StormReady in a Box: Enhancing NOAA's Presence in Schools

Saturday, February 13, 2016
Nicholas Grondin, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL
The National Weather Service StormReady Supporter program exists to give schools, companies, TV stations, and other facilities to earn recognition for their weather preparedness and awareness. Requirements to earn StormReady Supporter status include having a facility warning point, use of NOAA Weather Radios, and weather hazard Emergency Operation Plans. Despite the increasing importance of weather preparedness in schools, only 1.2% of Minnesota schools are deemed StormReady by the National Weather Service. It was determined that the major impedance for schools becoming StormReady Supporters is the lack of time for administrators to engage in anything “extra” beyond their listed duties. As part of a 2015 NOAA Hollings Scholar project at NWS Twin Cities, Minnesota, the StormReady in a Box concept was developed to remedy this, by empowering teachers and students to take charge and complete the StormReady Supporter application for their school. StormReady in a Box is a project developed for Junior High School students to learn about weather preparedness and to help their school acquire StormReady status. The project was designed to be relevant to the Minnesota State Education Standards in Science, be simple for teachers to do with their students, and most importantly, to be enjoyable for Junior High School age students to do. The project was also designed to enhance critical thinking skills and logical reasoning abilities, as they relate to the StormReady Supporter application. This poster will present the overall rationale for the undertaking of this project, the creation of, and the logical next steps for the StormReady in a Box project.