Customer Stories > Elk Grove Park District

A Single Source of Truth to Protect 42 Parks From Severe Weather Threats

  • Mark Kosbab
    Director of Parks & Planning

“Having Perry Weather completely removes severe weather from my list of concerns. We’re receiving real-time data specific to each of our parks for all types of weather events, especially lightning. We don’t even have to think about it anymore – we know Perry Weather has our back.”
Mark Kosbab
Director of Parks and Planning

Mark Kosbab, Director of Parks and Planning for the Elk Grove Park District, oversees the maintenance of grounds and facilities serving a community of 35,000 residents with 42 parks and eight facilities under their responsibility.

Weather in Illinois can be incredibly unpredictable; one minute it’s sunny, and the next it’s storming with lightning. Mark needed a reliable way to keep the patrons of all 42 parks safe from lightning and severe weather, even when nobody is there to monitor.

In the past, Mark has used several weather monitoring and lightning detection systems at other park districts, often facing issues like false alarms or no alarms at all when lightning was present. These challenges made it difficult for him to ensure safety. Mark needed a new weather monitoring system that could also automate the complex communication operations required for overseeing such a large number of public areas and parks. Perry Weather provided the reliability and automation he needed, transforming how he manages severe weather events and keeps the community safe.

Why Mark Chose Perry Weather for Elk Grove’s New Lightning Monitoring and Alert System

For Mark, ensuring public safety for a community of 35,000 people, he knew he needed a weather and lightning monitoring system that could overcome the shortcomings of previous solutions. Past systems had often triggered false alarms or missed real threats like lightning and severe thunderstorms, which compromised safety and eroded trust in his community.

Some of the key reasons Mark chose Perry Weather for Elk Grove’s weather monitoring and warning system:

  • Reliability: “Perry Weather is the most reliable system that I’ve ever used,” Mark said. It’s consistently accurate, unlike previous systems.
  • Community-Wide Communication: The system effectively alerts staff, residents, and patrons about severe weather events over outdoor warning sirens located at parks across the city and sends automated mobile messages to his staff.
  • Site-Specific Monitoring: Each park has its own weather station, allowing for location-specific decision-making, instead of relying on generic weather conditions you would get from a phone app.
  • Real-Time Data and Forecasting: The app provides up-to-the-minute information, including lightning countdown timers.
  • Visual Storm Tracking: The app shows storms and their proximity to specific parks, enabling quick, informed decisions.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: With the system implemented district-wide, Mark can rest easier about weather-related safety.

“Having Perry Weather completely takes severe weather out of my area of concern,” Mark concludes. “We’re getting real-time data based on this park or that event, wherever that might be.” This approach has significantly improved weather safety management across Elk Grove’s parks and facilities.

Site-Specific Monitoring For Precise Decision-Making

Perry Weather’s installation of individual weather stations at each park significantly improved Elk Grove Park District’s approach to weather safety. Mark Kosbab had this to say about why it’s important: “The great thing is that it’s site-specific. We have weather stations at the park, so it’s specific to that park.”

This localized approach offers several advantages over generic weather apps or services:

  • Precise Decision-Making: Staff can make accurate decisions for each location. “When teams see a weather event rolling in, they can make a decision. Do we need to call the game? Can we wait it out?” Mark explains.
  • Real-Time, Location-Based Data: The Perry Weather mobile app provides live, site-specific information. Mark notes, “There’s real-time data in the app, so if we needed to make a call and cancel the game or we knew that the countdown timer for the lightning shows it’s almost passing, we can act accordingly.”
  • Detailed Storm Tracking: “When you look at the app, it’ll show you the radius of the park and where the lightning or storm is,” Mark describes. Users can track storms in relation to specific parks, from 0-5, 0-8, or 0-10 mile ranges.
  • Efficient Event Management: For ballgames, pool events, parade setups, or concert series, staff rely on accurate data to make informed decisions about weather-related actions.

The site-specific approach of Perry Weather has enhanced Elk Grove’s ability to manage weather-related risks across all its facilities. It provides a level of precision that was previously challenging to achieve, contributing to safer experiences for park patrons and staff.

Leaning on Perry Weather’s Team of Meteorologists for Proactive Planning

Weather patterns can be unpredictable and challenging to interpret, especially when making decisions that impact public safety and event planning. Round-the-clock access to professional meteorologists is a crucial component of the Perry Weather service for Elk Grove Park District.

“We get real-time data from the meteorologists at Perry Weather that will give us a heads up, sometimes a day in advance,” Mark explains. This advanced warning system allows the park district to plan proactively, enhancing their preparedness for upcoming events.

When a storm is tricky and it’s difficult to tell if it’s going to move north, miss the area entirely, or be a direct hit, Elk Grove staff can consult Perry Weather’s team of meteorologists for expert interpretation. Advanced warnings enable the team to adjust schedules, prepare resources, or make early cancellation decisions when necessary. Meteorologists provide customized forecasts tailored to Elk Grove’s specific locations and planned events.

How Perry Weather Removes Severe Weather Worries

The addition of Perry Weather has significantly eased Mark’ Kosbab’s day to day. What was once a constant source of concern has become a streamlined, efficient process.

“Having Perry Weather completely takes severe weather out of my area of concern. I know that my staff is being alerted to any severe weather event. I know that we’re able to communicate that amongst our programming so that we can make those judgment calls as needed.”

The community-wide coverage has been particularly impactful. “The fact that we have it throughout the community really takes that concern off my plate because I know we’re getting real-time data based on this park or that event, wherever that might be,” he explains.

By providing consistent, accurate information, Perry Weather empowers Mark and his entire staff to make informed decisions quickly and confidently. This has not only made Mark’s job easier but has also enhanced the overall efficiency and effectiveness of Elk Grove Park District’s operations, ensuring a safer experience for all park patrons.

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