Mission: To provide ground truth information before, during, and after Severe Weather, and to assist in the protection of life and property.
Operations: The Independence / Eastern Jackson County Storm Spotter team's primary purpose, as the mission states, is to provide ground truth information. This means it is our Spotters' job to observe, measure, and report conditions that they are seeing; either from the field as a mobile spotter, or from home; back to the Emergency Operations Center. That information is used to make operational decisions and to keep the city employees, the public, and National Weather Service situationally aware. That information is then used to determine when and if we need to enact Severe Weather Operations, including sounding the outdoor warning sirens, notifying key city personnel, shutting down our spray parks, alerting schools, pushing information out via social media to our constituents, performing damage assessment, and any other duties as needed.
Our Storm Spotters are primarily HAM radio operators, due to our operational communications setup, but our program is open to non-HAMs as well. All spotters are expected to complete a weather spotting course, a damage assessment course, and a communications course. Spotters must acknowledge the inherent risks that come with operating in adverse conditions, which is why the Storm Spotter program is training intensive.
In addition to mandatory training, we also highly encourage our Spotters to become familiar with and use technology to supplement their own personal situational awareness. Additional technologies include; but are not limited to; smart phones, weather/radar/forecasting applications, APRS, GPS, NWS Chat, audio/video streaming, and more.
Team Lead: Justin Gann