"Stormchasers" Jim Reed and Mike Theis on Today Sh

I just saw the video of these 2 "extreme stormchasers" on the Today Show. They were holed up inside the Holiday Inn in Gulfport, MS, I believe, and were surrounded by a dangerous storm surge that was flooding the hotel, breaking glass, sending a car through the entranceway and breaching the walls. They said they were "constantly evaluating whether they made a bad decision to be there and if they needed to move". Gee, you think?

The first thing that came to mind was the stupidity of these 2 "chasers" for putting themselves on the coast of a CAT 4/5 Hurricane at landfall. The second thing that came to mind was the really bad name it gives all of us "smart" and "safer" stormchasers. They are lucky to make it out alive. I'm glad they are OK but surprised at their lack of common sense. I recall the thread prior to landfall where almost all of us agreed that NO chaser should be in the path of this hurricane and to abort any plans to be on the coast. That was a smart consensus decision that obviously not everyone decided upon.

Sorry for the public blasting, but I am surprised and disturbed by their actions. Not to mention that if they got hurt, they would have taken rescue efforts away from someone else that really needed it.
 
Re: "Stormchasers" Jim Reed and Mike Theis on Toda

Yeah, there ought to be a rule for chasers: NEVER use the word "chaser" when giving interviews! Say you're a photojournalist. Say you're a filmaker. Say you're a research meteorologist. Whatever is true. But avoid trying to look like a big shot yahoo by using the C word. It hurts our reputation, which will affect how ALL of us get treated by officials and the public in the future. Not to mention that it just plain attracts the wrong kinds of people to the hobby.
 
With all due respect, there are many people that didn't realize the severity of the situation they faced. That's why "hundreds and maybe thousands are dead."

Don't condemn them for what they did. Chasers aren't just in it for the money. Hopefully their photage will be used in the future to show people why they need to evacuate.

I can't speak for them, but if I was down there to shoot film, I know that my purpose would be to inform people on why hurricanes or any other severe weather is not to be taken lightly.
 
Originally posted by Edward Ballou
I can't speak for them, but if I was down there to shoot film, I know that my purpose would be to inform people on why hurricanes or any other severe weather is not to be taken lightly.
I think that's a great idea. Too bad these guys didn't take the opportunity to do so. All they did was show a few million people, "Hey! You don't have to evacuate! Look at us -- we did it and now we're on tv!!"

I'm seriously starting to think that media relations should be required for storm chaser certification.

And those chasing without certification should be treated as looters.
 
I don't see anything wrong with what they did. They are adults and they are capable of making their own decisions. If you want to take a more conventional/safety oriented approach to chasing, that's fine, but I don't think you should criticize other people for how they choose to chase. It is not like they had to be rescued. I have met Jim and I can assure you he knows what he is doing.
 
It seems to me that showing the footage on TV like that and emphasizing the fact that they deliberately went into the path of the storm as most people were going the other way is going to reinforce people's notions that there's really no need to be worried about storms like this. People will see this and think, "Sure, we've been ordered to evacuate, but look, these guys did OK and even made some money in the process!" I don't think it's necessarily helpful, that's all.
 
Allusion #1: You're saying the ostrich would do better if it just stuck it's head in the hole?

Allusion #2: Someone has to stick their neck above the trenches in war to see what's going on.

You have to know what's going on - you have to know it's dangerous to stay. Yes, these guys stuck their necks out. They could have just turned down the money. You could take it as "hazard pay". These are professionals and if the media can convince anyone, they surely can convince, using this photage, that people should have evacuated.

If you want to see another chaser's account, go read Chris Collura's. You can ask him if it's all about the thrill and the money and convincing people it's ok to stay. He saw bodies attesting to that fact that it is life-threatening to stay.
 
Originally posted by Rob_Davis+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Rob_Davis)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-Edward Ballou
I can't speak for them, but if I was down there to shoot film, I know that my purpose would be to inform people on why hurricanes or any other severe weather is not to be taken lightly.
I think that's a great idea. Too bad these guys didn't take the opportunity to do so. All they did was show a few million people, "Hey! You don't have to evacuate! Look at us -- we did it and now we're on tv!!"

I'm seriously starting to think that media relations should be required for storm chaser certification.

And those chasing without certification should be treated as looters.[/b]

I know Jim Reed and that is what they did. He and Mike just showed people WHY to get out. This is NOT Jims first Hurricane and I guess not his last. Jim is contracted out by news organtions to do this stuff, I don't see anyone else form the big media out shooting video of this hurricane when it came on shore, except STORMCHASERS.
 
I have met Jim and I can assure you he knows what he is doing.

I don't know these guys, and they may be decent chasers (and I'm sure nice guys), but after seeing the video, and knowing beforehand that Katrina was a CAT 4 and 5, I seriously doubt they knew what they were doing. I consider myself to know what I am doing like many others here. I have the Meteorology background and degree, I am a Stormchaser and also a Volunteer Firefighter of 16 years. I have a lot of training in rescue, survival, and Meteorology....and I would NEVER have put myself in the path of that thing. 25-30 foot storm surges are not good and 145-175 MPH winds are not good either...mkay? Sure you can go up to the top floors of a building, but storm surge and pounding waves like that can easily detiriorate the foundation and lower floors leaving you with a serious collapse. It just seems obvious that you're asking for trouble by doing that. Now, a CAT 1 may be a different story.
 
Sorry for the additional post. But why haven't TV Stations or research grants/Researchers setup an array of still cameras in numerous locations with a feed/transmission to tape or remote location. This would gather all of the video without "threat to life and safety".
 
Originally posted by HAltschule
I have met Jim and I can assure you he knows what he is doing.

I don't know these guys, and they may be decent chasers (and I'm sure nice guys), but after seeing the video, and knowing beforehand that Katrina was a CAT 4 and 5, I seriously doubt they knew what they were doing.

That is right, you don't know these guys. Do you know how these guys opertate?? Do you know who there now casters are?? Do you have any idea the support staff they have? I can tell you know from knowing Jim is he had the BEST of everything and some of the best people in the business backing him and Mike up. Decent chasers????? They are some of the best!!!!
 
Originally posted by Jay Cazel
That is right, you don't know these guys. Do you know how these guys opertate?? Do you know who there now casters are?? Do you have any idea the support staff they have? I can tell you know from knowing Jim is he had the BEST of everything and some of the best people in the business backing him and Mike up. Decent chasers????? They are some of thebest!!!!
Do the millions of people who saw the Matt Lauer interview know these guys? Was there substantial mention of their extensive knowledge and experience, the technology they use, their supoprt staff, or the work involved in predicting and tracking a storm such as this? Does the average Joe watching the interview think, "Oh, these guys definitely know what they're doing. They've convinced me that hurricanes truly are dangerous and that I should make every effort to be adequately prepared in the event of storm like this, including the possibility of actually listening to the authorities and evacuating the area," or does the average Joe see two guys with a camera? What do you think?
 
Originally posted by David Young+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(David Young)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-Jay Cazel
That is right, you don't know these guys. Do you know how these guys opertate?? Do you know who there now casters are?? Do you have any idea the support staff they have? I can tell you know from knowing Jim is he had the BEST of everything and some of the best people in the business backing him and Mike up. Decent chasers????? They are some of thebest!!!!
Do the millions of people who saw the Matt Lauer interview know these guys? Was there substantial mention of their extensive knowledge and experience, the technology they use, their supoprt staff, or the work involved in predicting and tracking a storm such as this? Does the average Joe watching the interview think, "Oh, these guys definitely know what they're doing. They've convinced me that hurricanes truly are dangerous and that I should make every effort to be adequately prepared in the event of storm like this, including the possibility of actually listening to the authorities and evacuating the area," or does the average Joe see two guys with a camera? What do you think?[/b]

I do not expect millions of people that watched that to know anything about stormchasing or hurriance chasing or anything that goes along with it. But what I do expect is people WHO chase to give the benifit of the dougt to guys who have been through a number of hurricanes. Granted the best planning can go wrong and they COULD have gotten into trouble, but they did not and so far have some of the BEST footage on land fall. I am not saying it was right, but I am not saying it was wrong.
 
Apparently the Nowcasters didn't let them know that there were 145-175mph winds and a deadly 25-30 foot storm surge about strike. Either that or they didn't think such a record breaking storm surge would have an impact on them. In my opinion, the best chasers knew they should not be anywhere near there. Case and point.
 
Originally posted by Michael Gribble
I don't see anything wrong with what they did. They are adults and they are capable of making their own decisions. If you want to take a more conventional/safety oriented approach to chasing, that's fine, but I don't think you should criticize other people for how they choose to chase. It is not like they had to be rescued. I have met Jim and I can assure you he knows what he is doing.

Agreed 100%...
 
Apparently the Nowcasters didn't let them know that there were 145-175mph winds and a deadly 25-30 foot storm surge about strike. Either that or they didn't think such a record breaking storm surge would have an impact on them. In my opinion, the best chasers knew they should not be anywhere near there. Case and point.
 
Well, since is has been almost unanimously agreed that the NWS bulletin predicting Armageddon was spot-on, I would have to say that their "nowcasters" have some explaining to do about this claim to being the best.

That bulletin is all the "nowcasting" anybody needed. :roll:
 
I don't personally know them, but I know OF them -- they are both experienced chasers. As long as they don't become "victimd", I don't have a problem with them chasing thing. IF chasers go in and get out safely, then that's fine. On the other hand, I'm upset by the folks who purposely go into the area to watch the hurricane, only to end up as "victims" themselves. In cases such as this, the chasers are taking valuable resources from people who didn't intentionally go there -- the chasers are taking spots on lifeboats that should be used for people who really need the help. However, if a chaser stays out of the floodwater and otherwise stays "safe", then more power to him. The problem isn't with chasers who go in and get out safely -- they aren't taking valuable resources. Just because YOU wouldn't chase a hurricane like this doesn't mean that they are "stupid". Don't judge folks who chased safely just because they did something you wouldn't.
 
Sure, in a sense they occupy some resources that could go elsewhere. These particular individuals, however, I know are gifted and experienced photographers/videographers. I admire them and the others who put themselves in harm's way to complete the historical record that will become a monument and memorial to the events; and will increase public understanding that saves lives and property in the future.
 
Originally posted by Michael Gribble
I don't see anything wrong with what they did. They are adults and they are capable of making their own decisions. If you want to take a more conventional/safety oriented approach to chasing, that's fine, but I don't think you should criticize other people for how they choose to chase. It is not like they had to be rescued. I have met Jim and I can assure you he knows what he is doing.

I second this. I feel that it's up to each individual to make that choice. If you're experienced and know the risks and how to mitigate them, then if you wish to chase something like this, I see nothing wrong with it. These storms do need to be covered, and there are few people as capable as capturing the wrath of something like this as a trained chaser who is also a trained videographer.
 
Originally posted by Rob_Davis
Well, since is has been almost unanimously agreed that the NWS bulletin predicting Armageddon was spot-on, I would have to say that their \"nowcasters\" have some explaining to do about this claim to being the best.

That bulletin is all the \"nowcasting\" anybody needed. :roll:

They got the video did they not??? Seems like to me the nowcasting worked. They were at ground zero.
 
I agree that Jim is definitely an experienced cane chaser... he's been at this for years. But he does this because he loves it and perhaps also because it's sort of his way to make money. As far as saying the video will be beneficial in showing people why they need to leave in the face of a hurricane, I don't buy that. If you want to show any video of why someone would need to evacuate, then show the hundreds of bodies floating in the water. If that doesn't convince someone, then nothing will.
 
They took the risk and they got back safely. As long as they don't do anything that would normally take away from what is avaliable to the residents than I am reasonably okay with it. I can see how this could harm the reputation of the chase community to some degree but that could be said for whenever there is national exposure. I do think this is a very important conversation to be having, while we have defined what kind of behavior is un-acceptable while chasing on the plains there has been little discussion on what kind of behavior should be deemed inapprotiate while chasing Hurricanes.
 
Originally posted by Jeff Snyder
On the other hand, I'm upset by the folks who purposely go into the area to watch the hurricane, only to end up as \"victims\" themselves. In cases such as this, the chasers are taking valuable resources from people who didn't intentionally go there...
I don't think it's a stretch to say that anybody who ends up in a refuge shelter along with the locals -- some of who are dying around them -- has ended up a victim. They sucked up limited resources for selfish reasons. If it weren't for Collura's car, a local could have saved his own car and been able to care for his family the next day.

Not getting washed out to sea while the guy next to you did isn't what I consider skill. It's luck.

The government is now urgently requesting Amateur operators to help out. Every one of those chasers were Hams. Of course they are all home in their air-conditioned houses waiting for their check from CNN now, so I guess they won't be giving back to the community from which they stole.
 
..

It sounds to me like they weren't quite sure if they had made the right decision as Katrina made landfall. According to the intreview, some second-guessing took place. Apparently they underestimated Katrina's fury. Collura too. These guys are experienced in what they do, and Katrina still took them by surprise. I think the same can be said for Katrina's victims, many of whom are from the lowest of socioeconomic backgrounds. Can we expect all of these people who chose to stay in New Orleans through-out the evacuations to have better forecast this hurricane than some of our own veteran members? Thousands of people made a bad choice that morning, perhaps some of our own included. With that said, I can't think if any chasers who can say they haven't put themselves in a situation that made them sweat bullets at some point in time. I know I have.
 
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