The Floyd County Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service will present a free storm spotter class Monday night to all who are interested.
When storms moved into Floyd County this past Monday, there were more than just emergency personnel helping coordinate the response.
A group of volunteer storm spotters immediately began providing visual accounts of the weather conditions, damage and fallen trees to the Floyd County EMA.
“It was great getting up-to-the-minute information coming in that helped fill the voids in the information that 911 was getting,” said Floyd EMA Deputy Director Tim Herrington. “It was timely, accurate information that helped us in developing a plan on where to send our first responders.”
Now, on the heels of Floyd County’s most recent brush with Mother Nature’s fury, the public has another chance to get more educated about how these storms form and what to do when one happens.
Monday’s class, which begins at 6 p.m. at the new Rome-Floyd Emergency Operations Center on East 12th Street, will be taught by a meteorologist from the National Weather Center in Peachtree City.
Registration begins at 5 p.m. and Herrington said that there would be some time devoted to giving those interested a quick tour of the new SPLOST-funded facility.
For more information, contact Herrington at 706-236-5004 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We’re excited about holding it in the EOC for the first time,” Herrington said.
Areas that will be covered include the basics of thunderstorm development, fundamentals of storm structure — such as the cloud formations that occur — and basic severe weather safety.
Participants will also learn how to report weather events to the National Weather Service and become an official storm spotter with the NWS so that they can contact people in an affected area to learn about what happened.
Herrington said that there is room for 150 people to come to the class and, while he doesn’t know exactly how many might show up, the number of participants usually rises following a major event. “It seems like something significant happens right before we hold a class and that propels the community to come out and participant,” he said.
When the county was hit by an EF‑2 tornado in December 2011, Herrington said the following storm spotter class was probably the biggest turnout ever. “Most of the folks seemed concerned about getting more information about tornados and what they could do to prepare themselves,” Herrington said.