COLUMN: Weather knowledge could mean life or death

Submitted photo.
Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown.

Whenever the National Weather Service places Ellis County under an alert relating to impending weather conditions, be sure and pay attention. If you’ve lived in our area any length of time, you’ve come to know that, as an example, when heavy rains are involved in the North Texas area, Ellis County is typically one of the counties that’ll be included in the alert, whether it’s issued as an advisory, watch or warning.

The saying goes that if you don’t like the weather we’re having, stick around a few minutes and it’ll change. What that should tell you is not to be complacent when it comes to keeping up with the weather. Your knowledge of about what’s heading our direction could mean life or death. Please stay on top of the weather reports and don’t ignore the National Weather Service alerts.

Many times now I’ve told you to keep another saying in mind: Turn around, don’t drown. You don’t want to bypass or take down warning signs about water over the roadways. When you do that, you’re risking not only your life and the lives of any passengers, you’re also putting first responders’ lives at risk when they’re called out to rescue you.

You may want to participate in the National Weather Service’s upcoming Skywarn training, which is free. You’ll come out of it much more informed about the various types of weather conditions we’ll face over the course of a year. The Ellis County training session is scheduled for 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 9, in McCafferty Hall on the SAGU campus. If that’s not a good date and time for you, you can find a complete schedule of upcoming National Weather Service Skywarn training sessions at this website: http://forecast.weather.gov.

Please, everyone, let’s keep our military and service personnel in our thoughts and prayers. We enjoy our rights and freedoms because of their service and safekeeping of our great nation. Y’all have a Blessed Week and Happy New Year.

Johnny Brown has served as Sheriff of Ellis County since Jan. 1, 2009, and is a graduate of the National Sheriff’s Institute. He has been in law enforcement for more than 20 years and holds a Master’s Peace Officer’s Certificate with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education.