Designation marks commitment to safe operations when weather threats arise

Citing the University of West Alabama’s dedication to safety and emergency preparedness, the National Weather Service has renewed UWA’s status as a StormReady University. The status lasts through April 21, 2026.

“The university’s administration, Department of Campus Safety, and everyone else involved in the compliance process have every reason to be proud of this accomplishment,” said Chris Darden, meteorologist in charge of the NWS office in Birmingham. “The university’s communications infrastructure and increased level of severe weather awareness will no doubt minimize the loss of life and/or property in the future.”

Under the guidance of UWA President Dr. Ken Tucker and Chief of UWA Police Josette White, the university’s director of public safety, UWA is one of 11 higher-education institutions in Alabama and 290 nationwide to receive StormReady or TsunamiReady recognition from the NWS.

“The safety of all of our students, employees, and guests on campus is paramount, and we are proud of a designation such as this affirming that we are moving in a positive direction toward continued safety and preparedness,” Tucker said. “We take into consideration so many factors when considering changes in operations necessitated by weather conditions, and it requires teamwork across several departments on campus to inform these decisions and continuously improve our levels of preparedness. This designation represents the commitment of our team to maintaining safe practices on campus in the event of storms that we will inevitably face throughout the course of a year.”

According to the NWS, 98 percent of presidentially-declared disasters in the United States are related to weather and cause nearly 500 deaths and $15 million in damage a year. StormReady communities such as UWA’s campus “are better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through advanced planning, education and awareness.”

“Maintaining StormReady recognition indicates that the university is committed to safety and continues to do everything possible to improve emergency first responder and citizen preparedness in the event of a natural disaster,” Darden said.