Nov 5, 2007
Birmingham, AL.
I have read numerous comments from members who appear to have had various problems at times with trying to report severe weather situations . The problems, dependant upon where you are in the country, range from different HAM groups, net groups, unknown contact personnel or locations, not being taken seriously, or people refusing to take their reports, etc.
For years, I have pretty much (by choice) been a "lone wolf" and have not joined in forums, groups, etc. I have done my spoting, chasing, reporting, and all the other fun stuff, pretty much by myself. On a few occasions, I have encountered the unprofessionalism of the select few who rank themselves on a higher plain than others in the field and think or give the impressions only they are correct, thus I will encounter the lack of ability to have my reports taken seriously or been given the brush off.
I will not point fingers at anyone, group, office, etc, as the people who act as such, already know who they, themselves, are, because they have made themselves this way. At the same time, of course, there are the few who also give the bad reports and need to be weeded out. (That's another seperate thread probably)
To solve this problem for myself, I made a 3 ring binder that I readily keep with me in the vehicle. In it, I have copies of every state map and their respective NWS offices, contact personnel, email, and phone numbers. Making this was fairly simple as NWS has the maps, office and contact info. I simply copied each map and pasted into WORD, modified as needed, saved, and then printed. On most pages, which are the so-called most popular states, I have one to two state maps per page. Areas not as prone to severe weather, (NE U.S., etc) will sometimes contain several state maps per page to not take up as much space. The states are then sub-divided in the folder into the 6 NWS regions that also has the area contact info for each.
Now whenever I encounter these fine intellectuals who have placed themselves on their own homemade pedestals, I don't worry about it. I just check my book, call the appropriate NWS and give my report. If time and situation allow, I will apologize and explain why I called direct. I have never had a problem doing this and have always been thanked for my info. If someone's attitude and actions, or lack of, is bad enough and is viewed as being truly detrimental to the welfare and safety of the public, I will make a return phone call to the area NWS office at a later time, when all has calmed down, and explain the problems that I had encountered with the "higher intelligence." In the very few times this has occurred, I have been thanked generously and have been told they needed to know this info. Sometimes they have had previous problems with the group and just needed more info to take the appropriate actions.
While this may not be the preferred method of reporting, it does work when absolutely necessary. Afterall, most all of our goals are to advance the science and help save lives.
Hope this may help someone who has these problems and have commented on them. If you have any questions, please let me know.
Hope this does not start up another one of those long drawn out, finger-pointing, jabbing, arguing posts. Only trying to pass on a little friendly info that may be helpful to someone.