During the latter half of July, the National Weather Service office in Louisville had been making connections with our local community by engaging in a local safety fair, presenting the implications of mobile homes and severe weather, and taking our student volunteers to see our military partners hard at work. Building these relationships during inactive periods of weather strengthens communication during critical operations with those we work closely with as well as with the public at large. The following stories are just a few examples of the outreach we do on a regular basis in an effort to better support our mission of the protection of life and property and enhancing our local economy.
Safe Haven - Madison County, Kentucky
A new concept is under development in Madison County to provide a safe haven during tornado watches and/or warnings for folks living in mobile/manufactured housing. Our presence was requested by Madison County’s Emergency Management Agency to provide a scientific view on the dangers of being inside of a mobile home during severe weather, particularly tornadoes. Following the severe weather outbreak from late winter of 2012, Kentucky Public Health officials and local emergency management agencies have come together to work on saving as many lives as possible through this groundbreaking pilot project. So far, ten counties across the commonwealth are participating in the early stages of this project, recruiting local churches to open up their doors during a tornado watch to those residing in mobile homes. The idea is to minimize the mobile home fatality rate by providing a safer shelter for people to ride out in during potentially deadly weather. Since this project is still in its developing stages, more details will be forthcoming from local county officials as they roll it out.
Are you aware of the dangers and implications of remaining in a mobile or manufactured home during severe weather? To learn more, check out this presentation, excerpted from the presentation given during the Safe Haven meeting.
LEPC Safety Fair – Jefferson County, Kentucky
The 1st Annual LEPC (Local Emergency Planning Committee) Safety Fair was held on Saturday, July 27th at Mount Vernon Missionary Baptist Church in Louisville. Organized by Louisville’s Department of Public Health & Wellness, the LEPC, and MetroSafe, the NWS was invited to have a booth at this informative fair. There were several other organizations present, allowing for local residents to interact and engage not only with us, but with emergency personnel, environmentalists, educators, and so forth. With our tornado machine on full display, kids and adults alike were fascinated with it. Additionally, we answered questions, passed out brochures and other pamphlets encompassing a wide variety of weather-related topics (with an emphasis on weather safety), and had a display up depicting catchy weather safety phrases and other pictures. We hope to continue our presence at future fairs in an effort to maximize our reach to the local community.
Familiarization Trip – Fort Knox & Shepherdsville, Kentucky
Every year, the NWS in Louisville judiciously selects less than a handful of meteorology students to volunteer over the summer in order to gain irreplaceable experience for their future careers. Part of that experience involves becoming familiar with our partners as well as seeing the crucial equipment essential to our daily operations. A trip with these intentions in mind recently occurred with the students visiting the WSR-88D at Fort Knox, having the opportunity to see our counterpart military forecasters in action, taking a firsthand look inside the Godman Air Traffic Control tower, and seeing where Shepherdsville’s river gauge is located and how Salt River flooding impacts the local community. The students gained a great deal of insight into how the NWS integrates and affects these entities.