With a potentially dangerous severe weather event shaping later today, I thought it would be timely to share some important resources that might come in handy tomorrow. The good news is that you have probably found your best resource already, which is this blog! We have very gifted writers and meteorologists here that work long, hard hours keeping the blog updated. Like Bill Murray, J.B. Elliott, and Dr. Tim Coleman. Bookmark it, and check it often during active weather.
GETTING THE WARNINGS… A NOAA Weather Radio is the minimum. Every Alabama home, business, church, and school needs one. You can find them at most local Publix locations for under thirty dollars. They can be a real life saver. Be sure your weather radio is programmed properly (see frequencies and county codes here), and has a fresh battery as back-up.
APP: For iPhones, we recommend iMap Weather Radio… a wonderful app that knows where you are, and warns you only if you are within a warning polygon. You can choose the type of warning you receive, and also program in fixed locations. And, on top of everything else, you watch watch our live streaming tornado coverage. An Android version will be released very soon.
WEATHER CALL: And, to get warnings on your home phone, WeatherCall is a great choice. It is solid and reliable, and also uses polygons. Sign up here.
There is a new, free service for Alabama called SAF-T-NET… offered by Baron Services from Huntsville. We have not had any real experience with the reliability of this yet, you can you can try it here.
SOCIAL MEDIA: You can get all Alabama warnings via our @ewarn account on Twitter. Warnings are also posted automatically to my Facebook page, and I push out a variety of severe weather information on the @spann Twitter account.
LIVE STREAMING COVERAGE: A reminder you can watch our live tornado coverage on any of the ABC 33/40 apps, free in the Android and iPhone app store. Or, watch it via uStream here. You see radar on the stream when we are not on the air. I should also mention we stream all of our newscasts here as well.
RADIO COVERAGE: These radio stations carry our audio during tornado warnings for their communities…
Birmingham: WZZK 104.7
Anniston: Thunder 92.7
Haleyville: Paradise 92.7
Demopolis: WVFG 107.5
YOUR PLAN: In a site built home, if you are in a tornado warning polygon, go to a small room (hall, closet, bathroom) on the lowest floor and near the center of the house, away from windows. Put as many walls between you and the tornado as possible.
If you live in a mobile home, you must get out and go to a more substantial structure.
If you are on the second floor (or higher) of an apartment building, you must go to the lowest floor.
Put a helmet on your kids, and wear one yourself if you can.
HAVE A READINESS KIT: Possible items to store in your safe place include:
-Flashlights (enough light to see how to crawl from the rubble)
-Extra cell phone batteries or chargers
-Shoes (with hard soles if possible)
-Emergency Contact List
-Document wallet for copies of insurance cards, driver’s license, etc.
-Whistle (to alert emergency workers if you were trapped)
-Personal hygiene kit (toothbrush, soap, comb, etc.)
-Packs of batteries
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Category: Severe Weather
About the Author (Author Profile)James Spann is one of the most recognized and trusted television meteorologists in the industry. He holds the AMS CCM designation and television seals from the AMS and NWA. He is a past winner of the Broadcast Meteorologist of the Year from both professional organizations.
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