When chasing storms, there are a few things to make sure you know and have:
Note: It is NOT a good idea to jump in your car and go storm chasing with little or no experience. Watch the weather from home for a while and get used to reading radar and what to look for. We also recommend taking some sort of storm chasing/spotter class (Examples of these are listed below).
- Radar Program(s) - We recommend Gibson Ridge products, but others are avaible such as StormLab and RadarScope.
- Reliable data provider(s) - We recommend AllisonHouse of course.
- Storm Chasing Knowledge - We recommend you start with the Spotter Network training class online, but there are plenty of classes and resources out there about how to properly & safely storm chase. A couple other examples: In person Skywarn/NWS spotter classes and online information from the NWS.
- NOAA weather radio - We recommend Midlands Emergency Crank Weather Radio. You always want to be prepared when dealing with severe weather, especially while in a vehicle.
- First Aid kit - We recommend at least a Minimum First Aid Kit from the Red Cross. You never know when you may need it.
- Common Sense - Seeing a tornado is NOT worth your life, so make good decisions and be courteous to other drivers and chasers around you.
- Data Providers (Price Range: Free - $300)
We recommend a Storm Chaser Subscription ($11.99/month OR $129.99/year) or check out any of our other packages. An AllisonHouse subscription is NOT mandatory, there are free radar data providers out there for public use (Iowa State, National Weather Service, etc.). However Note: It is always a good idea to have a backup data provider on hand when your life is on the line.
- Desktop Radar Programs (Price Range: $79.85 - $250)
GRLevelx or StormLab products. We recommend sticking with Level 3 radar when on the road chasing. Level 2 radar requires a bit more data, so in return you need a faster internet connection to get timely updates.
- Mobile Radar Programs (Price Range: $9.99 - $19.99)
RadarScope, PKLY3, and Radar Alive!
- Web-based Radar Programs (Price Range: Mostly Free)
There are quite a few of them out there, but not recommended for chasing purposes due to the resolution and most are missing products that you would need like velocity.
- USB GPS (Price Range: $30 - $90)
This will help identify where you are located, compared to the where the storm is.
- Road Shapefiles (Price Range: Mostly Free)
These go along nicely with a GPS unit and will help you navigate while on the road in unfamiliar areas. Here's a guide for Adding Shapefiles into GRlevelx Programs.
- Signal Booster (Price Range: $75 - $500)
We recommend the Peak Reception Kit from Maximum Signal. When out in the boonies, this will help you maintain a signal so you can still receive radar updates.
- Satellite GPS messenger (Price Range: $100 - $400)
In case you get trapped and need to call for help, this will help rescue efforts find you much faster.