Emergency Management News

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Social Media drill results in #OKwx #Skywarn #SMEM

In the social media drill a few months back, +Rick Smith and friends at the National Weather Service office in Norman discovered (again) where Social Media is weak.

It's good for getting the word out.  It shines in getting the word out fast.  It fails when people see the word late.

Please remember the average tornado warning is 14 minutes.  Only 46K might
have gotten a timely warning, in an actual event.

What to do about it?

1.  Have MORE than three ways to get weather information.  "NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information from the nearest National Weather Service office." http://1.usa.gov/1kAG7M0  There surely is a transmitter near you.  You may have to put an outdoor antenna up to hear it well but 98% of the Country is covered.

2.  If your community has a community alerting system, enroll in it.  The City of Altus uses Alert Altus.  There are others.  Many Television and Radio broadcasters offer their own brand of text and email alerts.

3.  Consider WeatherCall if you need a phone call.  This would notify you of warnings when your address is in a National Weather Service warning polygon.  This would be good for a backup to the weather service radio as it would alert you at night.

4.  Get an amateur radio license. Area hams, especially those involved in Skywarn and emergency management, talk about the weather a lot.  Many of them have direct ties to the Weather Service offices.

Have you three ways to get the message?

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