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UAlbany First Academic Institution in State Declared "StormReady"
University is seventh in nation to receive designation from National Weather Service

Contact: Michael Parker (518) 437-4980

(From left to right) Vincent Idone, chair of the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Interim President John R. Ryan, UAlbany student interns with the National Weather Service, Gene Auciello, meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service's Albany Bureau, and Vincent T. Franconere, UAlbany's Director of Environmental Health and Safety, surround the signage reflecting the University's StormReady designation.
(From left to right) Vincent Idone, chair of the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Interim President John R. Ryan, UAlbany student interns with the National Weather Service, Gene Auciello, meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service's Albany Bureau, and Vincent T. Franconere, UAlbany's Director of Environmental Health and Safety, surround the signage reflecting the University's StormReady designation.

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 30, 2004) -- As part of a nationwide program to help communities prepare against the ravages of severe weather, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has designated the University at Albany a StormReady community. The University at Albany is the first university in New York to achieve StormReady status, and is the seventh university to achieve StormReady status in the nation. The University will receive signage declaring the campus a "StormReady Community" on April 30.

StormReady is a voluntary program that gives communities the skills and education needed to survive severe weather -- before and during the event. StormReady helps community leaders and emergency managers strengthen their local hazardous weather operations by ensuring that they have the tools needed to receive life-saving NWS warnings in the quickest time possible.

The StormReady program also serves as another tool in the University's Campus Emergency Management and Planning Initiative. Commissioned in response to the 9/11 attacks, a committee was formed and an emergency plan was developed to provide a management framework to respond to major emergencies that may threaten the health and safety of the university community, or disrupt its programs and operations. Weather emergencies account for 90 percent of all presidentially declared disasters, leading to 500 deaths per year and nearly $14 billion in damage.

"We are honored to receive the StormReady designation, and I am pleased with the continued efforts of our Department of Environmental Health and Safety to promote the safest possible environment for our students, faculty and staff," said UAlbany Interim President John R. Ryan. "This recognition is a testament to the University's proactive approach to severe weather management and preparedness in dealing with emergency situations."

“As a StormReady community, the University at Albany has gained the skills necessary to survive severe weather, both before and during the event,” said Gene Auciello, Meteorologist-In-Charge of the NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast Office at Albany. “Albany has a long history of significant weather and it is the goal of StormReady to reduce the impact of severe weather in the state,” he continued. “The state experiences about 20 weather-related fatalities per year and we would like to see that number reduced.”

Specifically, StormReady helps communities understand the types of weather they can expect, when it is most likely to occur, and how they can prepare for it in advance. For example, the peak threat for tornadoes in New York occurs during spring and summer, yet most flooding occurs during the late winter and spring with hurricanes and tropical storms posing a summer and fall flood threat. Much of the NWS preparedness information, awareness materials, and other data can be accessed at a website devoted to StormReady at www.stormready.noaa.gov.

The director of the Department of Environmental Health and Safety at the University at Albany, Vincent T. Franconere, stated, “The StormReady program provides the university with clear-cut weather warning and preparedness advice from a partnership with the National Weather Service and state and local emergency managers."

“The key to preparedness is understanding the types of weather your area can expect and staying tuned to NWS warning and forecast information. Having NOAA weather radios in the home, office, schools, churches, and other facilities to provide around-the-clock weather information is an excellent way to stay StormReady,” Auciello said.

"While Storm Ready is designed to prepare communities as a whole, the actions of a single individual can often mean the difference between life and death. Every individual must be aware of weather threats and constantly monitor them,” he concluded.

The University at Albany is served by the modernized NWS Weather Forecast Office located on the Albany campus. The office is equipped with Doppler weather radar, advanced computer and communication equipment, automated observing systems, and data from weather satellites, giving forecasters the ability to provide communities with more accurate and timely weather information than ever before.

NOAA’s National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. The NWS 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.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

Other universities declared StormReady include Northeastern Illinois, Abilene Christian University, Maryland, Kentucky, Louisville, and Midwestern State University in Texas. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.


The University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in nine degree-granting schools and colleges. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit <www.albany.edu>. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.htm.