Local weather affects us more than any other event you will see on the news. Nature can take drastic turns, and emergencies can arise without any warning. That's why it is always better to be prepared for the worst.
A great way of being ready for local weather emergencies is by subscribing to receive text alerts. Quick emergency alerts can help in saving life and infrastructure, and text message is a medium through which an organization can communicate with the maximum number of people and receive alerts immediately.
If you haven't already signed up for local weather text alerts, then here’s how you can do it.
- CMAS or WEA
- Emergency Broadcasts
- Mass Notification System
- The Weather Channel
- weatherUSA Alerts
- Weather Radio
1. CMAS or WEA
The simplest way of registering for local weather text alerts is by using Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), which was formerly known as Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS). These alerts are sent by the National Weather Service (NWS). To register for it, you need to search for WEA or CMAS in your mobile phone’s SMS settings.
Image via GCN
Another way of registering for it is by dialing ##2627##. However, do note that your phone must be WEA enabled to be able to receive these alerts.
2. Emergency Broadcasts
To meet FCC standards, Android introduced “Emergency Broadcasts” features in all its mobiles. Through this service, you can get severe weather alerts instantly. Apart from these alerts, this feature also sends out an alert whenever there’s any emergency in your area.
Image via Android Central
By default, these alerts are enabled on all new Android phones. However, if you think that the alerts aren’t enabled on your phone, you can go to “Settings” and search for “Emergency Alerts.” Here you’ll find the various types of alerts which are enabled or disabled for your mobile.
You can decide to enable all or a select few based on your preferences. Whenever there’s any imminent natural threat in your region, you’ll receive a weather alert on your Android phone.
3. Emergency Mass Notification System
One of the best ways to enroll for weather alerts is by registering with your employer who uses a multi-channel emergency mass notification system such as RedFlag. This business software will allow a company to send emergency/crisis alerts and internal notifications to employees, vendors, and stakeholders whenever there’s a weather-related emergency in your region via text, email, social, voice, or any other communication channel.
Some emergency mass notification software solutions for a small business have the option of self-registration which makes it easy for employees to register on their own for text alerts. At the same time, you get to choose additional communication channels to be alerted making it effortless to get notifications at the right time.
By using a mass notification system to create messages to send weather alerts, your company will be able to:
- Provide timely event updates and instructions (pre, during and post)
- Take action – Shelter in place or evacuate
- Changes in work hours
- Availability of personnel
- Resume normal activity
- Target specialized content to specific groups
- Offer a coordinated way for people to provide real time information
- Gain feedback and insights on the information provided
- Confirm who is receiving and reading information
- Effectively connect with individuals to initiate an action plan for resolving issues that arise
The benefit of using an industry leading mass notification system such as RedFlag is messages can be sent out easily and quickly to the entire staff or just targeted groups with just a few clicks. This helps in saving time which is of the essence when there’s a weather-related emergency. Some emergency notification systems can even be integrated into Outlook or sent via a mobile app so that the process of sending out an alert is significantly shorter.
Even though a mass notification system is a great solution to send/receive weather alerts, it is also a very effective way to send/receive notifications regarding other emergency or critical events such as a:
- Cyber attack
- IT network failure
- Facility closings
- Maintenance issues
- Communication network failure
- Active shooter
- Machine malfunctions
- Security breach
4. The Weather Channel
One of the best ways of receiving local weather alerts is via The Weather Channel. It forecasts weather and other related data. If you have The Weather Channel app, it’ll send out warnings to you whenever there’s any impending emergency weather-related situation.
Image via The Weather Channel
You can enter your location, and the app shall start sending you notifications about emergencies. It can even track your location and issues weather alerts for all the locations you travel to so that you can be safe wherever you go.
Apart from the severe weather warnings, it even sends out alerts for less-severe weather such as fog and freeze. You can also get alerts about nearby lightning strikes, which can help you decide whether to stay outdoors or indoors.
5. weatherUSA Alerts
weatherUSA sends out real-time alerts to you every time there’s any weather-related warning in your area. They send these alerts out whenever they are released by any federal agency, including the National Weather Service.
Image via weatherUSA
These alerts are sent across to the subscribers via SMS or email. You can choose to add your county or state for the local weather warnings. Additionally, you can get notifications for tropical storms and hurricanes too.
The service also allows you to choose a “quiet time” when you will not receive any notifications from them. If you choose to take up the premium membership with them, you can even receive voice call alerts on your phone.
6. Weather Radio
Weather Radio is one of the best apps out there for getting severe weather alerts on your phone. It can read out your weather alerts when they are issued so that you don’t need to put in a special effort to read them out. This is helpful in many situations, such as when you’re driving.
Image via Weather Radio App
It also provides you the option of choosing which alerts you wish to receive. You have the option to select only tornado alerts and silent all the other alerts. While the other apps are free, Weather Radio charges a small fee for subscription. It costs $4.99, and if you wish to add lightning strike data, it charges an extra $4.99 every year.
It is always better to be ready for severe weather. By getting a text alert at the right time, you can stop yourself from coming in harm’s way. By subscribing to the government’s weather alert services such as WEA, you can protect yourself and your family.
Additionally, Android mobiles come with their own set of emergency alerts. You can also sign up for text alerts with your employer if they use a emergency mass notification system. The Weather Channel, Weather Radio, and weatherUSA are other great apps that can send in severe weather alerts.
What are the other ways you can sign up for local weather text alerts? Let us know in the comments.