PEARL – The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service are highlighting the importance of severe weather alerts for the final day of Tornado Preparedness Week.
There are numerous methods to receive weather watches, warnings and advisories. Examples include:
- NOAA Weather Radio: Watches and Warnings issued by NWS air on these radios.
- Television Stations: Local or national news stations monitor and broadcast weather alerts.
- AM/FM Radio: Radio stations are required to air Emergency Alert System messages.
- Smartphone Applications: Numerous to choose from, and user can specify areas for alerts.
- Text Message Alerts: Some television stations use text message alerts for specific areas.
- Alert FM Receiver: Similar to a NOAA Weather Radio, but relays the message from FM Stations.
- Social Media: MEMA partners with the NWS to post severe weather alerts on Twitter using the hashtag #mswx. The NWS constantly updates Facebook and Twitter with weather graphics, alerts and information about imminent severe weather.
It is important to have a way to receive severe weather warnings after you have gone to bed. Most weather related injuries and deaths occur at night when people are sleeping. A NOAA weather radio, Alert FM receiver or smartphone app, which sounds an audible alert, will wake you when a warning is issued for your area so you can take the appropriate action.
Numerous free and paid smartphone applications have been created, notifying the public of severe weather. Some of these applications use the GPS tracking on your phone and will notify you of severe weather warnings based upon your location.
It is also important to share the weather alerts that you receive within your community. Neighbors may not have a way to receive weather alerts, so by sharing what you know, it could save a life. Identify elderly, home bound or others in your community that may not have a smart phone, weather radio or other means of receiving severe weather warnings, and notify them of the potential for severe weather.
To increase your chances of surviving and dealing with the aftermath of a disaster, every family should have one or more methods for receiving severe weather alerts. This will also help with knowing when to activate your family or community preparedness plan.
Gov. Phil Bryant declared Feb. 9-13 Tornado Preparedness Week in Mississippi.
For detailed preparedness information, contact your county emergency management agency, or go to MEMA’s website at www.msema.org. The best way to get up-to-date information is to “Like” MEMA on Facebook, or “Follow” us on twitter.