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New Technology Aids Local Emergency Managers During Severe Weather

Updated: Wednesday, June 4 2014, 10:40 AM CDT
SHERMAN, ILLINOIS -- Local Emergency Managers we spoke with Tuesday evening say Tuesday night is the most concerned they have been this Spring about severe weather.

But they are hopeful,  new technology over the past few years will make a big impact in how people are warned about dangerous weather.

"There is no doubt we have saved lives, absolutely saved lives," said Logan County EMA Director, Dan Fulscher.

To continue that trend, when severe weather is near all eyes are on the radar. It's life saving technology that has improved over the last decade.

"We used to say the storms are coming, this is the area they are now in. Actually at night time we would have to wait for lightning strikes to be able to see what's out there and let us know," said Fulscher.

Fulscher has been the Logan County EMA Director for 21 years. He's responsible for notifying 16 fire departments, 15 rescue squads and thousands of residents about severe weather.

His emergency operations center is full of computers, televisions and radios which he says has made tracking bad weather easier.

"We can sit in our room and tell our spotters at a thousand feet what wind is out there and what size hail is out there," said Fulscher.

But its more than just tracking weather. Logan County also sends warnings to residents through a local radio system.

"When a watch comes specifically to that community we go on the scanner, we go on a frequency and we can actually tell them the time frame, what is expected, and the preparations," said Fulscher.

In Sangamon County, the Village of Sherman has its own emergency operations center.

During bad weather information can be sent to the public with the click of a mouse.

"Via a direct message either on the phone or a persons computer, we can send a message of what's going on," said the Village of Sherman Director of Emergency Management, Mike Moos.

Moos says none of those messages would be possible without 21st century technology.

"It's phenomenal. Just the internet allowing us to have a fast and efficient way to get information has made it a lot easier," said Moos.

Emergency managers are reminding everyone that outdoor tornado sirens are for just that, for people outside. They remind you to leave a television or weather radio on when you're sleeping so you can be notified of any warnings.New Technology Aids Local Emergency Managers During Severe Weather

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