The U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service has acknowledged UNM as a StormReady University. StormReady is a nationwide community preparedness program that helps communities develop plans to handle all types of severe weather.

UNM Emergency Manager Byron Piatt says, "Our emergency preparedness efforts at the University of New Mexico have been benchmarked against a severe weather planning model, and found to meet the criteria of the National Weather Service.  We strive to be equally prepared for all hazards, and the StormReady distinction should give the community a sense of comfort."

To be recognized as StormReady, communities 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, and create a system that monitors local weather conditions. They must also promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars and develop a formal hazardous weather plan that includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises. UNM meets these criteria in part by using weather radios, local weather stations, LoboAlerts and Campus Warning Siren systems.

"We credit President Schmidly with the initiative to install the Campus Warning Siren system," Piatt said. "His prior experience in a tornado-prone area will help make our campus a more safe environment." 

There are now seven StormReady communities in the state, including  Dona Ana, Lincoln, Quay and San Juan Counties, the city of Hobbs, New Mexico State University and UNM.

Media contact: Karen Wentworth (505) 277-5627; email: