JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Public warnings have improved dramatically over the past few decades, and leaps in technology allow anyone with a smart phone to access critical weather information.
Severe weather can strike in an instant, and meteorologists are generally limited to what they see on radar--they need eyes on the ground to confirm a major storm.
It is Severe Weather Awareness week here in Region 8, and the need for trained storm spotters is growing.
As the area becomes more populated, more and more lives are put in danger.
That's why this area is covered by a vast network of storm spotters.
By day, Trevor Gramling is a landscaper and nursery owner, but he is also one of many storm spotters in Region 8.
"It's vital to have the eyes that are out in the storms and seeing what's happening and relaying back to them and the national weather service about what is actually going on and what is actually hitting the ground, and what the storm is producing out in the field."
Trevor has been doing this for nearly a decade, and he has noticed more untrained spotters in the field, which can spell disaster.
"Tornadoes can change directions very quickly. and if you're not trained to see that, it could lead to a very serious injury or death."
Since broadcast meteorologists cover severe weather in the studio, they rely on storm reports.
But these reports need to be timely and accurate.
"It takes a lot of training and a lot of time to know exactly what's going on and to be safe about it and not put yourself in danger."
Many law enforcement and emergency personnel have gone through several classes to stay up-to-date with the National Weather Service.
"They're out there trying to protect the community, making the community safer, and report what's coming in."
The Craighead County Office of Emergency Management is hosting a severe weather seminar at the Saint Bernards Auditorium, this Saturday at 1 p.m.
Admission is absolutely free and open to everyone.