How to Get Critical Updates and Alerts During Extreme Weather Events


Plan | Stay Safe • Extreme Heat | Floods | Hail | Hurricanes | Lightning | Tornadoes | Tsunamis | Wildfires | Winter Storms

Quickly changing weather and environmental conditions demand careful attention. You can stay safe by staying aware of the latest disaster events in your community in a variety of ways, including those that operate without electric power.

No matter how you receive your updates and alerts, make sure you choose more than one method so you have a backup plan during any emergency.

What You Can Do Right Now

Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio receiver with backup battery power. NOAA Weather Radio from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is a nationwide, 24-hour radio station network that broadcasts continuous weather information like forecasts, watches, warnings and all-hazard updates, such as earthquakes or environmental events like chemical releases or oil spills.

NOAA Weather Radio is commercial-free but requires a specific receiver or scanner that is widely available for as little as $30. You may need an external antenna if you are more than 30 miles from the nearest transmitter.

The nationwide Emergency Alert System can deliver wireless emergency alerts to your devices. In addition to NOAA Weather Radio and the Emergency Alert System, you also may be covered by a community-level emergency alerting system.

If your government alerting system uses landline telephones, but you do not have one, you may still be able to connect your mobile devices to Enhanced Telephone Notification systems like Reverse 911© and text messages. Strobe lights, pagers, computers, and text printers can be connected for the visually and hearing-impaired, as well.

Download your state or local emergency management agency app and the FEMA app. Enable text message alerts (message and data rates will apply).

Look for updates from official local government and emergency management agencies and utility providers on their websites and social media to stay current before, during, and after a disaster.

Sign up for listservs and emergency alerts from your workplace, school, houses of worship, or other community organizations that provide notifications during an emergency.

What to Do During Extreme Weather

Monitor weather forecasts frequently using apps, devices, government alerting services, radio/television news, and social media. Always keep your cell phone charged and activate location settings that allow weather-related apps to follow and alert you no matter where you go.

No matter how you plan to receive emergency alerts, listen to broadcasts and check online every 30 minutes during emergencies to stay current on the latest updates and essential instructions.

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