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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

MidWest SSTRC, Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Disaster Aid, First Aid, Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness & Relief, Search & Rescue Squads

Mission: The MidWest Severe Storm Tracking Response Center (MidWest SSTRC, Inc.) is comprised of members whose primary purpose is to assist in providing early detection of severe weather. We communicate this critical information to government officials, other recognized agencies and organizations including the National Weather Service allowing for timely public severe weather warnings and providing emergency responses as appropriate. MidWest SSTRC Inc. endeavors to assist in any way it can in the protection of life and property from any threat, be it natural or man made. MidWest SSTRC Inc. - A 501(c)(3) Non-profit Corporation

Results: Jefferson Award - June, 2012, Public Service Award National Weather Service, National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration - July, 2011, Letter of Recognition Senator Herb Kohl, State of Wisconsin July, 2011, Certificate of Recognition National Weather Service, National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration - May, 2010, State of Wisconsin Emergency Management Training - February, 2010, Letter of Recognition – Letter of Thanks, Senator Russ Feingold, State of Wisconsin January, 2005,

Target demographics: communities stay informed and safe from severe weather threats

Direct beneficiaries per year: seven counties where severe storm spotter classes were held which encompass several hundred thousand residents.

Geographic areas served: promoting severe weather awareness

Programs: annual severe storm spotter classes. Teaching people to be aware of threats, having a plan of action to take should disaster strike and being prepared save lives. Turn around don't drown, beat the heat, check the back seat, and when thunder roars go indoors are just some of the points we talk about. We also dispel common tornado myths, instruct people on how to identify and report storm attributes and offer monthly training to keep spotter skills sharp. In addition MidWest SSTRC has a Disaster Assessment Team that goes out and assists the National Weather Service do damage assessments after a severe storm or tornado affects an area when called upon.

Community Stories

27 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Living on the water knowing and learning what one should do in the event of a disaster is not only beneficial but extremely life saving. This none profit organization is extremely helpful and would be harmful if not continued.

1 Tstorm

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization is one of South Central Wisconsin and the surrounding area's most valuable assets! The critical role they play in storm tracking, spotter reports, and disaster assessment is priceless. MidWest SSTRC, Inc. compliments organizations including National Weather Service, local Emergency Management agencies and other protective services. In addition, they work on reaching out to and training the public, increasing awareness.

Previous Stories
3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The MidWest Severe Storm Tracking/Response Center (MidWest SSTRC) is one of the Mid West and Wisconsin's hidden gems. MidWest provides critical storm spotting information to emergency management agencies and weather officials, in particular to the National Weather Service. This organization fills in a critical need - observations of severe weather in real-time - with an aim toward saving life and property. Its role includes disaster assessment and has recently expanded into provided education to the public as well on severe weather.

2

Advisor

Rating: 5

For quite a number of years, Midwest has been assisting local, county and state authorities in tracking storms on a volunteer basis, adding to the information needed to help keep people safe and informed. They are a very dedicated group who offer storm spotter courses each year. Midwest is a valuable asset to the people of the upper Midwest.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Excellent Service, I appreciate this service for all that they do

1 Kirk L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great people and a lot of good information.They help out the National Weather Service with severe weather reports.

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been with MidwestSSTRC for two year's.We have live net's using amateur radio every week to practice are storm reporting.MidwestSSTRC assist the National Weather Service with there spotter class's which includes basic, advance and elite.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Great Organization dedicated to State, County, Local Communities. Working directly with Emergency Management Teams on the Sate, Federal and local levels, including the National Weather Service.
Provides Severe Weather training and authorized by the NWS to present Spotter Classes, which take place in in multiple Wisconsin Counties, communities, Events, Business and other venues - as an example of their Public Outreach Programs.
Host Severe Weather classes, to include an annual Dark Sky Severe Weather Seminar, with working collaboration of Madison College, UW, NWS, Dane Co. Emergency Management and Media, just to mention a few.
Assist in trained review of severe storm events, with their Disaster Assessment Team, providing assessment information to the NWS.
They have general meetings on a Monthly time table in addition to other meetings, i.e. committee, etc.
Provide direct and real time communications to local emergency management and the NWS, via multiple communication means, including Amateur Radio (Ham) - and own their own Business Band Radio Frequency
They have multiple Base of Operations which duties that includes, receiving real time reports from mobile and static units, relaying of those reports meeting NWS reporting structure, forecasting and nowcasting and radar interpretation.
New members are always welcome to join for a verity of reasons, be it an interest in severe weather or active participation.
These volunteers are the very meaning of a great team of volunteers.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Wonderful Seminar this year - "Dark Skies" at Madison College was fun & informative!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

They do a great job of getting information out to the community.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The service and community education that Midwest offers every year is so important. They work closely with the local National Weather service to help save lives during severe weather. Midwest has a weather spotting education program every year that everybody should send at least one family member to even if they are not a radio operator. The quality of this free program is very good. And since they offer this class in many communities, residents should not have to travel far to get to one. I am very glad that we have this organization in our area.

2 SteveFitz

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer with MidWest SSTRC for over 10 years. This organization consists of many caring individuals working together to help their communities stay safe from severe weather, educated about the dynamics of weather and aware of severe weather's potential.

MidWest SSTRC is an organization of volunteers across several counties all working together to provide ground truth to the National Weather Service when weather turns severe. They are people who work to raise the level of severe storm awareness and preparedness to their communities.

If you would like to learn more about the weather and how you can become involved in helping your community stay safe, this is a great organization that can help you help others.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MidWest SSTRC is an organization of volunteers across several counties working together to provide ground truth to the National Weather Service when weather turns severe. They are people who work to raise the level of severe storm awareness and preparedness to their communities.

If you would like to learn more about the weather and how you can become involved in helping your community stay safe, this is a great organization that can help you help others.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I moved from the desert, where the worst weather event is a dust storm or flash flooding, to an area where tornadoes and other severe weather are a fact of life, I knew immediately that I would need to find a skywarn group with which I could use the skills and experience I have built over several years. It took me a while to "separate the wheat from the chaff" but I finally did and Midwest SSTRC is that group.

These guys are serious. MWSSTRC isn't a few guys who sit around during a drizzle and count off the thunder; This is a group of individuals who are well trained, experienced and organized. Forecasters, nowcasters, spotter teams, chase teams, radar interpreters...they have it all. I've spent several weather events guiding spotters and chasers to the worst parts of the storm and keeping them out of harm's way so they can see what's really happening and relay ground truth to the National Weather Service, then survey damage when it's all over.

Midwest SSTRC also runs a plethora of training classes and seminars where you can learn forecasting, nowcasting, how to read doppler radar, first aid, CPR, basic and advanced storm spotting, storm safety, and more and can give you guidance on how to get a number of incident command certifications from FEMA, HAM radio licenses, etc...

If you want to get involved in helping people survive severe weather events, this is the group to do it with.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

This organization has volunteers who are dedicated and committed to the knowledge of weather & public safety. Weather 'spotters' volunteer their time to help identify and communicate critical weather events for the NWS, local, city and county emergency teams. I have directed my friends and family to the broadcast(online) to hear what's really going on.

Great organization! Volunteer or donate if you have the opportunity.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am on the board. To have a board is nothing without great members, and great members is exactly what MidWest has. Dedicated folk who are there through thick and thin, that's the true measure of a a great team.

3 dalebernstein

Board Member

Rating: 5

Great Members for a Great Organization. The volunteers at MW donate countless hours in serving their community.

Previous Stories
2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Our main focus is convective weather per se. However we have reviewed our winter level of activations and have ramped things up a bit. Our activation levels (which can be found at www.midwestsstrc.org) incorporate a Winter activation level option, of which we have been monitoring more closely starting Jan '15. Thank you Mike for bringing your concern to our attention and showing that you care as we do, in the past, present and future service of our communities.

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1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

it saddens me to see a weather group who claims to be part of skywarn but does not have current infomation on there website. but yet there asking for donations seem to be updated more then the weather alerts.

Like today Jan 4th 2015 we have for Dane Wind Chill Advisory that has been posted now for days. And they clame Dane is all Clear for weather alerts. And this is not the first time. for the last 3 weeks there website has said clear. but yet we have had Winter storm watch, other Windchill alerts for Dane.

2 Rosie O.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Every area of the U.S. should have a working group like this. The information they provide saves lives. I have been to their training sessions. I am glad they reach out to the public to help inform and train people to understand severe weather. Being informed is the best first step for safety during severe weather.

2

Client Served

Rating: 4

As a 911 operator, many of my co-workers do not receive any type of training as a dispatcher; and when severe weather strikes we can count on this team to be relaying the right information, to the right source, at the right time. With the great advances in internet, I know of many people who will listen in on the MidWest SSTRC feed online to keep up with the weather and get a more accurate description of where the weather is happening at that moment. This group is very dedicated and explifies it's mission whenever severe weather affects Southern Wisconsin. I think the information that this group provides also helps the "tax-payer dollar" go further; the National Weather Service will not always have the funds to investigate in detail each storm event, which is where these volunteers fill the gap. The group is always striving to become better and remain a positive image in the community.

3 Michael B

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been interested in weather and involved in weather spotting for over 30 years. This is my first of what I hope will be many years with MidwestSSTRC. A fantastic group of people, dedicated to educating the public about weather safety. The organization supports the National Weather Service during severe weather events by providing real time ground truth from our network of trained observers. Truly making a difference and potentially touching the lives of every person that lives in this region.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have worked with them on several occasion and they are an outstanding group of people who are dedicated to their mission. I would recommend them to anyone in a heartbeat! There passion for storm monitoring, preparedness and spotting is unlike any I have ever seen before. They are some of the nicest people you will ever meet!

3 Levine W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for this my third year. I was a volunteer firefighter for 17 prior to this and when I retired I needed a place to take my help and I found Midwest sstrc. I got my ham operator lic. And moved right back into helping people and I have got to know some very good people and have furthered my education and helping the public.