FROM GARFIELD COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT-TUESDAY, JULY 4, 2017
First of all, here is your forecast from the NWS/NORMAN and then some important information;
Independence Day-20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 88. West wind 5 to 8 mph becoming east in the afternoon.
Tuesday Night-20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 68. East wind 5 to 8 mph.
Important information- Many folks were upset last night with various stories about not receiving information concerning the Tornado Warning last night at 7:50 pm. A key word here is BANDWIDTH. Everyone is on a phone or some type of electronic device. When an event like last night occurs, an accident, or whatever, everyone is texting, calling someone, or looking for more information. The phone networks out there get overloaded because of this and thus, the systems have to parse the datasets out. When the networks are clogged up there isn’t anything we can do to get information to you any faster. When we hit SEND, it’s OUT OF OUR HANDS. Same way for those on the internet. Most things work through the internet system. If ANYTHING gets held up out there, it affects everything. It isn’t any one companies fault; it’s EVERYONE who is on the system. We don’t control that either.
Now, here’s the kicker. I have been preaching preparedness for 21 years. According to some posts last night on several venues, it’s entirely our fault on whether you received information or not. The explanation in the last paragraph is the reason. Electronic systems can only do so much. Whether it’s our app or several apps, the information flow is as fast as a clogged up system can parse it. This happens ANYWHERE super severe weather occurs. YOU also need to have a plan and then put it into action. What is that plan? It’s different depending on your needs and the needs of your family.
That said, we didn’t expect this to happen last night and was actually surprised it occurred but again, this is why we watch out for these things. We were very short handed last night and YES, information didn’t go out over everything we utilize because I was alone in the ops room. I had to pick and choose which systems to utilize that would reach the most people, and the rest is history.
STORM SIRENS– “OUTDOOR DEVICES”. I HAVE STATED THIS FOREVER TOO. Many folks like to put out bad comments about this too. Unless you live near one, you most likely won’t hear it during a storm. Wind and heavy rainfall will muffle the sound anyways so it’s just another tool in the toolbox to let you know something isn’t right. If there are storms and the sirens are going off, TAKE COVER FIRST AND ASK QUESTIONS LATER!!
I want feedback from you IN AN EMAIL. What can ALL OF US DO TO BE BETTER PREPARED? It has to happen not only on my end, but yours too. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see how much better we can be to become a WEATHER READY COMMUNITY. DON’T GRIPE ABOUT IT, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
Have a great day!!