SkyWarn TEAM

NWS encourages anyone with an interest in public service and access to communication, such HAM radio, to join the  SKYWARN® program.
Volunteers include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other concerned private citizens. Individuals affiliated with hospitals, schools, churches, nursing homes or who have a responsibility for protecting others are also encouraged to become a spotter.

Although SKYWARN® spotters provide essential information for all types of weather hazards, the main responsibility of a SKYWARN® spotter is to identify and describe severe local storms. In the average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the United States. These events threatened lives and property.

SKYWARN® storm spotters are part of the ranks of citizens who form the Nation’s first line of defense against severe weather. There can be no finer reward than to know that their efforts have given communities the precious gift of time–seconds and minutes that can help save lives.

SKYWARN spotters must have a reliable method of communication with a SKYWARN net controller. This is often accomplished through amateur radio, and sometimes through General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) frequencies operated by Radio Emergency Communications Teams (REACT). Amateur radio and GMRS operators are licensed with the FCC. Most local amateur radio clubs administer license classes and examinations, as well as communications and spotter logistics training. Many SKYWARN spotters are volunteer fireman who have reliable radio contact with county law enforcement dispatchers. Other SKYWARN spotters simply relay storm reports to law enforcement via their home telelphone.
(Courtesy of the American Radio Relay League) 

Johnston County NC REACT 6257 relay storm spotters report via Two Way Radio (Amateur radio and GMRS) services as well as via social media services like Facebook.