OCTC named StormReady Supporter school Students and staff closer to preparedness and awareness in case of inclement weather

Scott Williams

Owensboro Community & Technical College has achieved StormReady Supporter status after being named a Weather-Ready National Ambassador by the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration.

Since the year 2000, the NOAA has been working with and encouraging communities all across the country to ensure they are prepared to save lives in the event of severe weather, a press release sent by OCTC said, adding that communities cannot be storm-proof, but can strive for storm readiness.

The NOAA recognizes such ambassadors in an effort to make other people and organizations in the country "ready, responsive, and resilient to extreme events," according to the National Weather Service website, weather.gov.

According to Jeff Hendricks, OCTC director of safety and security, being named a StormReady Supporter school displays weather readiness.

"It shows that we are promoting preparedness amongst our campus community to be prepared for severe weather and what actions and precautions you need to do to meet that preparedness level," Hendricks said.

In order to be named a StormReady school, the NOAA took a look at storm shelter procedures and written policies, among other safety precautions.

Being prepared for severe weather is something Hendricks and other officials at OCTC strive for because, while threats from individuals are possible, the school and the surrounding area is more likely to get hit by severe storms. So Hendricks spent time preparing the campus, from training faculty and staff and then training students.

The school provides safety presentations for students throughout the school year.

Hendricks knew exactly what to do for the school to achieve this status because before stepping into this role in 2016 he was part of the team that facilitated the Kentucky National Guard Training Center to become a StormReady Community.

OCTC President Scott Williams said he and other faculty and staff members at the school are excited to be named a StormReady Supporter and are grateful the school's safety and security office is ensuring employees and students are aware and prepared.

"We are pleased to lead the charge and be one of the first colleges in our region to achieve both the Weather-Ready and StormReady statuses," Williams said.

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315.

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