James Spann, a popular Alabama meteorologist and member of the popular online program “WeatherBrains“, posted recently about the popular social media site Facebook — and its shortcomings in the severe weather alerting process.
He has noted how the warning processes must get better. At one point, he called for every outdoor warning device (the “tornado” siren) to be burned. He notes that too many people rely on sirens before taking action.
People need THREE ways to get weather warnings.
There are at least two providers – MyStateUSA and EmergencyEmail.org offer nationwide alerting service for free. Additionally, providers such as cel.ly offer the ability for groups to set up their own warning processes, as Craig’s Tech Blog discussed a few months back.
However, I have written on AWARE (here and here) that we should recognize and accept that social media (as anything technological) will have flaws. In other words, Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, have all gone down at one point or another. Even sirens break.
More than one avenue for warnings is necessary. Three ways of getting severe weather warnings is the only option for the prepared citizen. Social media, even Facebook, can serve in this area, of course. Even the trusty Amateur Radio can come to play here.
What are your three ways to get severe weather warnings? Is the All-Hazards Weather Radio one of them?
Lloyd Colston is an emergency manager serving Citizens in southwest Oklahoma. He has a passion for preparedness and regularly offers up the message on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and a host of other social media channels. He is a trainer in the Incident Command System, Advanced Crisis Communications Strategies, the National Incident Management System, and Terrorism Awareness.