Severe Weather Spotters
By: Wes Wallace
(Du Quoin, IL)--The Heartland StormTeam isn't the only group keeping an eye on severe weather. Most communities in the Heartland have some system of alerting the public in emergencies, but there's one organization in Southern Illinois that has a very specific and high tech approach to tracking and chasing storms.
The Du Quoin Emergency Services and Disaster Agency, or ESDA, responds to all types of emergency situations, including searching for missing people and haz mat incidents, like the recent derailment in Tamaroa, IL. In cases of severe weather, the ESDA volunteers are put on stand-by from the command center, and in some situations are sent out to work as storm spotters. These people are trained by the National Weather Service to know what type of clouds and weather patterns to watch out for. The spotters then pass that information along to the ESDA base, in order to alert the public in case of a tornado or other severe weather.