Southeastern News

Southeastern to host “Storm Ready’’ weather presentation with National Weather Service, Bryan County Emergency Management

DURANT, Okla. – With the potential of stormy spring weather just around the corner, Southeastern Oklahoma State University is teaming up with the National Weather Service and Durant/Bryan County Emergency Management Office for an informational presentation.

The “Storm Ready’’ presentation is scheduled for Wednesday, February 20, from 2-4 p.m. in the Southeastern Ballroom. The University community, area school officials, and the general public are encouraged to attend.

Presenters include Rick Smith, a warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Norman, Oklahoma, and James Dalton, director of the Durant/Bryan  County Emergency Management office.

Among the topics to be covered are outdoor emergency warning devices, shelters, cloud and storm recognition, and storm safety tips. Videos of actual tornadoes will also be shown. A question-and-answer session will conclude the program.

Based in the Norman NWS office, Smith leads a team of forecasters who help train severe storm spotters throughout the office’s 56-county area of responsibility. He also works closely with the media, emergency managers and other state, county and local government officials to ensure that communities in central and western Oklahoma and western north Texas are ready when hazardous weather threatens.    Smith began his National Weather Service career as a student volunteer/student trainee at the Memphis office. Upon graduation, he  became a meteorologist intern, and in 1997 was selected as a forecaster at the NWS office in Tulsa.

In 1999, Smith was chosen to fill the newly-developed performance and evaluation meteorologist position at Southern Region Headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. In 2002, he moved to Norman to serve in his current position.

Dalton, a Bryan County native, has served in his current position in emergency management since 2006.  A graduate of the Northeastern State University Certified Emergency Manager Program, he is a Certified Oklahoma Emergency Manager, member of the Oklahoma Disaster Task Force, and member of the Oklahoma Disaster Task Force Planning Committee for Disaster Sheltering.


He also holds an associate’s degree in Applied Science — Respiratory Therapy from Rose State College.

Dalton  served as the original Chairman/Administrator of the Bryan County Ambulance Authority in 1981, which established the current Bryan County Emergency Medical Service. He has assisted the Durant Police Department since 1993 in various capacities, currently as a Crisis Negotiator for the SRT (Special Response Team).
Among the disasters he has worked are the Murrah Bombing in Oklahoma City and the Tushka, Oklahoma, tornado in 2011.
This program is part of the ongoing Southeastern Organization Leadership Development (SOLD) series at the University.