Severe weather spotter class to be offered

Monday, March 19, 2007

BERRYVILLE -- A severe weather spotters class will be held on March 28 starting at 6 p.m. at the Eureka Springs Fire Department, according to Carroll County's new Office of Emergency Management Services Coordinator Cris Henry.

The class will be conducted by the National Weather Service out of Tulsa. For more information, contact Henry at (870) 423-9144 or Eureka Springs Fire Department at (479) 253-9616.

Henry offers some tips for area residents as the spring storm season is at hand.

"Avoid windows," he said. "The basement is the safest place in your home -- if that's not available, the center of the house under sturdy furniture or a workbench."

Do not stay in a mobile home during a tornado, but seek shelter elsewhere, in a basement or storm shelter, and go there when a tornado watch is issued, he continued. "If you wait till a warning is issued, it may be too late."

Driving a vehicle during a tornado is the worst place to be, Henry said. "Do not try to out run a tornado in your vehicle, and if you encounter a tornado situation while in your vehicle, get out and seek shelter elsewhere away from the vehicle," he said. "Don't get under the vehicle, but lie flat on the ground, or in a ravine or ditch, putting your arms over your head.

"In schools, hospitals, nursing homes and office buildings. persons should get to the innermost portion on the lowest level. In a long span building, seek shelter in the rest room, if possible.

"If caught in the open during a tornado, do not go into a grove of trees or under a vehicle," he concluded.

For more information on tornado or disaster safety and preparedness, persons may telephone Henry at (870) 423-9144.

Henry also reports that representatives from the county's nine fire departments, along with St. John's EMS, Berryville Police, Carroll County Central Dispatch, and OES met recently and formed the Carroll County Fire Chiefs' Association to better address local emergency services needs.

Officers are Chairman David Stopple, of Eureka Springs Fire Department, Vice Chairman Gene Chaffin, of Berryville Fire Department, and Secretary Greg Bartlet, of St. John's EMS.

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