KSIV – Kentuckywide VOST Now Online

The Kentucky Statewide VOST is an initiative managed by Team W700.

It streamlines storm reports, automatically including geo-tags, allowing for the direct upload of photos, and can be configured to have reports go directly to agencies such as the National Weather Service, County Emergency Managers, and News Outlets.

Imagine reporting a tree across the road after straight-line winds, and that report immediately alerts the NWS, Local Road Crews, Emergency Personnel, and the News. Your local ambulance crews will know to avoid that road until it’s marked as resolved.

More information and a detailed map of participating counties and agencies can be found at http://www.teamw700.com/KSIV

Want to learn more, reach out to us today about becoming a spotter or have your agency added.

 

Kentucky-wide reporting for weather and disasters.

Hello everyone!

I am pleased to announce that we had a very successful meeting with an Australian-based safety-oriented company last night. They are very eager to learn about what problems face the current environment of reporting things here in Kentucky, and want to help change the way weather is handled here in Kentucky.

So what exactly are the current struggles?

At the present time, we are struggling to sift reports from people around the state during weather events. There is the VOST Team, which relays social media posts to the National Weather Service, but we miss things sometimes. And many times, people don’t know what tags to use, or who to tag in them. We rely on phone calls, HAM radio nets, Twitter, and Facebook; we even still use email for photos! It’s time consuming, leads to many low-quality reports, and is slow.

So here’s how we are looking to improve this situation for the commonwealth:

The general public will be granted, on a limited basis, the ability to “say something”, when they “See something.”

Imagine having a barrage of people reporting photos of storm damage. Let’s say for instance, someone reports a “Tree on Powerlines.”

Not only will it be geo-tagged, but a photo can be included right there. Designated prioritizers can assign a priority to the reports, and the Power Company, and the city would be notified of this issue.

EMS & Fire: Know where the roads are blocked much quicker than waiting for dispatch to try to decipher what’s going on.

Utilities: Power and Water companies can be set up to automatically be notified of certain events such as trees on power lines, or water emergencies.

Emergency Managers: Know whats going on in your locale. You’ll be able to watch all of your resources as they respond, and you’ll be able to take corrective actions based on what you see!

NWS: Know where the most amount of damage is occurring in real-time, and be able to directly ask users followup questions, and even mark areas to investigate the day after.

News Outlets: You will have access to all of what’s going on! Pick and choose where to focus your reporting resources, and see photos before you even get there. No more wasted trips.

General Public: Do something good for your community, know where not to go, and watch in real-time as responders mark that they are on their way to take care of the issue.

We are looking to get it set up to be able to report things such as Hail, Rain Totals, Floods, Storm Damage, Snowfall totals, Tornado Reports, and much more!

With any luck, we will begin rolling it out in the next few months for a limited trial for some counties. If it works well, we anticipate all of Central and Eastern Kentucky to be included by 2019, and all of Kentucky to be included by 2020.

Want to discuss it? Leave a comment below!

Christmas Gifts for the Less Fortunate

This Christmas, Monday December 25th, 2018, we will be passing out wrapped gifts with a few small items in them for those who are unable to spend Christmas in a home, or with family.

Everyone deserves to have at least one gift to open on Christmas. So come up near the Hope center off Louden Ave. Monday, between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM and get your gift! We are guaranteeing the first ~75 people a wrapped gift, but we may have other small amenities to pass out too.

Where: Near the Hope Center off Louden Ave.
When: December 25th, 10:00 AM to 01:00 PM

Look for the storm intercept vehicle with flashing lights.

Have any essentials or extra snacks you don’t want, feel free to bring them up, and we can assuredly pass them out!

This is just one of the projects we have been working on to help better the community that we stand to protect during severe weather.