As we approach the one-year anniversary of the March 2, 2012, tornadoes that ripped through the Courierarea, it's critical that we be prepared for this year's storm season.

One way to prepare our families is to educate ourselves about how to stay safe.

The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Louisville will help.

NWS meteorologists will host free two-hour forums to show residents how to stay safe and assist the NWS and local media in warning for severe weather events.

A Sky Warn training class will be held at the Trimble County Cooperative Extension Building, 43 High Country Lane, Bedford, on March 12 and at the Madison Township Fire Station, 3414 Michigan Road, on March 18.

The training classes will start at 7 p.m.

A key part of the class will be teaching participants to help protect their communities by reporting information on storms to local meteorologists working to issue and disseminate warnings.

Joe Sullivan, warning coordination meteorologist from the Louisville National Weather Service office, will run the training seminars.

Attending one of the forums will be two hours well spent.

When one talks of spring storms in the Ohio River valley, it's not a matter of if ... it's when.

For the latest official NWS forecast and warnings for your area, visit the Louisville, KY NWS website at