KWHW is the Emergency Alert System primary station for the area. That means they help get EAS alerts out to others, such as CableOne. That alone is a lot of work. KWHW staff work hard at that system working for their downstream partners and ultimately the residents and vistors to the area. Like many radio stations, their broadcast is available on the Stream.
The local cable system also pushes out EAS alerts automatically. In other words, when the National Weather Service issues a warning for Jackson County, the alert comes over the TV set, regardless of which channel one is watching.
The EAS is included in IPAWS ... Integrated Public Alert and Warning System ... which should allow anyone anywhere in the USA to get critical information they need to make the right decision at the right time.
What IPAWS Will Do
- IPAWS will allow the President of the United States to speak to the American people under all emergency circumstances, including situations of war, terrorist attack, natural disaster, or other hazards.
- IPAWS will build and maintain an effective, reliable, integrated, flexible, and comprehensive alert and warning system.
- IPAWS will enable Federal, State, territorial, tribal, and local alert and warning emergency communication officials to access multiple broadcast and other communications pathways for the purpose of creating and activating alert and warning messages related to any hazard impacting public safety and well-being.
- IPAWS will reach the American public before, during, and after a disaster through as many means as possible.
- IPAWS will diversify and modernize the Emergency Alert System (EAS).
- IPAWS will create an interoperability framework by establishing or adopting standards such as the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP).
- IPAWS will enable alert and warning to those with disabilities and to those without an understanding of the English language.
- IPAWS will partner with NOAA to enable seamless integration of message transmission through national networks.
Also, each of the media pages linked to this blog also have weather information.
Beyond that, the Altus Skywarn Association continues to work hard providing weather information to the local emergency management office and the National Weather Service. Their new Echolink-connected repeater on 444.650 mHz is available to scanner listeners who can hear them talking to the National Weather Service, area storm spotters, and occasionally stations overseas. The new system gives weather updates periodically through the day. The Association also works hard to train members about weather and technology. The group has a Facebook page as well.
The City of Altus has a Community Alert System called Blackboard Connect. Registered folks can get a phone call, a text message on their cell phone, and an email to their inbox, as well as an automatic Tweet.
Finally, the National Weather Service transmitter in Jackson County has been upgraded to a higher power device. This radio broadcasts 24-hours per day, seven days per week providing listeners to weather information. Specially designed receivers are available at local stores. Sitting quietly on the night stand, the radios alert when the weather service issues a warning.
Emergency managers have been asking for people to have three ways to get warnings and other weather information.
Yes, the sirens will sound in accordance with the County Emergency Operations Plan. Emergency managers are quick to say that the out-door warning devices are just that. They are designed to cause one to go inside to find out what's happening on your AM radio, FM radio, all-hazards weather radio, television, email, cell phone, amateur radio, Twitter, or favorite internet web site.
That's at least eight ways area residents can get weather information. Please pick three.