LINCOLN, Ill. (WCIA) — Video allows us to see the severity of storms without being in danger. Now more people are getting behind the camera, where they can get hurt. Officials say injuries are common, but also avoidable.
Storm chasers are the first to come to mind when we think of storm video, but there are also storm spotters. Their videos help the National Weather Service put out warnings. They say the sooner they get information the sooner people can take cover, but they don’t want people going out trying to be heroes.
Most videos come from spotters who are trained by the national weather service and are usually emergency responders. They know to keep a distance, when and how to take cover. Some storm chasers are hobbyists and most professional chasers are knowledgeable or trained. Regardless of title or training, anyone can find themselves in unsafe situations and unfamiliar areas.
“We just always promote making sure that you are very close to your safe shelter whenever you’re out trying to capture storm images, especially for our storm spotters,” said Ed Shimon, National Weather Service Meteorologist. “Have that safe shelter very close as things can develop very quickly and put you in harm’s way with reaction time in the order of seconds.”
He says getting videos and pictures are helpful, but it’s not the most important thing. Shimon says never put a storm over your safety.