SAND SPRINGS, Oklahoma - The City of Sand Springs is offering a free storm spotter training from the National Weather Service, and the community class is open to the public.

The training is scheduled for Thursday, January 26, 2017, at 7 p.m. at the Case Community Center, located at 1050 W. Wekiwa Road in Sand Springs.

The city is encouraging area residents to attend, and the training will create situational awareness as attendees to learn to distinguish what's happening around them, the city stated in a news release. 

"As we have seen in past years, severe storms can happen close to home," said Artie Palk, Deputy Director for Sand Springs Emergency Management. "In 2015, a tornado created extensive damage and loss of life in the Sand Springs area."

The training class will be oriented toward all citizens and includes videos of severe storms, information on how severe storms form and what they look like, and statistics on severe storms and the damage they cause. 

"The presentation is very informative and beneficial to any resident," Palk said. "People will learn to discern between storm systems that have severe potential from those that only have menacing-looking clouds."

During severe weather events, the Sand Springs Emergency Operations center and Tulsa's National Weather Service office receive information from many resources. 

"Citizens' storm spotter knowledge and access to a telephone or electronic communications are an important part of reporting conditions in real time," the news release states.  

For more information, visit the city's website.