Monday, January 26, 2015

At altitude

So, this guy from Florida goes to the mountains of Colorado to talk about hurricanes...

The view out of my room
Sounds like the start of a great joke, doesn't it?  I mean, what on earth would a hurricane preparedness guy be doing in Colorado in the dead of winter? Well, skiing for the first time in nearly two decades, but also addressing the 2015 Steamboat Weather Summit.

In addition to being an interesting summit where I learned a lot about space weather (something we are going to have to discuss later on), I also had a chance to talk about warning vulnerable populations about potential weather disasters. Surprisingly, it doesn't matter if the disaster is a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, wildfire or meteorite strike, people who are potentially affected will often choose not to heed warnings because they don't know what to expect, or they believe the impact will be less than advertised.

Me, catching my breath as I spoke 
During the presentation, the meteorologists attending were drawn to the idea of creating partnerships with the local PIOs in the organizations that they cover - something that cannot be stressed enough. After all, without those contacts, who would they speak with when the disaster comes to pass?

While I'd like to think my presentation was one for the ages, it paled in comparison to the slate of other talented and experienced speakers who rounded out the offerings during the summit. I guess that's the sign of a great event such as this - when you leave learning far more than you could have ever taught.

Yes, Tom, there is such a thing as snow! 
Plus, wow, snow for this Florida guy was a real thrill!

Tom Iovino, Public Information Specialist
Pinellas County, Florida

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