Posts Tagged ‘Storm chasing


It doesn’t happen here…

Springfield Tornado - 06012011 - 026

Image by Robert Blackie via Flickr

It can’t, it won’t, it hasn’t, it doesn’t.  These are fatal assumptions when associated with words like severe weather or earthquakes or flooding.  I would venture to guess that within the large tally of injured and killed people during this springs severe weather, many believed these statements.  It could be they grew up in areas that experience regular severe weather and nothing has ever happened before or because they grew up in areas that generally don’t have severe weather.  This is the mindset of the vast majority of our population.  Many don’t believe it will happen to them.

Here’s the problem though, it can, it will, it has, and it does happen.  Weather, earthquakes, technological hazards, and all the other dangers of the world can happen anywhere at any time.  I read an article yesterday in the local paper that stated how lucky we are because we don’t get any of the bad things in the world where we live.  I proceded to spit my coffee all over the table and then had to re-read it to be sure that this paper just told all of it’s readers that it’s cool cause it ain’t gonna happen here…unbelievable.  Need an example?  Springfield, Massachusetts.  It’s in New England, nestled in western mass in an area that doesn’t typically get a lot of significant severe weather.  Well much to the surprise of many, it was hit with a very large and destructive tornado, possibly in the EF-3 to EF-4 range.  This system then moved across the state leaving millions of dollars in damage and multiple fatalities and injuries.

As a community, emergency managers need to stress the fact that these events can and will happen anywhere they please.  Emergency management as a profession/volunteer position exists in a realm of confusion and lack of definition.  The average citizen doesn’t really know what it does and therefore has no problem cutting money from these agencies that don’t seem to do anything.  Obviously this is not the case but we need to justify the existance of emergency management.  We need to explain that preparedness saves lives, that those expensive warning systems can pay for themselves in an instant when they are needed, that after the dust has settled we can see the true cost of preparing your community for the events that will never happen, aren’t possible, and in an instant, can wipe you off the face of the earth.


Watch severe storms from the comfort of anywhere

Thunderstorms produce many hazards that put li...

Image via Wikipedia

The internet has allowed us to experience cultures and experience from around the world.  I am a big severe weather fan, I love the raw power and beauty of a massive supercell thunderstorm, but I was limited to watching recorded videos after the fact.  Now you can watch severe storms and storm chasers live on the internet!  This actually isn’t new, I have been checking this out for a couple years now but it’s popularity has really taken off. allows you to watch chasers live in the field.  This is a technology that could be very useful in emergency management.  Yesterday I watched the chasers live while listening to live scanners from area’s being impacted.  I had a very extensive operational picture even though I was thousands of miles away from the storms.  The potential for this technology, especially with newer and faster 4G technology, is enormous.  This technology can allow emergency managers to view incidents live from anywhere there is high speed internet access.