A Different Flavor of Business Workshop

IB Publisher Jody Glynn Patrick blends work and life in this very clear departure from both her column for In Business magazine, and the other bloggers. Awarded national recognition for her previous work as a newspaper columnist, she brings us all back "Closer to Home" with her insights and remembrances. A nice place to be "After Hours." Check back often! Read Full Bio

Do you know the difference between a funnel cloud and a towering dark, vertical cloud? What is the threshold for a tornado warning? (Hint — it changed this year). Want to learn enough, in two hours, to become a "weather spotter" for the National Weather Service? If so, join me on Thursday, August 19 at 3030 Darbo Drive, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for a free training opportunity! (That’s just off East Washington by the McDonald’s near Highway 30).

Seats are limited to 150 folks, and I already have 50 registrations from area disaster responders (firefighters and the like), so do a head count and get your family and friends signed up ASAP!

How and why am I inviting you to a weather spotter class? Recently I was sitting in a workshop for emergency disaster responders (in my role for The Salvation Army), and the trainer, Rusty Kapella from the National Weather Service, was telling us about changes in how warnings are issued, etc. There was a lot of technical jargon about new websites for disaster services, etc. that I won’t go into here, but what I do want to share is that I wished that my staff could have gone through the basic training, too, because it was just so darn interesting — and pertinent to business policy!

Kapella does offer the training in Madison a couple times a year, usually coordinated through a television weather personality or some other entity, and those offerings are during the day in the spring. I raised my hand and asked, "How many registrations would it take to get you back to Madison (from Milwaukee) on an evening to offer the weather spotter class for free?"

He gave a magic number, we picked a date, I secured a large enough facility, and now here is the offer: be in the first 100 people to register this week, and you have a seat. Simple as that. And registering is easy, too — e-mail EDS_DCC@usc.salvationarmy.org and include your name and an e-mail address for any participant so that registration can be verified electronically.

Why is this important for business folks to know? Do you send employees to make deliveries in straight line winds? When you see strange clouds and hear sirens, does that mean you should send people out the door so they can get home as quickly as possible, or should you usher them to a basement and DON’T let them go?!

Rusty tells the story of one tornado, two towns. True story. One town evacuated as the tornado was expected to make a straight-on hit — instead, it zigged and killed many, many people sitting in cars on the packed highway. Across the border, the people decided, hearing the fate of their neighbors on the news, to stay put — and the tornado zagged as it approached and leveled the town. More fatalities.

Too much information is never too much information when it comes to weather and protecting those you love and those you employ or work alongside, so register TODAY and if we hit our facility’s max too soon, I’ll schedule a second offering to get you included. The important thing is to get on the list for August 19 ASAP.

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