative cultural expression, we seek to provide professional programs supported by a broad base of arts and sciences that are designed for intellectual and personal growth in the pursuit of meaningful employment and responsible, informed citizenship.