Archive for the ‘alerts’ Category

February 17, 2012
With Spring Storm season just around the corner, Citizens should become aware of information they need to be informed and prepared.
Warnings
Warnings are issued in Altus in the following manner.
  1. NOAA Weather Radio with Specific Area Messaging Encoder are alarmed by the National Weather Service to give AUTOMATIC audible and, for the hearing impaired, a visual alert.
  2. Sirens around the City will sound as activated by Emergency Management or 911 personnel, when there is a reason to sound the siren. There is NO all clear signal. If the Citizen hears a siren and is outside, the Citizen should quickly move inside. If the Citizen hears the siren and is inside, the Citizen should NOT go outside.
  3. Cable Television Override provides an audible message to subscribers of Cable Television.
  4. Citizens with cellular phone and/or paging service with email capabilities are encouraged to subscribe to services such as offered by EmergencyEThe Oklahoma Emergency Management service, or MyStateUSA.
  5. Citizens are encouraged to listen to local radio stations and area television stations for updates on local storm conditions. A portable, battery-powered AM radio, FM radio, or television set is a must-have for the personal disaster kit.
Warnings versus Watches
Warnings are issued when time is short. Watches are issued for hours at a time.
Clicking the Weather link on the Emergency Management web page will give the Citizen both the current conditions and any watches or warnings in place for the area.
Personal Disaster Kit
After preparing a plan using http://www.fema.gov/areyouready as a guide, the Citizen should put personal disaster supplies in a kit. The Calendar on the EM web page gives the Citizen a systematic approach to building this kit.
As always, your emergency management department, including a cadre of dedicated volunteers, stands ready to assist the Citizens with answers to questions about mitigation, response, recovery, and preparedness for disasters, both man-made and natural.

How will you get your warning?

September 2, 2011

Folks in the area are blessed with so many ways to get weather information.  Since this is National Preparedness Month, lets review those channels.

KWHW is the Emergency Alert System primary station for the area.  That means they help get EAS alerts out to others, such as CableOne.  That alone is a lot of work.  KWHW staff work hard at that system working for their downstream partners and ultimately the residents and vistors to the area.  Like many radio stations, their broadcast is available on the Stream.

The local cable system also pushes out EAS alerts automatically.  In other words, when the National Weather Service issues a warning for Jackson County, the alert comes over the TV set, regardless of which channel one is watching.

The EAS is included in IPAWS … Integrated Public Alert and Warning System … which should allow anyone anywhere in the USA to get critical information they need to make the right decision at the right time.

What IPAWS Will Do

  • IPAWS will allow the President of the United States to speak to the American people under all emergency circumstances, including situations of war, terrorist attack, natural disaster, or other hazards.
  • IPAWS will build and maintain an effective, reliable, integrated, flexible, and comprehensive alert and warning system.
  • IPAWS will enable Federal, State, territorial, tribal, and local alert and warning emergency communication officials to access multiple broadcast and other communications pathways for the purpose of creating and activating alert and warning messages related to any hazard impacting public safety and well-being.
  • IPAWS will reach the American public before, during, and after a disaster through as many means as possible.
  • IPAWS will diversify and modernize the Emergency Alert System (EAS).
  • IPAWS will create an interoperability framework by establishing or adopting standards such as the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP).
  • IPAWS will enable alert and warning to those with disabilities and to those without an understanding of the English language.
  • IPAWS will partner with NOAA to enable seamless integration of message transmission through national networks.

Residents can monitor the National Weather Service information on the webTwitter, and Facebook.

Also, each of the media pages linked to this blog also have weather information.

Beyond that, the Altus Skywarn Association continues to work hard providing weather information to the local emergency management office and the National Weather Service.  Their new Echolink-connected repeater on 444.650 mHz is available to scanner listeners who can hear them talking to the National Weather Service, area storm spotters, and occasionally stations overseas.  The new system gives weather updates periodically through the day. The Association also works hard to train members about weather and technology.  The group has a Facebook page as well.

The City of Altus has a Community Alert System called Blackboard Connect.  Registered folks can get a phone call, a text message on their cell phone, and an email to their inbox, as well as an automatic Tweet.

Finally, the National Weather Service transmitter in Jackson County has been upgraded to a higher power device.  This radio broadcasts 24-hours per day, seven days per week providing listeners to weather information.  Specially designed receivers are available at local stores.  Sitting quietly on the night stand, the radios alert when the weather service issues a warning.

Emergency managers have been asking for people to have three ways to get warnings and other weather information.

Yes, the sirens will sound in accordance with the County Emergency Operations Plan.  Emergency managers are quick to say that the out-door warning devices are just that.  They are designed to cause one to go inside to find out what’s happening on your AM radio, FM radio, all-hazards weather radio, television, email, cell phone, amateur radio, Twitter, or favorite internet web site.

That’s at least eight ways area residents can get weather information.  Please pick three.