MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - In West Texas, severe weather can pop up at a moments notice, but preparations for disasters start ahead of time.
For David Overton, amateur radio is a hobby that has some responsibility.
"We can get the messages through that people need," said Overton.
Before a storm hits the National Weather Service (NWS) follows it closely on their radar, but they can't see what's going on everywhere.
"When we have weather events that come throughout here that get to the severe level or are predicted to get to the severe level, they will call and have us activate," said Overton.
The Midland Amateur Radio Club acts as the eyes and ears from the NWS, talking to each other through radio on what residents are seeing during a storm
"Just trying to let them put out bulletins to keep people safe," said Overton.
They relay what they are seeing back to the NWS.
The radio club also prepares to offer their services to first responders in the event telephone lines have been damaged.
"It's a very valuable back up for emergencies," said Overton.
Overton says although they aren't asked for help that often, they prepare every year just in case.
The Midland Amateur Radio Club will be practicing using their equipment this Saturday at the National Weather Service in Midland. Anyone is invited to watch and get a look at how the equipment works and what they can do during an emergency situation. The demonstration starts at 1 p.m.