Weather Has EMSA Planning For Disaster

Thursday, May 1st 2008, 6:09 pm
By: News On 6

From emergency crews to golfers on the greens, folks were taking precautions on Thursday night.   The News On 6's Ashli Sims reports severe weather can strike at any time and being prepared can make all the difference.

Torrential rain, high winds, heavy hail can all be devastating.  And, that's why emergency responders try to stay a step ahead of the storm.

"We'd rather over-prepare and not need it than wish we had," said disaster coordinator Kelly Deal.

EMSA's Kelly Deal says when severe weather threatens; they beef up staff and monitor the location of all of their ambulances.  Tracking them on a computer screen helps to keep emergency responders out of harm's way and ready to respond.  That kind of preparation meant they were in the right place at the right time last October when high winds took out the tents at Oktoberfest.

"It was pretty significant event with lots of people injured and the response was very rapid because we had added management staff.  We had beefed up our staffing and we had critical assets in place so they could be rapidly deployed," said Kelly Deal.

Wind gusts of up to 30 miles per hour were rapidly becoming a factor at the LPGA tournament.

"They're fighting it, really, really hard. The scores are a little higher than we're used to seeing at Cedar Ridge because of the wind. It's a challenge for em," said tournament director Doug Eibling.

While these golfers concentrated on their puts, meteorologists behind the scenes were keeping an eye on the weather.  The tournament has two experts on staff and equipment to track the risk of a lightning strike.