OK-First is an award-winning outreach program of the Oklahoma Mesonet that provides Oklahoma’s public safety community with weather education and access to critical real-time weather data.
Participation in OK-First is limited to Oklahoma agencies with jurisdictional responsibility and authority in maintaining public safety. Examples of eligible groups include emergency management, law enforcement, fire management, government, military, health, schools, and non-profit disaster relief agencies. For-profit entities are not eligible to participate in OK-First.
OK-First classes cover a variety of meteorological topics including basic meteorology, radar, National Weather Service products, severe thunderstorms, lightning, flash flooding, fire weather, and winter weather. Through a mix of presentations and hands-on lab exercises, participants learn how to properly interpret weather information and get experience with the tools for viewing that information.
Upon successful completion of the OK-First certification class, members of the program are provided with password-protected access to innovative data visualization tools built and maintained by Oklahoma Mesonet staff, including an interactive weather data website and interactive radar software.
Figure 1. The OK-First Weather Briefing webpage during a major fire event in northwest Oklahoma.
Figure 2. The RadarFirst software during the Elk City, OK tornado event in May 2017
Continued access to OK-First visualization tools requires attendance at shorter OK-First re-certification classes – at least once every 18 months. Classes are provided in person and online. For more information on OK-First and to become a member, visit the OK-First webpage.