Calvin becomes fifth ‘StormReady’ Christian college in United States


Photo courtesy Rick Treur.

The National Weather Service named Calvin a ‘StormReady’ campus Wednesday afternoon, making Calvin the fifth Christian school in the country to become accredited.

Calvin is the seventh college in the state to receive the designation and the first location in Grand Rapids, Mich.

“It is something that makes me really proud of Calvin College and our campus safety office in general, that we can offer the campus community these types of designations to improve safety on campus,” said Dave VanHouten, campus safety dispatch manager.

Senior Hannah Smallegan is a campus safety dispatcher who has worked on updating technology and inspecting the equipment with the National Weather Service in early February.

“I did a lot of updating and getting the station ready for the visit,” said Smallegan. “I didn’t envision a big thing like this, to have it on the news and have the president be here.”

Calvin had to meet a number of requirements to become “StormReady.” VanHouten highlighted Calvin’s computerized dispatch system, a new radio system and real-time weather radar as key technologies that will help Calvin in case of severe weather.

“We are always getting requests from other campus safety officers to come see what we are doing,” said Van Houten. “We take pride in trying to be on the cutting edge of this.

Calvin also has two ways to notify people on campus of a weather emergency: a text, email and telephone system as well as an emergency siren.