The SkyWarn Team is overseen by the SkyWarn Steering Committee and consists of two parts, the EOC Task Force, and Net Control.
EOC Task Force: These individuals report to the Ottawa County Emergency Management EOC-Communications Room when severe weather is imminent. This is called a “SkyWarn EOC Activation”. From the Communications Room, Task Force members monitor severe weather via radar and monitor radio traffic to determine where concentrations of calls are in the county in order to help the Emergency Management Director and other officials determine whether or not to isolate the incident as an aid to Central Dispatch. Although the Emergency Management Director is in contact with the National weather Service during a SkyWarn activation, Task Force members may also contact the NWS if necessary, and may send a liaison to Central Dispatch at the request of the Dispatch Supervisor.
Net Control: Unlike the EOC Task Force, Net Control is a function that may begin outside of the EOC Communications Room and be drawn in to that room later to join the Task Force if the situation warrants. The Net Control Operator accepts phone calls or “check-ins” via Amateur Radio (“the Net”) from trained Weather Spotters reporting what they see outdoors in the sky during severe weather.
Spotters: These individuals are trained annually to recognize clouds indicative of particularly dangerous severe weather such as tornados, large hail, or heavy winds, ice or heavy snowfall. Spotters can report what they see to the SkyWarn EOC Task Force, the Emergency Management Director, or the National Weather Service.