Virginia Tech has once again been designated a StormReady University by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service.

The StormReady program helps communities develop plans to handle severe weather and flooding threats. It provides communities with advice from a partnership between local National Weather Service forecast offices and state and local emergency managers.

“The StormReady program helps us to ensure the university is meeting key milestones for weather preparedness in our area, which is particularly important in a climate as dynamic as Blacksburg,” said Michael Mulhare, director of the Office of Emergency Management. “At a university that has countless outdoor activities, including football games that bring thousands of people to campus at a time, our strong partnership with the National Weather Service is critical to ensuring to the safety and well-being of our community.”

In 2010, Virginia Tech became the first college or university in Virginia to receive the StormReady designation. Since then, the university has completed the renewal process twice.

“Virginia Tech has been at the forefront of making sure their campus is prepared for significant weather events,” said Phil Hysell, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office in Blacksburg.

“The renewal shows that the university is dedicated to making sure that the students, employees, and the community are informed when severe weather approaches. Virginia Tech has followed all of the guidelines to make sure life-saving severe weather warnings are reaching as many people as possible.”

To be recognized as 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 community;
  • Create a system that monitors local weather conditions;
  • Promote the importance of readiness through community seminars
  • Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.

The StormReady recognition will be in effect through February 2019, at which point the university will go through the renewal process once again.   


Written by Victoria Hill, public relations specialist for emergency management.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Share this story