The John and Mable Ringling Museum Earns Stormready® University Certification from National Weather Service
Sarasota, FL—June 20, 2008 – The John and Ringling Museum of Art earned StormReady® University certification from the National Weather Service. The Museum was presented with a special letter from the NWS during the Board of Directors meeting on Friday, June 20,2008. It is one of only three universities in Florida to receive the certification.
StormReady® is a program of the National Weather Service that helps businesses, government, military and non-profit agencies properly prepare for severe weather.
“The Ringling Museum takes its commitment to caring for the safety of our visitors, employees and collections seriously,” said Ringling Executive Director Dr. John Wetenhall. “Due to our location, we go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that we are properly prepared to respond to severe weather that threatens the Museum and our community.”
The Ringling Museum promotes the principles and guidelines of the StormReady® University in their severe weather/tsunami safety and awareness plans. The Ringling Museum met StormReady University certification criteria in the following categories:
- Surveillance Operations Center— The Museum has a center manned 24-hours/day, 7 days/week to implement emergency procedures in the event of severe weather. Additionally, the Museum has an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and a plan to manage the Museum in the event a weather disaster does occur.
- National Weather Service Warning Reception-The Museum Surveillance Operations Center has at least four redundant systems to receive weather warnings. The EOC, as well as, the Safety & Security Coordinator, has directInstant Messaging (IM) capability between the National Weather Service located in Ruskin, Florida
- Hydrometerological data monitoring-The Museum’s Surveillance Operations Center has at least three methods of monitoring local weather information on an ongoing basis, as well as, monitoring its own local weather station.
- Local warning dissemination—The Museum’s Surveillance Operations Center has at least three redundant systems to notify the Museum community of severe weather warnings. The local EOC has four redundant systems.
- Community preparedness—The Museum has plans in place for building occupants to follow in the event of severe weather. Each department has established emergency plans that are implemented once the EOC initiates the alert phase.
- Administrative-The Museum meets a number of administrative criteria such asreporting storm damage to the local National Weather Service in real-time, EOC activation procedures, Storm Spotter activation criteria and local weather warning systems. Twenty-seven members of the Ringling campus are certified Storm Spotters through the National Weather Service.
The Ringling Museum StormReady® University certification process was led by the Ringling Museum’s Mitch Ladewski, Safety & Security Coordinator, and Russell Pillifant, Chief of Facility Operations.
In 2005, the Ringling Museum was the first to become a StormReady® Supporter in Florida. The FSU/Ringling plan was used to set the standard for other non-governmental organizations seeking this designation.