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A-State is First as NOAA 'Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador'

11/30/2015

JONESBORO – Arkansas State University is the first higher education institution in the state of Arkansas to become a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

By establishing a closer dialog with the National Weather Service, A-State’s safety officer Jon Carvell said the university is working to help students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus become more aware of severe weather when it threatens campus.

To become a WRN Ambassador, Arkansas State maintains an active dialog with the National Weather Service and works to educate the public on weather-related information such as preparedness as well as warnings and alerts.

“We know that better warnings lead students to pay attention to our alerts,” Carvell said.  “When we have significant weather heading toward campus, we want to use all our communication tools – social media, email and the traditional emergency alerts – to keep everyone informed.”

In the past year, A-State’s campus has sustained damage from straight-line winds that were associated with severe thunderstorm warnings.

“Both times we used emergency tools like email or our full alert system to let people on campus know they should take shelter,” Carvell said.

Along with participation in NWS Memphis sponsored training and online briefings, Carvell and members of the Arkansas State administration monitor and share information through the NWS Chat.  It also part of the university effort to become a Storm Ready Campus in the future.

“Having the opportunity to monitor the responses of other emergency agencies, the regional media members and ask questions of the NWS Memphis office staff is critical to our ability to inform our campus,” Carvell said.  “We are looking forward to working closely with the meteorologists from the Memphis office.”

Jonesboro and Craighead County are a part of the four-state footprint of the Memphis office of the NWS.

“We receive a lot of great information from the Little Rock office, but we want to remind our community that the warnings and alerts for our area come from the Memphis office,” he said.

To learn more about the WRN Ambassador program, visit the NOAA website or the program frequently asked questions (FAQ) page.

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