New Statewide Storm Reporting Initiative Goes Live

The new platform for the Statewide VOST initiative has switched from Spotlight, to Discord. With expanded capabilities, we’re able to offer real-time storm reporting from the general public, trained spotters, and storm chasers that is view-able by the NWS, News Outlets, and other agencies.

Join the Statewide VOST

Features:

• Less effort to join.
• IEMBot integration.
• Mobile and Desktop Friendly
• Conversate with other spotters in the general discussions channel.
• Spotter activations that alert all spotters in a region.
• Agencies can respond to reports for clarifying information with ease.
• Get your spotter training first hand with the help of other trained spotters.
• Differentiate between trained and untrained reports from the public.
• Much more to come!

The rules are simple! Join, and let us know your name and/or call-sign and primary county, and if you’ve taken any spotter training. You’ll then be added to the correct coverage areas, and you’ll be able to begin reading and sending reports when severe weather occurs. Do not private message any members of the VOST, especially agency members, without them asking you to first. Be civil, and do not post false reports. If you violate the rules set herein you will be removed from the system, and your device blacklisted from the VOST.

Untrained Spotters:
We highly suggest taking a spotter training course offered by the NWS. For those of you who cannot, you can join as an untrained spotter, and your storm reports will be filtered for accuracy before being sent on their way. After you’ve gained enough reputation for good quality reports, you will potentially be eligible to start reporting on your own.

Amateur Radio:
This is NOT a replacement for amateur radio, or emergency broadcast. This is purely a tool to help aid agencies in storm response and warning efforts. If you’re interested in becoming a licensed “Ham Radio” operator, we have many connections in this community and can help get you to who you need to talk to.

Media:
It shall be understood that any photos uploaded to the VOST Discord are usable by any and all members including the media. If you’re concerned about your photos being used without compensation, do not post them. Most members of the media are very good about asking first, but you have been warned.

Agencies:
We work closely with the NWS, and several members of emergency management and other state agencies. The goal of this initiative is to increase the number of agency representatives in the VOST. Anyone from the news/media, NWS, EM, State or Federal agency operating within Kentucky, Red Cross, KYTC, and other agencies are highly encouraged to join. We will do our best to get all reports to the correct agencies as timely as possible, but this works better if you participate. You’ll also have access to an inter-agency channel similar to NWS Chat.

Any further questions should be directed to us on Twitter @TeamW700 or by emailing admin, at teamw700.com.

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