The mission of Virginia Tech Emergency Management (VTEM) is to build, improve, and sustain university resilience, departmental readiness, and individual preparedness.
The department takes an all-hazards approach to continuously further the capability of the Virginia Tech community to plan for, mitigate against, respond to, and recover from an incident or emergency.
As evidence of this commitment, Virginia Tech Emergency Management was the first in higher education to obtain national accreditation through the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP).
Emergency Management is accredited by the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP), the voluntary standards, assessment, and peer review
accreditation process for disaster preparedness programs.
To qualify for accreditation, the office adheres to a set of 64 professional standards in areas including emergency planning and procedures; prevention; risk assessment; training and exercises, and communications and warning.
The office completed the accreditation process for the first time in October 2014, becoming the first college or university in the country to complete the program. Accreditation is valid for five years, and Emergency Management is the only entity in Virginia other than the commonwealth to be accredited.
In 2010, Virginia Tech became the first college or university in Virginia — and just the 50th in the United States — to complete the StormReady® University program with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service. Since then, the university has completed the renewal process twice.
The StormReady program helps communities develop plans to handle severe weather and flooding threats. It provides communities with information and resources from a partnership between local National Weather Service forecast offices and state and local emergency managers. It began in 1999 with seven communities in the Tulsa, Okla., area. There are now more than 1,500 StormReady communities across the country.
To be recognized as StormReady, a community must
- Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center;
- Have more than one way to receive severe weather forecasts and warnings and to alert the community;
- Create a system that monitors local weather conditions;
- Promote the importance of readiness through community seminars;
- Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
The StormReady recognition will be in effect through February 2019, at which point the university will go through the renewal process once again.