The main goal of the National Severe Weather Workshop is to make sure you're not hurt by Mother Nature. Tornadoes were a big part of the conference, but lightning and flooding were among other severe weather events discussed. "The idea is to celebrate and praise the partnerships we have that get severe weather information to our scientists and forecasters to the public in order to save lives," says Conrad Lautenbacher, Jr., Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere for the the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
During the three day conference, NewsChannel 11's Forecast Team learned about new severe weather plans; plans to get storm information to you at home as soon as possible. Like when lightning might threaten school districts. "Is the school where they're using the field, is that school open so they can evacuate to a safe building? Is the library next door open? What are we going to do with these kids? Whose going to be watching the sky? Whose responsible for knowing what the weather is? Because it's not the coach and the referee, they've got other jobs. It's gotta' be the parents that take this responsibility," says Mary Ann Cooper, MD, with the University of Illinois.
Also, TV stations from other cities gave ideas that we at NewsChannel 11 can use to keep you safe from severe weather.
There was much more at the conference. Like results of the latest research on tornadoes, and the latest in weather technology. But Bill Proenza with the National Weather Service says more can be done beyond those forecasting tools. "Being prepared is of utmost importance. The best forecast in the world is for not if we're not prepared to take the right and proper action."