Free Storm Spotters Class offered by Marshall Co. EMA March 9

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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. --  When a severe weather storm hits, it's helpful for officials to know exactly what's happening on the ground, and the Marshall County EMA is sponsoring a class that will train people on what to look for and how to report it.

"Storm Spotter Class is taught by the National Weather Service in Huntsville.  We do this pretty much at the beginning of the Spring. Tornado season if you will," Marshall County EMA Operations Coordinator George Harwell said.

The class is free and open to the public. "It's an opportunity for citizens to learn more on how they can help the National Weather Service by giving them ground reports," Harwell said.

The class will provide training to know what to look for during severe weather, so that information can be reported accurately to officials. "It is not, and I need to underline that, it is not a class to chase storms. It's not a storm chasers class. We do not want to get anybody exposed to the hazards of the weather and get injured," Harwell added.

The class will go over how to become more informed on how severe weather forms, how to safely watch for it, and how to report observations to authorities. Ultimately, being 'eyes and ears' during severe weather allows officials more information, which can save lives. "That helps them understand what is happening at the ground level so they can enhance their forecast and make a better judgment on what the weather is," Harwell said.

The class will be March 9 at 6:00 p.m. at the Marshall County EMA in Guntersville. Again, it's free and open to anyone. No registration is required and you can call 256-571-7329 for more information.