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exactly how Much Money can I make Storm Chasing? by Matt Ver Steeg, WeatherEdge, Inc.

You are watching: How do storm chasers make money

On a weekly basis, we obtain a volume of emails indigenous our visitors requesting information on exactly how they can make money searching tornadoes. Most of those requests likewise ask about the salary selection that they can expect as soon as they graduate from school. With all of the exaggeration that"s been produced in the news media the last number of years, it"s no wonder that this occurs.

The reality is, the it is almost impossible to earn a life from storm chasing. The only human being that I know who regulated that feat properly was Warren Faidley. He was in the right place at the right time, and also developed a industry for himself. Many chasers aren"t the lucky. One point Warren had actually going strongly in his favor was that he to be a great photographer, having cut his teeth beforehand in the newspaper business.

If you to be to sit down and also produce a business plan, you would quickly confront the reality that it would be nearly impossible to make it work. Because that example...let"s say the you need to buy some camera equipment and other follow related equipment to acquire you going, and you"ll shell out $5,000 because that it. Then, in a common chase season, you mean to drive 20,000 miles looking for your quarry. At an assumed cost of .31 cent per mile, you"re looking at $6,200 in automobile costs. Throw in $1,500 for hotels and food, $1,000 because that cellular phone and data costs, and also your full is at $13,700 because that the an initial year. AND, the pays girlfriend NOTHING.

For disagreements sake, let"s say the you"ve had actually a good season, and bagged 20 tornadoes on video. IF the video was yes, really good, and IF you to be the an initial one come a satellite uplink, possibly you sold fifty percent of them come the nationwide media species at $400 each, and sold them to local media outlets because that $100. The rest you sold locally for $50 apiece. Your grand full for her efforts? $5,500. OOPS! You just lost $8,200 because that the year. You are really walk to be in the doghouse through your far-ranging other. Walk I mention the reality that when dealing with the media, you need to get phone numbers, the name of the human you talked to, and also a acquisition order number? If girlfriend don"t, some of those checks will not do it to your mailbox.

"Wait!" friend say, "But I have the right to make it increase by marketing my video tapes over the Internet and also to various other chasers, right?" Yes, you have the right to sell a couple of to them. ~ all, nevertheless of what you and I think, not everybody in this country are thrilled about watching tornadoes, or storm structure shots that they know nothing about. Many folks are just plain fear at the thought of a tornado, let alone chasing one. You"ll probably sell a couple of here and there, but I wouldn"t walk into the regional bank and also take out a loan for $20,000 worth of editing gear just yet.

"I know!" girlfriend say, "I"ll operation a chase tourism service. That will make me money hand over fist!" Okay, I"ll agree that this mirrors some promise, so let"s look at at points a bit. In the last couple of years, I"ve saw a the majority of storm chasing tour teams out in the field. Obviously, over there are civilization willing to shell out large sums that money to go on a chase safari. First of all, write up a business plan. Figure out how you"re going to market your services, just how you"re going to fund it, and also how you will execute her plan. You need vehicles, drivers, support services, and equipment. The biggest and most important thing you need is liability insurance. I don"t treatment how many waiver develops your attorney draws increase for her customers to sign. If one of them gets hurt, or also mentally traumatized through their follow experience, chances are they will certainly sue. If friend don"t have actually insurance, expect to go out of business quickly. Also, many states need businesses to bring liability and workman"s comp insurance, in order come operate. It likewise goes there is no saying the you need to have the ability to find storms, or else you will have very disgruntled customers, which equates to no repeat business.

If you desire to start a storm chasing tour service, go for it. Obtain a written organization plan, a this firm attorney, accountant, and insurance first. But after every that, think about whether or not you really want to address 10, 20, 30, or 40 various personalities, varied levels that bladder control, differing opinions ~ above where and when to eat and also sleep, etc. As for me, heh, heh. Not a chance. No means would I desire to perform that. And, if anyone were to ever before get hurt....well.....I choose to have the ability to sleep at night.

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My pointer is...have a constant day job, and chase together a hobby. There are only a handful of civilization that will make a living out of storm chasing. I know, i know...that could be you...but i think you"d have actually a far better chance to win the lottery.