Meteorologists all over the US continue diligently monitoring warning centers even amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While non-essential businesses, schools and other public gathering places have been closed to delay the spread of the novel coronavirus, monitoring centers remain open. While we might be avoiding illness, the weather doesn’t just stop.
Severe weather warnings are vital. Without them, many people in the path of dangerous storms could be seriously hurt, or worse. While we’re all sheltering in place to avoid spreading COVID-19, the weather can still pose a threat. As such, we’re all quite grateful for the diligent hard work of meteorologists who monitor the weather at lookout stations.
Case in point? The lookout station for most of Western North Carolina is in Greenville, South Carolina, at Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport. This office is responsible for issuing warnings to cities from Asheville to Charlotte. The meteorologists who work there keep the Carolinas alerted of any incoming severe weather.
Trisha Palmer, a warning coordination meteorologist at the office, says that the group will keep up their vital work even during the pandemic. “Maybe, instead of sitting beside each other, they’re sitting across the room from each other and they’re able to call out, ‘Hey, I’m looking at this warning or I’m looking at this storm,'” Palmer tells reporters.
She goes on to say that people will need to keep up with multiple ways to stay informed on the weather. As the weather gets nicer and more people head outside, it’s important to be aware of any severe weather warnings.
Now more than ever, it’s important that everyone has a severe weather response plan. Know what your family’s evacuation plan is in the event of a serious weather threat. Have a meeting spot picked out, and know what items you can grab in a hurry to bring with you.
Remember, when evacuating, it’s vital you leave rapidly. Bring only the essentials with you. Also, take care to crate your pets in advance of any storms. That way, you can take them with you when you evacuate. Familiarize yourself with your city or town’s evacuation routes, and with what areas are the safest from events like floods or tornadoes.
Importantly, make sure you have a “grab and go” box that you can pick up in the event of severe weather. This should be a waterproof container with clothes, flashlights, a radio, non-perishable food items and any prescription medicines necessary. This way you can grab the box in a hurry and have everything you need for an emergency.