WRN Ambassador Recognition - KVCK Radio

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Michelle Lammers
Michelle Lammers
  1. What is the mission of your organization?
    KVCK Radio—WolfTrax Broadcasting follows the mission mandated by the FCC to radio stations that they be a source of public information and public service. We strive to be the most complete source of local information including local events, sports and weather. As members of the community serving Roosevelt County and the Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes Nation, localism is what we do best.

  2. What has your organization done to promote a Weather Ready Nation? (i.e. what did your WFO recognize your for?)
    Our initial involvement and subsequent evolution into a Weather Ready Nation Ambassador came during the 2011 flooding event in Northeast Montana. We were contacted by Roosevelt County Disaster and Emergency Services to work with DES and the National Weather Service to supply fast, thoughtful, pertinent information to the public on the state of the flooding in the area. KVCK was then asked to be a part of the Roosevelt County Local Emergency Planning Committee. Our eyes were opened through research and involvement as to the nature of emergency planning and the constant threats of weather and man-made disasters. With the blessing of KVCK’s owners, KVCK staff now chairs the Roosevelt County Local Emergency Planning Committee as well as acting in a capacity for the county as Deputy Disaster and Emergency Service Coordinator and County Public Information Officer. Having become closer to the DES circles we more naturally came to talk to and interact more with Tanja Franzen of the Glasgow NWS office. When Tanja mentioned the WRN Ambassador program we naturally found it a wonderful source of information to help our broadcast audience prepare themselves for the inevitable weather challenges we so often face. KVCK helps the county with a presence at local events education the public on emergency preparedness. We also started publishing the WRN Ambassador social media materials out to our Facebook account. KVCK is working diligently to promote the WRN Ambassador program to County and State DES officials as well as into broadcast circles. We have been asked by a member of the Montana State Emergency Response Commission to help bridge the gap between DES and broadcasters in order to bring them closer in their working relationships.

    During a brainstorm session with Tanja Franzen we talked about the needs of the NWS and the Glasgow office in particular. Tanja mentioned that it would be nice to do more interviews with various staff members to allow them personal and career growth opportunities through experience dealing with broadcast entities. The conversation went deeper into thinking that Tanja could be a great resource for KVCK to have access to NWS national contacts to bring more real and insightful information to our local communities. KVCK then created what we call a “Weather Ready Wednesday” program to work with the WRN Weather Ready Wednesday campaign. After our initial talks KVCK staff began working diligently to put together “Weather Ready Wednesday” program and with the help of Tanja Franzen and the NWS Glasgow office we have regular interviews with Glasgow.  More recently we have worked with Tanja to expand the reach of our information gathering and interviews to include professionals such as Dr. Marshall Shepherd and even regional NWS Regional contacts like Jeff Zimmerman, Chief of Operations and Decision Support Services.  Mr. Zimmerman will be featured in upcoming “Weather Ready Wednesday” programs involving climate change, space weather and the evolution of the National Weather Service into a “Tech Savvy” organization with an abundance of information reaching deeply into the lives of millennials and younger generations.

  3. What does being an Ambassador mean to you?
    Being a Weather Ready Nation Ambassador is a privilege to us. It allows us resources not only to keep our staff informed, but through our reach into the community, we feel it gives us a base of more knowledge to spread safety and preparedness into the communities of NE Montana. It is a truly great opportunity to build a team with the NWS to save lives through the ability to bring good information to community members who may have been unprepared for the eventually emergencies we will experience.

  4. What are your goals for the next year concerning preparedness?
    KVCK will maintain the Weather Ready Wednesday Programming. We intend to work with our sponsor, Ag Partners LLC, to see them become a WRN Ambassador and help them bring information to their clients in farming and ranching. We intend to work with them on live presentations and Skywarn trainings for their clients. We also intend to continue our work with the Montana State Emergency Response Commission and Montana Broadcasters Association to develop more broadcasters that are WRN Ambassadors and DES officials that encourage their Local Emergency Planning Committees to become WRN Ambassadors. KVCK would like to see everyone involved in better relationships with the goal of building resilient communities. We love working with the National Weather Service and hope to continue our ability to get great community information while assisting bringing additional interview experience to the NWS staff, it is a wonderful collaborative effort. KVCK through the Roosevelt County Local Emergency Planning Committee intends to get involved in schools and classrooms about emergency preparedness. It has been noted that the younger age you involve a child and teach them the more likely they will be to carry the messages and information into adulthood.