The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

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May 11, 2013

Storm stories

(Continued)

ENID, Okla. — Safety

When severe weather hits, it is best to stay inside and take the necessary precautions. Storm spotting is something that sounds thrilling but it is hard enough to predict the path of a tornado and even harder to predict the other life-threatening possibilities a storm brings.

“If you don’t know what you're doing, you should never go out spotting,” said Honigsberg.

Honigsberg stressed that only certified, experienced storm spotters should be out tracking the severe weather because the thrill of seeing or photographing the power that can lurk in the clouds is not worth anyone’s life.

“It takes a lot of experience, and even then you can be surprised,” said Honigsberg.

Garfield County has a large force of certified personnel to watch storms and warn its citizens.

“All the rural fire departments, the sheriff’s office, some of the police, they are the eyes and arms of the field,” said Honigsberg. “A spotter is an observer. They go out to a specific place. They are observing to see what’s going on and radioing in.”

“So many people watch all the shows on TV and say, ‘Oh, I want to go do that,’” said Honigsberg. “I don’t want anyone to get killed. You just never want to get in that position. Without the proper training it is a lot easier to get into that position (of danger).”

Honigsberg also said he believes it is important for everyone to attend a community storm spotter class. Attending the class does not certify anyone to officially storm-spot, but it educates people to better understand storm systems and teaches them to be better prepared in the event of Oklahoma weather striking hard.

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