LEAVENWORTH — The director of Leavenworth County Emergency Management recently had the opportunity to see the possible future of severe weather warning technology.
Chuck Magaha was one of four emergency managers from across the country to participate in a weeklong testbed program Oct. 7-11 at the National Weather Center in Norman, Okla.
Magaha said he was invited to the testbed to help with research for National Weather Service technological tools that are under development.
“They wanted to see how we would react to the different tools they provided for us,” he said.
Magaha said he was selected through a competitive process to participate in the program.
“It was a very lengthy application,” he said.
He was asked to apply by the National Weather Service Office for the Kansas City area.
“They thought I would be a good candidate for it,” he said.
In addition to emergency managers, two broadcast meteorologists and two NWS forecasters also participated in the testbed.
Participants used the tools in exercises involving real-life case studies.
“It was exciting,” Magaha said. “It was educational. It was stressful.”
He said it was stressful because the scenarios involved counties in other states that were unfamiliar to him.
“So I didn’t know the cities,” he said.
Magaha said researchers wanted participants to try to “break” the technology they were using in order to see what it can and cannot do.
Magaha said it was exciting to see the things that are under development, and he said the research can end up benefiting all emergency managers in the country.