I don’t have to tell you that extreme weather events are becoming more common in America. If you haven’t seen it right outside your home, you’ve seen it on your TV sets.
It seems like every year we establish a new record for the number of storms. Like hurricanes and tornadoes.
And it’s not just the amount of storms. It’s their intensity. The numbers of major hurricanes and devastating tornadoes keep going up. The more storms there are – and the greater their intensity – the more people will die or be injured.
That’s why it’s more important than it’s ever been to have dependable ways to receive weather alerts. They can save your life.
Perhaps you’ve dealt with severe weather many times. Or maybe just a few times. Either way, it’s likely you’ll have to again before too long.
You can improve your survival chances by accessing reliable weather warnings. They come in a variety of forms. So let’s examine a few of them.
First is your cellphone. Most of the newer ones have the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) feature. It sends out a loud tone to warn you of an impending emergency.
Among those emergencies are tornadoes and hurricanes. Plus thunderstorms and flashfloods. As well as windstorms, dust storms, hazmat situations and Amber alerts.
These alerts work. Don’t disable them just because the screeching and beeping noises can be annoying. That’s so they will catch your attention. They are designed to only activate phones connected to a local cellphone tower.
Choice of weather apps
There are a number of weather apps you can download onto your cellphone. They include Storm Shield, iAlert, AccuWeather and The Weather Channel. As well as weatherUSA, ping4alerts! and The Emergency Email & Wireless Network.
With Storm Shield, wherever you are, storm-based alerts are available. It does not use GPS, so it shouldn’t wear down your phone battery.
iAlert provides weather warnings via text or email. You can select the alerts you want for any of 30,000-plus U.S. cities.
Ping4alerts! delivers alerts regarding weather, traffic and school closures. Plus natural disasters, power outages and more.
Nothing beats a weather radio
A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio is also a great way to keep tabs on weather threats in your area.
These radios broadcast official National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24/7.
You can program your county’s six-digit code into this device. That way it will sound a loud alarm when potentially dangerous weather is approaching.
Some of these weather radios allow you to choose which particular alerts you want to receive. And which you don’t.
Don’t turn off that TV
Sometimes you may not have a working cellphone or weather radio handy. That’s when television news can help. It’s another way to gain information about extreme weather in your area.
Extreme weather warnings will scroll along the bottom of your screen. Even during normal programming time.
And if the situation is dangerous enough, the networks will break into programming to issue warnings for certain areas.
Yes, your TV is also susceptible to power outages. But until that happens, keep it on to augment your other emergency weather information.
Don’t bet your life on a siren
Tornado sirens have saved lives. But it’s an emergency weather warning system you should NOT count on.
They often cannot be heard inside a home or business. Which is probably where you’ll be during bad weather. So don’t depend on them.
Even outdoors sometimes they can’t be heard. Especially if the wind is strong against the direction where the siren originates.
And when there are power outages or equipment failures, the sirens might not even work. Other warning systems are usually more reliable.
Extreme weather can be devastating to life and property, but property can be replaced. Early warnings can help save lives.
NOAA radio does it all
Earlier I mentioned the importance of having a reliable weather radio. A NOAA weather radio is a great way to learn about – and avoid – threatening weather.
Having access to critical information is key to surviving in any emergency.
These radios broadcast official National Weather Service warnings 24/7. Plus watches, forecasts and other hazard information.
4Patriots has created the ultimate tactical information hub. It’s the Liberty Band Emergency Solar Radio. This lightweight radio features NOAA weather alerts. And it recharges with the sun.
It has seven 24/7 weather channels and AM/FM and shortwave radio. Plus LCD display clock with alarm and an ultra-bright flashlight. It can even power your cellphone when you need it most.