In preparation for the sometimes-volatile Upstate New York climate, SUNY Oswego's University Police recently earned a StormReady designation from the National Weather Service. 

Storm-ready agencies and communities go through training and other preparation to demonstrate they are better prepared for severe weather through proactive planning, education and awareness, according to the NWS StormReady site,

"To earn this designation, in addition to the application, we had to demonstrate to the National Weather Service that we met all of their criteria, including emergency communications, weather monitoring equipment, National Weather Service reception equipment, local warning dissemination, in addition to providing educational information through training programs, our website, Facebook and informational programming," Kevin Velzy, assistant chief of University Police explained.

Eight University Police members from Oswego attended a Skywarn training in March to become official weather spotters, said Velzy, who prepared the application to join a growing number of communities and agencies trying to earn the coveted designation.

The college's meteorology department sponsored the training, conducted by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration representative Judith Levan, who also is an Oswego alumna. For another program requirement, officers visited the National Weather Service Office in Buffalo.

Levan and Dale Courrier, director of Oswego County Emergency Management and also an Oswego graduate, were on hand Aug. 30 for a brief ceremony to convey the storm readiness designation.

"The weather service can issue warnings and we can tell you threatening weather is coming but there’s a whole partnership with the community and educating people on what they need to do with those warnings," Levan said.

"The university has demonstrated a strong desire to being prepared and educating their community," she added. "They’ve done their homework; the staff here knows what to do when there is a severe weather threat and they are reaching out to students and staff with timely information via text and other forms of communication. SUNY Oswego is delivering the whole package when it comes to timely information sharing; they are clearly demonstrating sound readiness and preparedness."

SUNY Oswego joined eight other colleges and universities in New York state with the StormReady designation, including fellow SUNY institutions at Binghamton, Oneonta, Plattsburgh and Upstate Medical, as well as Cornell University, Ithaca College, the University of Rochester and Syracuse University.