The University of Nevada, Reno has partnered with the National Weather Service as part of its ongoing effort to improve campus emergency and incident preparedness.
"Our overall goal with this partnership is to build upon our emergency preparedness model on campus," Amanda Windes, University manager of organizational resilience, said. "This partnership offers a number of safety benefits to the University."
Some of these new partner benefits include email briefings as needed ahead of significant weather and water events in the region, online webinar briefings ahead of large local weather hazards, enhanced preparedness planning activities and exercises, and in-person weather and flood intelligence support during large-scale campus events.
"Some of the immediate benefits we've seen by joining this free partnership is the spot forecasts the National Weather Service Reno Office provides us for football games and Commencement," Windes said. "One of our biggest risks at these events is lightning storms. If the weather service has confidence in such a weather event, they send a meteorologist and mobile weather station to the University's mobile command post and provide real-time data and on-site support to ensure public safety."
As part of this new partnership, Windes said the University will also now have a new Inclement Weather Policy.
"We've heard our campus community loud and clear," Windes said. "People want earlier decisions on whether or not campus will be closed or if delayed starts will occur during winter weather. As part of this new policy, we will have ongoing communication with the National Weather Service Reno Office, including 4 a.m. phone calls in the event of extreme weather. This will better allow us to not only understand what we're seeing on campus, but will also provide information about how weather can impact the morning commute and campus operations throughout the day."
Additional benefits to being a Weather-Ready National Ambassador ensure even more detailed preparation in the event of a campus incident, such as a hazardous material still on campus. While these are never anticipated events, the National Weather Service Reno Office will plan to prepare weather updates, which could help inform evacuation zones and would help keep first responders safe.
"One of the most important things the University can do is to prepare for emergencies, which can often include weather-related events," Windes said. "This partnership adds to organization's resiliency plan and we're thrilled to be working with such a committed team of people at the National Weather Service."