Become a storm spotter for Team Hill

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HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — At some point and time we have all looked at the sky and said, “It’s really looking bad outside.” Have you ever stopped and wondered if what you are seeing in the sky could actually be very important to you and your community?

The National Weather Service needs your help.

Even with today’s technology, in our valley Doppler weather radar cannot see what is happening below 3,500 feet. We live in a wide area surrounding Hill AFB and your weather observations are greatly needed, but only if conducted safely.

In June 2016 I met with wing leadership to evaluate the overall health of the Emergency Management Program, as well as set priorities for the next 12 months.

During this time and with my track record, I guessed that within six months the base would experience a natural disaster. And, by the end of September 2016, it happened.

The Langhus curse struck again.

It was really just bad luck, but the real irony of this is that for months I had been working with the National Weather Service to make Team Hill a ‘StormReady Community.’

The last step to fulfill this stringent application process was to take a Storm Spotter class, which was scheduled for Sept. 19, 2016. Just three days later I used this new information to protect myself from the high winds that struck the base on Sept. 22.

During this wind event, I got in my car and started to drive just like many others on base were doing.

From the training I had just received, I realized that I was in a very dangerous situation when I saw the amount of flying debris and size of the tree limbs lying in the road. I quickly got off the road and sought shelter.

What did you do during this situation?

To better prepare you for emergency situations, we will host the second annual Storm Spotter class Sept. 26 at 9 a.m. in the Hill AFB Theater.

With a small commitment of one hour, you will get an improved understanding of weather phenomena and corresponding hazards.

You will also learn how to quickly interpret weather phenomena and safely provide, via various avenues, the NWS with vital information so they can adjust weather advisories to match existing weather information, potentially saving lives.

No reservations are necessary. Just show up.

For more information, call 801-777-9471.