Severe Weather Preparedness Week 2013
Day 5 - Friday February 8, 2013
This is the final day of Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Mississippi. Throughout this
week we have provided educational information that should help everyone to better understand
severe weather and what to do if severe weather affected their area. We hope everyone took
the opportunity to exercise their preparedness plans with the tornado drill on Wednesday.
Everyone should know how to receive severe weather information and know what to do when it
occurs. It can save your life.
The final topic for this week will address ways to receive weather information and warnings.
In today's society, technology is at the forefront of our lives. This means that there are many
ways to receive weather information and, more importantly, weather warnings. One such way to gather
weather information is through NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards. The National Weather Service utilizes
weather radio to broadcast continuous weather information 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. While
routine programming consists of forecast information, climate reports, hazardous weather outlooks
and current weather conditions, programming will be interrupted when severe weather is impacting
the listening area. When properly programmed, NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards will alert you of a
warning for your area by providing an audible tone and visual alert. NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards
can be programmed for one county or multiple counties to receive weather warnings and can run on
battery backup if power is out. NOAA weather radios can be purchased at many electronics stores
for a small price.
A new way to receive weather warnings is from the wireless emergency alerts
feature for cell phones. This is a new avenue that government agencies use to send urgent messages
directly to cell phones in an impacted area. Apps or additional software are not needed and messages
will look very similar to text messages when received. Given this is a new service, please contact
your service provider for more information.
Television, commercial radio, the internet, and other text messaging services are other ways
to receive weather information and warnings. The key to staying informed is to have multiple ways
of receiving weather alerts as technology failures, delays or other unforeseen circumstances may
occur. Redundancy is key to preparedness.
We urge everyone to plan ahead. Conduct drills at home, at your place of business, and at your
school. Do not wait until a tornado is at your doorstep before doing something that could save