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Published in Media Alerts on April 13, 2012

National Weather Service to designate UMMC as StormReady Community

By Bruce Coleman

What: The National Weather Service will announce that it has given its official StormReady Community designation to the University of Mississippi Medical Center. UMMC is the first health-care institution in the state – and only the second in the Southeast – to receive the classification.

Who: Representatives scheduled to speak at the conference include:

Jonathan Wilson, UMMC director of emergency services

Stephen Wilkinson, NWS forecast office warning coordination meteorologist

Alan Gerrard, NWS Jackson meteorologist-in-charge

When: The media conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17.

Where: The media conference is scheduled for the second-floor conference center at the Norman C. Nelson Student Union on UMMC’s main campus.

Why: A program started in 1999 in Tulsa, Okla., StormReady helps provide the communication and safety skills communities need to save lives and property before and during weather-related events. According to the National Weather Service, StormReady communities are better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through advanced planning, education and awareness.

The Medical Center hosts Mississippi MedCom, a 24/7 statewide communications center, boasts  robust weather monitoring systems and maintains a contract with Schoolcast, a messaging system that can provide near-instantaneous communication over a variety of devices, such as mobile phones or computers – all factors which were considered for the StormReady designation.