BGSU alumnus assists in University’s quest to become ‘StormReady’

Weather-Radio-web
Matt Keefe (left), BGSU emergency management coordinator, delivers an emergency alert weather radio to Jim Kirkum, senior server administrator in ITS.

As part of its efforts to become a StormReady University, BGSU has purchased 200 emergency alert weather radios. The radios provide the campus community with timely severe weather warnings, complementing the University’s AlertBG system.

The Department of Public Safety’s Emergency Management Office purchased the NOAA weather radios at a wholesale price thanks to an alumni connection. Karl Strauss ’76 is the owner of Alert Works Ltd., which provided the radios.

“It has been a pleasure working with Mr. Strauss on the purchase and deployment of his company’s National Weather Service-approved emergency alert weather radios,” said Matt Keefe, BGSU emergency management coordinator. “These weather radios complement our existing warning and notification systems in alerting our students, faculty, staff and guests of impending severe weather in our area. We are not only meeting the minimum requirements to become a StormReady University, we are exceeding them by being able to purchase and distribute a larger quantity of weather radios from Alert Works due to Mr. Strauss’s generosity.”

Strauss received his Bachelor of Arts in sociology. His wife, Karen, received her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish in 1977. While at BGSU, they were members of Greek life.

"It's our mission at Alert Works to ensure that our communities are as safe as possible during the turbulent severe weather season,” Strauss said. “To achieve this goal, we have instituted a pricing program for federal, state and local agencies to purchase our products at a special price for distribution to the local residents and their institutions, particularly in our own backyard."

The radios are being distributed to all campus buildings. Now, each occupied building on campus will have at least one weather radio. The Wood County Emergency Management Agency also purchased radios with assistance from First Energy to support its emergency preparedness public outreach program. Wood County EMA is also pursuing a StormReady County designation.

More than 90 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related. To help guard against the effects of severe weather, the National Weather Service, in partnership with emergency management, has designed the voluntary StormReady program. StormReady provides areas and universities with a standard level of preparedness for hazardous weather.

The StormReady guidelines require that BGSU receive National Weather Service information in four different ways. One of the ways is through these new radios.