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Pam Tickle
Training/Grants Manager


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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

FCEM&HS & The Ohio State University Department of Public Safety Host Annual Weather Spotter Training

National Weather Service to Teach How to Spot Tornadoes and Severe Spring Weather

(COLUMBUS, OHIO) – Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security (FCEM&HS) and The Ohio State University Department of Public Safety are co-sponsoring the annual Tornado and Severe Weather Spotter Seminar by the National Weather Service (NWS) beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at The Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus. The training and parking are free and open to the public. 

The seminar, led by meteorologists from the NWS office in Wilmington, Ohio, will provide specialized training to citizens, public safety officers and emergency management personnel on how to spot, report and prepare for tornadoes as well as other severe spring weather conditions in Franklin County.  Trainees will be provided with the basic tools needed to become a severe weather spotter and assist NWS forecasters with the information necessary to issue warnings and updates.   

Deadline to register for the seminar is close of business Friday, March 17, 2017. Residents interested in the training can register on the homepage of our website by clicking the link titled “Register for the 2017 Weather Spotter Training”.

“NWS relies on real-time observations from trained weather spotters on the ground to provide critical information that may not be available to forecasters during severe weather events,” said Jeffrey J. Young, Director, Franklin County Emergency Management & Homeland Security.  “Weather spotters play a vital part in helping keep our community safe.” 

“The safety of our campus community is our number one priority,” said Bob Armstrong, Director of Ohio State Emergency Management and Fire Prevention.  “The training provides a great opportunity for us to enhance campus preparedness and be ready to respond when severe weather strikes.” 

The four-hour training will cover the basics of thunderstorms, tornadoes, lightning, flooding, damaging winds, storm structure and development as well as what visual clues to look for that may indicate when the weather is about to turn severe.

Driving directions to The Fawcett Center can be found at www.fawcettcenter.com/page/directions/

FCEM&HS, a government agency serving 42 local jurisdictions in Franklin County, coordinates countywide emergency and disaster planning, education, warning, response and recovery.



The State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) requires that each county within the state of Ohio establish a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). The LEPC for Franklin County chose the name "The Chemical Emergency Preparedness Advisory Council" (CEPAC). The emergency coordinator for CEPAC is Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security. The information coordinator for CEPAC is Columbus Public Health. 

ORC 3750.04(C), Section .04(C) states that the LEPC shall conduct an exercise of its Plan annually.

CEPAC must conduct one hazardous materials exercise per annual exercise year. The SERC defines the annual exercise year to be the State Fiscal Year (SFY) which is July 1st through June 30th. The rule identifies that there is a recurring, four-year exercise cycle.

During the four-year period CEPAC is required to:

  • Complete at least one full-scale exercise; the remaining three years can be any type of exercise including additional full-scale exercises based upon local program need.
  • Activate and evaluate the county’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
  • Demonstrate, at a minimum, the number of objectives needed per exercise.
  • Consider no more than two actual incidents for exercise credit in the four-year cycle.
  • Include local emergency response and medical personnel in each exercise.
  • Develop an exercise scenario that will involve either a facility that is subject to the county’s hazardous materials plan or a transporter of hazardous materials as defined by regulations adopted under the “Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.”  
About the Exercise Program

In 2011, FCEM&HS began implementing a regional, integrated Training & Exercise Strategy and Program focused on building response and recovery capabilities tied to identified risks in the region.  The Strategy provides holistic guidance for emergency management and homeland security training and exercise planning and programming within the region.

FCEM&HS will provide exercise and training event tracking capabilities to all system users to help coordinate and de-conflict exercises and trainings region-wide and build region-wide agency collaboration and achieve cost efficiencies (e.g., consolidation of trainings and exercises of common interest).

This regional Training & Exercise Strategy is supported by all County Emergency Management Agencies of the Columbus Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) (Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Madison, Morrow, Pickaway, Hocking, Perry and Union counties).

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