• NWS: What they do in emergencies

    By: Megan McClellan

    Updated:

    Quick Facts:

    • There are more than 100 offices across the country that forecast for smaller areas
    • Each office has plans in case communications are lost or their location is damaged
    • During Hurricane Irma, the office in Key West lost communication; they sent command to San Antonio

     

    Whether it be a building damaged, communications lost, or a location having to be evacuated, the National Weather Service has backup plans for backup plans.

    As Hurricane Irma came on shore with winds well over 100 miles per hour, millions lost power and communication channels became disconnected.

    With a natural disaster happening and communications being down, warnings and information continued to be released for areas in southern Florida, but instead it was coming from Texas.

    The National Weather Service offices across the country work closely with the media to keep people informed in these times and stay safe during these times.

    Meteorologist Megan McClellan talked with Chief Meteorologist James Aydelott and Steve Piltz from the National Weather Service about how the National Weather Service and the media can help each other:

    Piltz said the National Weather Service building in Tulsa is one of the most fortified, so they would not leave unless they absolutely had to.

    When Irma hit the Key West location, they lost communication and most of their data, so the San Antonio office took over, which was not part of the plan.

    Other Florida offices would typically run back-up operations, but the entire state was dealing with the storm, so the responsibility went elsewhere.

    Piltz told FOX23 it would take a lot to take Tulsa offline, but they are prepared for it.

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