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Learn how to prepare during Severe Weather Awareness Week
Emory weather station

The Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response is Emory’s resource for information and training related to emergency situations and safety precautions. Weather stations on Emory’s Atlanta and Oxford College campuses improve their ability to track changing weather conditions.

Severe Weather Awareness Week in Georgia (Feb. 5-9) offers an opportunity for the Emory community to review campus emergency plans for what to do in the event of disasters, according to the Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR).

Each day, the National Weather Service will focus on a specific theme or topic related to severe weather that occurs across this region. 

  • Monday, Feb. 5: Family preparedness (NOAA weather radio and wireless emergency alerts)
  • Tuesday, Feb. 6: Thunderstorm safety (hail and damaging wind threats and impacts)
  • Wednesday, Feb. 7: Tornado safety 
  • Thursday, Feb. 8: Lightning safety
  • Friday, Feb. 9: Flash flooding and flood safety 

Tornadoes and severe weather can occur at any time. The Jan. 12, 2023, Georgia tornado event when 14 tornados touched down across 12 counties (two in metro Atlanta and one in Newton County south of the Oxford campus) serves as a clear reminder of why you must be prepared, says Sam Shartar, senior director of operations for CEPAR. 

Emory University is a Storm Ready university and has taken steps to ensure Emory’s community is ready to respond to weather emergencies. The best plan is to learn about community resources now, before weather events strike, says Shartar.

“Knowledge empowers people,” he notes. “If you take time to think through what to do in advance, you’ll be better prepared to take care of yourself and those around you during an actual emergency, until help arrives, which makes you more resilient.”

Springtime can bring an array of stormy weather, from late cold snaps, dangerous winds and severe thunderstorms to lightning, hail and flash flooding — all of which can create hazardous conditions.

Severe Weather Refuge logo
“In Georgia, this is the season commonly associated with the highest amount of weather activity,” Shartar says. “You can see tornadoes here year-round, but usually the spring months are the most active.”  He advises that everyone learns what to do during a dangerous weather event, and learns in advance where to shelter. 

Emory’s emergency notification system enables the university to send notifications quickly and efficiently through multiple channels, including text messages and email, outdoor sirens, social media, RSS messages to webpages and cable messages directly to Emory Cable Television.

To enhance Emory’s ability to track changing weather conditions, CEPAR works with the National Weather Service, private meteorological weather monitoring companies, and uses weather stations on Emory’s Atlanta and Oxford College campuses to monitor local conditions.

Emergency alerts are also sent to Emory Safe, a personal safety mobile app that Emory University is providing to all students, faculty, and staff to download for free. The app also provides access important safety information such as emergency procedures, health and wellness resources, campus maps sexual assault assistance resources and more.

Being weather ready is being Emory READY.

Follow five steps to be Emory READY throughout the year:

  1. Enroll in the Emory Emergency Notification program.
  2. Download the Emory Safe app.
  3. Review emergency information including the Student and Faculty/Staff Preparedness Checklists and the Just-in-Time Guide for Campus Emergencies.
  4. Identify and locate emergency resources including severe weather refuge areas, fire exits and automated external defibrillator (AED)
  5. Take Life Support Training on campus to learn CPR, how to use an AED, how to treat an obstructed airway and how to control bleeding.
Visit the CEPAR website

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