Georgia Gwinnett College is ‘storm ready’
Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) has been recertified as a StormReady campus by the National Weather Service (NWS).
Entities that are StormReady must meet specific criteria, including:
- Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center.
- Have more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public.
- Create a system that monitors weather conditions locally.
- Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars.
- Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
Terrance Schneider, GGC’s associate vice president of Operations and chief of police, said that the college’s campus dispatch center serves as a 24-hour weather warning point and is co-located with GGC’s Emergency Operations Center.
Schneider said his team relies on a number of sources to monitor and receive severe weather information.
“We receive information directly from NOAA weather radios, the Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (LETS), television, radio and the Emergency Management Network (EM NET). We also operate a professional weather station, located on the top of Building W, that feeds an online weather page.” he said.
To relay extreme weather information to the campus community, Schneider and his team use myriad channels.
“Our dispatch sends immediate notifications through the college’s RAVE alert mass notification system,” he said. “In addition, we are able to further alert the campus through the Alertus desktop computer and digital signage alerting system and through GGC’s social media accounts.”
Along with those notification channels, GGC’s campus has three outdoor warning sirens located at buildings D, W, and the college’s athletic fields.
Schneider said that safety and readiness are ongoing priorities. Toward that end, his team hosts trainings for the GGC community at various campus locations throughout the year.
GGC is one of 16 higher education institutions that have achieved StormReady certification in Georgia.