Open Menu Close Menu Open Search Close Search

A major theme of our current Stratgic Plan is evaluation. In many other industries the practitioners are tested regularly –  an athlete on game day, a chef during dinner service, or a student on exam day – but in emergency management, true tests – disasters – are few and far between, and it’s vital that you get a passing grade. To make sure we’re ready for these rare events, we follow industry model practices and standards, and increasingly will be asking outsiders to come in and evaluate how we’re meeting these standards.

Last week we visited the National Weather Service Boston office on a long-overdue trip to pickup a sign proclaiming our status as a StormReady® University. Tufts was actually assessed nearly a year ago, March 6, 2015, but now seems like as good a time as any to tell you about it.

How was Tufts Assessed?

A multidisciplinary team came to campus on March 6, 2015 including:

  • National Weather Service (NWS) Boston Warning Coordination Meteorologist
  • NWS Boston Meteorologist-In-Charge
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) representative
  • Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) representative
  • A local emergency management director

We presented how we comply with the StormReady requirements, and conducted a tour of our facilities and a capabilities demonstration to allow the team to assess our program.

What Does Being “StormReady” Entail?

We had to show that we had written protocols and a demonstrated capability to:

Why Does Tufts Need StormReady?

Massachusetts may not be thought of as a frequent location for severe weather – severe thunderstorms, tornados, blizzards, hurricanes, flooding – but it does occur. For example, on July 7, 2014 a funnel cloud, the precursor to a tornado, triggered a Tornado Warning on the Medford/Somerville campus:

What Can I Do?

Great question, glad you asked.

  1. Make sure you’re signed up for TuftsAlert – it’s how we’ll warn you of fast-moving severe weather such as a tornado warning.
  2. Prepare yourself for our regional weather hazards with the information in the Emergency Response Guide section on Natural Disasters.