Florida Atlantic University is a StormReady®  University.  All FAU campuses are recognized as StormReady®. Approximately 90% of all presidentially declared disasters are weather related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $14 billion in damage.  StormReady® began in 1999 to help communities validate their communication capabilities and safety skills needed to respond to severe weather. StormReady® communities are better prepared through improved planning, education, and awareness programs. While no community is storm proof, being StormReady® does help save lives. 


The StormReady® Program

SkyWarn®  Program

SkyWarn® is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service’s (NWS) severe weather spotting program with nearly 290,000 trained volunteers nationwide.

The NWS’s mission is to protect  lives and property. When  weather conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms or tornadoes are expected to develop, a  Severe Thunderstorm or  Tornado WATCH is issued. A Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado WARNING is issued when severe weather has been reported  by  a  Skywarn  spotter or  ndicated  by  Doppler  radar.
Skywarn volunteers become the NWS’s and local Emergency Management’s eyes and ears, helping to provide better weather watch and warning services.

 Storm Spotter Program

FAU Storm Spotters are a university-wide network of volunteers trained by the NWS to report significant weather. Everyone is encouraged to participate.

The NWS and/or the local emergency management authorities may activate the Storm Spotter net whenever there is a threat of severe weather or the NWS issues a Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Watch. In this case, information may be relayed through amateur radio repeaters.

If you would like to join our storm spotter team, please send a request via email to

A Guide to Reporting Severe Weather:

What to Report:

Urgent Priority
  • Tornado
  • Funnel Cloud
  • Rotatinf Wall Cloud
  • Flash Flood
High Priority
  • Hail 3/4 inch diameter or larger
  • Wind speed greater than 58mph
  • Persistent non-rotating wall cloud
  • Rainfall 1 inch or more per hour
Low Priority
  • Hail 1/2 inch diameter or larger
  • Wind speed greater than 40mph
  • Cloud features suggesting storm organization 
  • Other locally-defined criteria
Do Not Report 
  • Lightning 
  • Small hail (less than dime size)
  • Wind speed less than 40mph
  • Non-flooding rainfall
  • Damage not weather-related


Speed (mph) Effects
25-30 Large branches in motion; whistling in utility wires; empty trash cans blown several yards; hats blow off
31-40 Whole trees in motion; leaves and twigs blown off; difficult to handle high profile vehicles; small umbrellas damaged
41-57 Large palm fronds down; weak branches (e.g. umbrella trees) broken; ripe fruit blown off tree; patio furniture and potted plants overturned; difficult driving all vehicles; umbrellas destroyed
58-73 Large tree limbs broken; shallow rooted trees pushed over; un-ripened fruit blown off trees; awnings/antennae twisted; porch screening ripped loose; mobile homes damaged; signs bent and some traffic signals downed; some truck trailers toppled; difficulty walking
74-110 (Hurricane strength) Numerous trees uprooted; highway signs blown down or twisted; screened patios heavily damaged; windows broken; some shingles blown off frame houses; mobile homes severely damaged; utility wires down; cars overturned; unable to stand without holding on

How to Report

  • Telephone severe weather observations immediately to the University Police at (561) 297-3500.  (When in doubt, make your report anyway).
  • Identify yourself as a trained Storm Spotter and provide your SkyWarn® certification number.
  • Provide your name and location.
  • Give the details. Always use the "Four Ws" when reporting.
  • What you saw:
    • Report any strong winds (50 mph or greater), or any wind that produces damage.
    • Report any hail. Refer to hail size in comparison to coin (dime, nickel, penny, quarter). DO NOT mention "marble" size hail.
    • Report funnel clouds, wall clouds, tornadoes or water spouts. Remember, rotation and persistence are the keys!
    • Report damage (even well after the event).
    • Report flooding.
  • When you saw it:
    • The direction and distance from a known location or intersection.
  • When you saw it:
    • Make sure you note the time of the observation.
  • What it is doing:
    • Describe the storm’s direction and speed of travel, size, intensity, and destructiveness.
What Does It Mean to be StormReady®?
There are six guidelines describing the requirements that must be met to qualify as a StormReady® University. All StormReady® communities must renew their designation every three years. Below is a description of the requirements met by Florida Atlantic University.

1. Communications & Coordination Center

FAU has a "24-hour warning point" to receive National Weather Service information and provide local reports and advice. This operation is the University Police Dispatch Center. Our 24-hour warning point:

  • Operates 24/7/365.
  • Receives notification from the local municipalities and counties when severe weather alerts are announced.
  • Activates modules within the  FAU Alert System.

FAU also has an Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Members of the EOC include senior administration, key decision makers, and the emergency management staff. The University President or designee can activate the EOC based on established procedures.

2. National Weather Service Warning Reception

The University Police Dispatch Center and EOC receive National Weather Service warnings from multiple sources that include:

  • NOAA Weather Radio.
  • Private sector web-based providers and direct internet access to National Weather Service information and warnings.
  • Statewide and local municipality, county, state telecommunications.
  • Local radio and television broadcasts.

3. Hydrometeorological Monitoring

In addition to the above sources of weather information, FAU utilizes the internet and mobile device access as a means of gathering ancillary weather information including high definition and Doppler radar.

4. Warning Dissemination

FAU Alert modules  may be utilized as a means of ensuring timely warnings to the University community.

5. University Community Preparedness

FAU recognizes the value of educating students, faculty, and staff about severe weather and how to respond properly to weather threats. Members of our University community are more likely to seek additional methods for receiving weather warnings, recognize potentially threatening weather situations, and act appropriately when severe weather strikes when they have participated in awareness programs. To that end, FAU:

  • Conducts preparedness presentations and talks.
  • Promotes and encourages attending a National Weather Service SKYWARN weather spotter training when offered.

6. Administrative

Senior administration and key leadership at FAU support the requirements of the StormReady® program. Written plans and procedures have been formally developed and are maintained to provide:

  • Emergency Response and Continuity of Operations.
  • Storm spotter activation criteria, reporting procedures, roster, and training record.
  • Standard operating procedures for activation of the FAU Alert System.
  • Exercises and training.

For all EMERGENCY CALLS dial 9-1-1


Contact Us

Campus Operations Building
(69) Boca Raton Campus