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Chadron State College officials Dale Grant, vice president of Finance and Administration, left, and Dr. Randy Rhine, president, center, receive official recognition from Chad Hahn, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Cheyenne, Wyo., for achieving the status of “StormReady University,” one of only two in Nebraska to do so.

An official from the National Weather Service (NWS) praised administration and staff of Chadron State College Thursday for completing a set of rigorous warning criteria necessary to earn the distinction of being StormReady. CSC is the second higher education institution in Nebraska to receive the StormReady designation.

Chad Hahn, warning coordination meteorologist of the NWS forecast office in Cheyenne, presented a certificate and special StormReady signs to Chadron State College administrators at an all campus meeting Oct. 12. The StormReady recognition will be in effect for the next three years, when CSC will go through a renewal process.

“Every year, around 500 Americans lose their lives to severe weather and floods,” Hahn said. “More than 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 2,500 floods and 1,000 tornadoes strike the United States annually. The National Weather Service developed the StormReady program to help people and communities become more resilient when dangerous weather strikes.”

StormReady encourages colleges and other public entities to take a proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness. Enhanced communication services are a requirement of StormReady certification. By meeting these strict standards, Chadron State College is now better equipped to communicate important hazard information to save lives and property, before and during the event.

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“We commend Chadron State for developing improved communications at the site and with emergency partners,” Hahn added. “This partnership will make for a campus that is more resilient to hazardous weather.”

StormReady is a nationwide community preparedness program that uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle local severe weather and flooding threats. StormReady started in 1999 with seven communities in Oklahoma. There are now more than 2,600 StormReady Sites across the country.

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