Des Moines County, Iowa SKYWARN
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What is SKYWARN?

SKYWARN Recognition Day:
Dec. 7, 2013

The effects of severe weather are felt every year by many Americans. To obtain critical weather information, NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, established SKYWARN® with partner organizations. SKYWARN® is a volunteer program with nearly 290,000 trained severe weather spotters. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.

Although SKYWARN® spotters provide essential information for all types of weather hazards, the main responsibility of a SKYWARN® spotter is to identify and describe severe local storms. In the average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the United States. These events threatened lives and property.

Since the program started in the 1970s, the information provided by SKYWARN® spotters, coupled with Doppler radar technology, improved satellite and other data, has enabled NWS to issue more timely and accurate warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods.

SKYWARN® storm spotters are part of the ranks of citizens who form the Nation's first line of defense against severe weather. There can be no finer reward than to know that their efforts have given communities the precious gift of time--seconds and minutes that can help save lives.

Who is Eligible?

NWS encourages anyone with an interest in public service and access to communication, such HAM radio, to join the SKYWARN® program. Volunteers include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other concerned private citizens. Individuals affiliated with hospitals, schools, churches, nursing homes or who have a responsibility for protecting others are also encouraged to become a spotter.

How Can I Get Involved?

NWS has 122 local Weather Forecast Offices, each with a Warning Coordination Meteorologist, who is responsible for administering the SKYWARN® program in their local area. Training is conducted at these local offices and covers:
  • Basics of thunderstorm development
  • Fundamentals of storm structure
  • Identifying potential severe weather features
  • Information to report
  • How to report information
  • Basic severe weather safety

Classes are free and typically are about two hours long. To find a class in your area:
  • Go to: http://www.stormready.noaa.gov/contact.htm and click on your state

  • When your state comes up, click on the name of your Weather Forecast Office

  • Once at your local WFO home page, in the blue bar on the left, look for the SKYWARN link to find a schedule of classes and other local information
  • Spotter's Guide: DownLoadEnglish,

  • DownLoadVolunteer Inquiry Form

SKYWARN® is a registered trademark of NOAA's National Weather Service.  Rules for the usage of the SKYWARN® name and logo are available here.

About Storm Spotters

Why become a storm spotter?

Real-time reports are critical in issuing warnings and saving lives. That's an indisputable fact. Spotters provide this real-time ground-truth of local conditions (hail size, wind speed, tornado development, storm structure, and local damage) to help warn the public. Even as new technology allows the Weather Service to issue warnings with more lead time, spotters will always serve as a key link between radar indications of severe weather and what's happening on the ground.

Who are storm spotters?

They are volunteers. Most are just regular folks, some with an avid interest in the weather and many without. Some are law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMS or Emergency Management personnel. All share a sense of responsibility to their neighbors.

What is SKYWARN?

SKYWARN is the name given to a program sponsored by the US National Weather Service. The program is made up of thousands of volunteers who attend regular training and then spend hours scanning the skies of their communities looking for signs of meteorological mayhem. These volunteers, usually organized under the SKYWARN banner in the USA or CANWARN in Canada, are trained by weather service forecasters to be the eyes and ears of the warning Forecasters.

How do I become a storm spotter?

The National Weather Service trains spotter groups. However, spotter group organization is left to the local Emergency Management Director, or the Police or Fire Department. If you are interested in becoming a spotter, first check with these agencies to determine who serves as spotters in your area. If a local Amateur Radio or CB Radio group provides spotter support in your community, becoming an active member of that organization is your best route to becoming a storm spotter.

Virtually every community has some form of spotter network. Often, local fire and Police department personnel are trained to observe and report severe weather. Local Emergency Management Agencies also train and deploy spotters. The existence of easy 2-way radio communication and 24 hour operations are two reasons why these group make effective spotters.

Other groups that organize spotter networks include Amateur (HAM) Radio, Citizen's Band (CB), and the Civil Air Patrol (CAP). Again, 2-way radio communications is an important factor in using members of these groups as spotters.

Need more information? Here are some web sites:http://weather.govhttp://www.skywarn.org

Can't make the class? We havebasic and advanced spotters' field guides available online. Visit our preparedness page for additional information.

Outdoor Siren Locations:
Monthly Siren Checks Schedule
First Wednesday of the month siren checks
Time

---Siren Test (weather permitting)---

5:59 PMWOC requests radio silence
6:00 PMSirens activated
6:02 PMWOC will finis radio checks, if required
6:06 PMWOC request radio silence
6:07 PMSirens deactivated
6:09 PMWOC will finish radio checks, if required
6:15 PMSpotters report any siren that activates for third cycle, if required.

Weekly Radio Checks

TimeTest

5:50 PM

Radio Test Every Wednesday

#

Outdoor Siren Locations:

1.2132 Madison Avenue (on James Madison Middle School)
2.811 White (on Horace Mann Middle School)
3.3104 West Avenue-(near U.S. Bank)
4.301 Shields (near Kum 'n Go on Agency)
5.400 Washington (City Hall)
6.906 Ash Street (on Oak St. Middle School)
7.2747 Sunnyside (Corner of Sunnyside & Dehn st
8.209 Ramsey, West Burlington. (on West Burlington. Middle School
9.1015 S. Gear Ave., West Burlington. (on SCC)
10.Yarmouth (at the Fire Station)
11.Middletown (at City Hall)

Radio Procedures

  • Net control prerequisites:
  • Speak in a clear voice.
  • The ability to-handle high stress situations for long periods. You will have information and demands coming at you from all directions.
  • The ability to to listen and comprehend in an often noisy and chaotic environment Can you tune out the distractions.
  • The ability to write legibly what you hear, as you hear receive it.
  • It is more easy to do the ncs if you have another person to take notes or act as a runner or Relief operator.
  • Listen more than you transmit some one else may have some emergency message or information to pass.
  • Think before you talk you just never know who is listening on scanners or other radios such as news media.
  • Talk across the microphone not directly into it. Keep your voice down. In an emergency situation one often gets excited and tends to shout. Talk slowly, calmly-this is the mark of an experienced communicator.
  • At the end of each transmission wait for two seconds before the next transmission is made. This eliminates being walked on by someone else and when using commercial radios you might need to press the mike button and then wait one to two seconds before starting to talk because of the design of the radio.
  • Don't broadcast. Some stations in an emergency situation have a tendency to emulate "broadcast" techniques. While it is true that the general public may be listening, our transmissions are not and should not be made for this purpose.
  • Be brief and concise when sending information. If the information can be sent in two sentences do it because it shortens the time of getting the information to the ncs and other people in need of this information. Also some may need the frequency for an emergency transmission of traffic.
  • Do not transmit information in the clear about fatalities. More about this at later time.

by ron smith

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  • Burlington Police Department (BPD)
  • SKYWARN Weather Operations Center (WOC) Radio/Ham

Des Moines County Recognizes SKYWARN & CERT Volunteers for Service

Recently the Des Moines County SKYWARN and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) teams met to distribute years of service awards. They distributed certificates and SKYWARN lapel pins for the SKYWARN volunteers – 25 people earned a 3-year certificate, 9 people received a 2-year certificate, 2 individuals received a 1-year certificate, and 3 new members earned appreciation certificates. The SKYWARN team handles the severe weather storm spotting for Des Moines County along with law enforcement, fire departments, and other trained weather spotters. The SKYWARN team participated in 17 activations in 2008, including 184 individuals.

The CERT team members also received certificates and CERT lapel pins – 16 members received a 2-year certificate, 9 a 1-year certificate, and 4 new members received appreciation certificates. The CERT team is involved in many education opportunities, does parade security, security at the Des Moines County Fair, communications at the Triathlon, plus much, much more for the community. They participated in 10 events for a total of 515 hours of volunteer time in 2008.

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December 26, 2008

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Annual Awards Dinner at Gator's

We had a small group of volunteers and their family members attend the SKYWARN and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) awards banquet last Saturday night. The SKYWARN volunteers participated in 17 weather related activations in 2011. The CERT group volunteered 375+ hours in 2011. These volunteers are awesome and do a great job of keeping us safe. Thank you for all you do everyone!— with James Seaberg, Angie Parsons, James Houghton, Jared Sommerfelt, Michael Rosenblatt, Ryan Smith, John Porter and Thomas Colthurst.

February 11, 2012 6:30pm

DownLoadto see what our volunteers accomplished during the last year!
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Council SKYWARN & NWS September 2006
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CERT Search & Rescue Trending Pictures & Videos

April 5 2011 6:30pm Iowa Severe Weather Awareness Week - Gina Hardin Burlington City Council edit by Ryan Smith. http://youtu.be/5uPMuXVsWVo

Franken 5K Run/walk West Burlington October 25 2014 9:00am By Ryan Smith. http://youtu.be/gFiQ1Pokn9U

December ‎02, ‎2007 edit by Ryan Smith. http://youtu.be/WKN1fe2cp7c

September 24 2011 edit by Ryan Smith. http://youtu.be/Q3cBM9Bgz_U

Des Moines County Emergency Management 2013 Volunteer Award Celebration edit by Ryan Smith http://youtu.be/9fNfp4R71lg

August 5 2014 Basic Sign Language Ms. Diane Yotter edit by Ryan Smith. http://youtu.be/iB0M3byCrQE

Fire Extinguisher Review October 7 2014 Barney Paytes CERT/SKYWARN edit by Ryan Smith. http://youtu.be/Xn98Kr2acpg

West Burlington, Iowa & Burlington, Iowa Map


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Emergency Fire-Police-Ambulance 911

Name

Number

WWW.com/gov

Burlington Police Department319-753-8366City of Burlington, Iowa
Burlington Fire Department319-753-8391City of Burlington, Iowa
Des Moines County Engineer's Office319-753-8241Des Moines County, IA - Official Website - Roads
Des Moines County Health Center319-753-8290Des Moines County, IA - Official Website - Public Health
American Red Cross319-753-1970American Red Cross - Preparing Communities for an Emergency and Keeping People Safe - Preparedness
Burlington City Hall319-753-8124City of Burlington, Iowa
Great River Medical Center319-768-1000Great River Health Systems
Nationwide Runaway Hotline1-800-621-4000runaways
National Child Abuse Hotline1-800-422-4453Home - Childhelp
National Domestic Violence Hotline1-800-799-7233National Domestic Violence Hotline
Center for Missing & Exploited Children1-800-843-5678National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
National Poison Control Center1-800-222-1222National Capital Poison Center
National Substance Abuse Helpline1-800-662-4357Drug and Alcohol Recovery Hotlines – Toll-Free Substance Abuse Treatment Advisors

 
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This site was last updated Sunday, July 02, 2017 12:58:19 AM By: Ryan Smith ©®™