starting a county wide spotter group

Apr 4, 2010
75
1
6
Bruning Nebraska
OK need some help from other spotters or emergency managment people. Our county is getting a spotter group going for the first time. And I got in charge for it since I am a pervious spotter for a different county. Well i need some advice we dont have ham radios, or a repeater. Then when do u call in the spotters to go out like for a thunderstorm or a tornado wait til the storm is one county away or let them out sooner? Any advice would be helpful thanks!!!!
 
Dec 18, 2010
137
0
5
Florida Panhandle
First, know the means with which you are going to be able to communicate with your spotters. Since you don't utilize Ham, this could be a challenge.

Each situation is different based on the your specific coverage area, severity, direction, and speed of the event, as well as how many spotters that you have available. You must give your spotters ample time to get into position if they are going to be mobile. Not all spotters can be mobile and must do their spotting from a fixed location.
Discuss the subject with your spotters and get their opinion. Know where their starting point is. Every spotter has their favorite locations to view from, so I would recommend finding out where those locations are and use the info as a reference point to position them. Many spotters will self-activate and it will be handy to know which one's, but they may still rely on you to help get them into the best position as the event develops.

Don't hesitate to contact the NWS that covers your county to get some advice, either. They should be happy to hear from you and offer suggestions.

Hope this helps.
 
Could always use Spotter Network (spotternetwork.org) to know where folks are.

But yeah...you'll need communications. So either a central telephone number or ham radio. I guess you could also have a mailing list.

Best option is partner with another county that has a spotter system and see if they are willing to do a "multi-county" spotter system.
 
Apr 4, 2010
75
1
6
Bruning Nebraska
Hey you guys thank you for the advice. Any suggestions on repaters or how many we are going to need? My county is as flat as a pancake very little trees. Also to the other emergency managers how to you keep track of your spotters in the field?
 
Apr 10, 2005
79
4
6
44
Omaha,Ne
Are you covering Fillmore or Thayer County? The amount of repeaters you may need depends on how high up you can get your repeater antenna. The higher up, the more coverage you will have. As for your second question. Are your spotters going to be stationary or mobile in your county? There are ways to track them via HAM radio and APRS. Here in Douglas/Sarpy we have two spotter groups and each group keeps track of their own people and takes the reports and passes them on to the on duty Communications Officer.