UM-Dearborn is a StormReady university

March 25, 2020

UM-Dearborn has StormReady certification from the National Weather Service, the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the U.S.


While the campus community is focused on taking the necessary steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, it’s also important to remember spring weather safety. Severe Weather Awareness Week in Michigan is this week and it marks the approach of the state’s most unpredictable weather season, which is a good time to review plans in the event of inclement weather.

Recently, UM-Dearborn joined 284 other universities in the country with the StormReady certification from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS). NWS is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories.

StormReady universities are recognized because they are prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through advanced planning, education and awareness.

To be recognized as StormReady, a site 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 multiple outreach efforts
  • develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises

According to NWS, Michigan experiences an average of 15 tornadoes a year. Although the greatest number occur between April and August, they can happen at any time. 

UM-Dearborn’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has tips for the campus community to prepare for and respond to various weather situations. 

  • Sign up for UM-Dearborn Emergency Alerts. Messages are delivered when NWS issues a warning for a tornado or for winds of 75 mph or greater in Wayne County.
  • Know the difference between a storm "watch" and a storm '"warning." A "watch" means severe weather is possible. A "warning" means that severe weather -such as a thunderstorm or tornado- is occurring or is about to. When a warning has been issued, find shelter immediately.
  • If you are outdoors and see lightning, hear thunder or outdoor warning sirens, seek shelter immediately inside a sturdy building or vehicle. Monitor local media for official information.
  • The safest place to shelter is in an interior area on the lowest level of a building away from windows, doors and outside walls.

More information is available on the OEM Severe Weather website.

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