Severe weather season is approaching and we have already seen significant tornado outbreaks in other parts of the nation, but even with new technology local storm spotters say there is still a great need for tech that’s not so new.
With modern technology we can track storms like never before but there is still one important piece of older tech that experts are using to keep you safe during a significant weather event.
Steven Cobb told us, “The short wave radio or the ham radio operators, amateur radio operato rs are essential to our severe weather operation team actually.”
The amateur radio team is not only vital for providing real time information to forecasters, along with pictures and videos, but for keeping communication line available.
Cobb said, “The amateur radio team is not only important during the event or prior to the event setting up for the storms but also even after following a severe weather outbreak or catastrophic weather event. I know the Wichita Falls, Texas tornado and also the Lubbock, Texas tornado here in the 70’s, both of those cases the amateur community was huge in allowing us to have constant communications after the storms passed.”
The ham radio system is older technology technology but when a storm takes down other modes of communication it can still operate giving local first responders and law enforcement a fall back for when an emergency strikes.
Cobb said, “We have a very active storm spotting team here in Lubbock. The amateur radio group, the South Plains Storm Spotting team, they have a rigorous training program that they go through not only our annual skywarn preparation training but they also have a ride along where they ride so that they do understand all the risks and how to manage themselves during a storm spotting episode.”
The extensive training ensures that they not only keep themselves safe but their passengers. The important thing to remember is that these spotters have gone through extensive training and are fully prepared to take on a storm. Safety is number one and you don’t want to endanger yourself or others by going unprepared. However, if you are interested in becoming a certified storm spotter there are classes coming up, click the link below for more information.