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Hurricane Committee visits NOAA facility for StormReady designation

By Staff | Jan 14, 2010

Senior Meteorologist Rick Davis gives Doris Holzheimer a behind the scenes look at the technology and sophisticated forecasting systems at the NOAA facility of the National Weather Service in Ruskin, Fla.

Last week, two members of the Captiva Hurricane Preparation and Response Committee made a trip to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) facility of the National Weather Service in Ruskin, Fla.

In 2007, Captiva became the first barrier island in Florida to achieve a StormReady designation. Captiva’s StormReady status will expire on Nov. 13 of this year and, in order to renew this designation, Captiva must reapply for StormReady status by doing two things: visiting the NOAA facility in Ruskin and conducting a SkyWarn training on the island.

As part of this process, Doris Holzheimer and Phyllis Gibson made their way to Ruskin where they met with senior meteorologist Rick Davis and meteorologist Todd Barron, who demonstrated the technology and sophisticated forecasting systems of the National Weather Service at the site.

Holzheimer and Gibson toured the facility and discussed current plans for Captiva with the meteorologists.

“The meteorologists were pleased with the work and the Web site and made a few suggestions for enhancements,” Holzheimer said, noting that both she and Gibson now have a better understanding of the marine forecasting capabilities of the center and hope to incorporate these capabilities into both educational programming and the Web site, “http://www.MyCaptiva.info.”>www.MyCaptiva.info.

From left, meteorologist Todd Barron, senior meteorologist Rick Davis, Phyllis Gibson and Doris Holzheimer.

The committee’s Web site is a one stop center for weather information for Captivans.

Holzheimer also noted that the new communications tower at South Seas Island Resort will be a great benefit to Captiva.

“My understanding is that it’s going to make it a lot easier for law enforcement and first responders to communicate,” she said.

The next step in renewing Captiva’s StormReady status is a SkyWarn training session conducted by Daniel Noah from the Ruskin National Weather Service.

All Captivans and even visitors interested in learning more about weather safety can participate in the SkyWarn training on Monday, Feb. 8 at

‘Tween Waters Inn to help the committee fulfill the requirement.

“People should attend the SkyWarn training because they’ll be better informed and they’ll be better citizens,” Holzheimer said.

Basic training will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. and the advanced training will be held from 11 a.m. to noon. People who attended a basic SkyWarn training in the past eligible for Advanced Skywarn training.

Captivans interested in participating in the SkyWarn training are asked to register in advance at the Captiva Fire Department, 472-9494.

“It’s a fun and informative training and Daniel Noah is a great teacher,” Holzheimer said.

According to Holzheimer, participants will come away from the training better able to understand what they see in the sky and how to report weather incidents, because better informed Captivans will be safer and make better weather decisions.

One lucky participant will win a weather radio through a raffle.

If you are interested in learning more about the committee or would

like to volunteer to help reapply for StormReady status on Captiva,

please contact Doris Holzheimer at 472-1978 or Phyllis Gibson at 472-6179.