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home : news : local   May 25, 2016

2/27/2014 11:55:00 AM
Want to help others by watching for severe storms?

OTTAWA — Want to be better prepared and warn others when severe storms and tornadoes approach?

La Salle County Emergency Management Agency and Illinois Emergency Management Agency will host a free Severe Weather Spotter Class at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, March 1 at Ottawa Township High School. Anyone may attend.

The lessons consist of a slide and video program that teaches potential spotters “about severe storm structure, how to identify cloud features and other environmental clues to identify severe storms and tornadoes. Communications systems and spotter networks are explained so the spotter knows where to report, and how that information is used by the weather service and local officials.”

The training generally is done in late winter and early spring — before peak tornado season.

“While the majority of Illinois tornadoes occur between April 1 and June 30, the tornado outbreaks on Nov. 17, 2013 and Feb. 20, 2014, proved that these violent storms may happen any time of the year,” IEMA reported. “Tornadoes can be deadly and cause serious injuries and property damage, but there are actions people can do to protect themselves and their families.”

IEMA and National Weather Service have prepared a Severe Weather Preparedness Guide that provides information on what to do before, during and after a tornado, severe thunderstorm or flooding. The guidebook is available at under the ‘Resources’ tab.

For more information, contact the Emergency Management Agency office at (815) 433-5622.

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