The first day of spring has passed and now is an important time for all residents to be prepared for serious weather events, especially tornadoes. Tornadoes can happen anywhere, any time of the year; however, early spring is the start of increased risk for many states.
On average, 1,000 tornadoes touch down across the United States each year. Residents should have a plan in place on what to do if and when a tornado strikes. This plan should include enrolling to receive alerts from their local mass notification system. Follow these three steps to get a jump-start on your planning:
Sign up for local alerts
Having access to early alerting can make all the difference in the event of a tornado. Emergency Communications Network (ECN) clients proactively use the CodeRED mass notification system to alert residents of severe weather. Signing up for CodeRED Weather Warning alerts specific to their participating community should be an essential part of an individual’s emergency preparedness plan. CodeRED Weather Warning delivers advanced warning of severe weather as soon as a bulletin is issued by the National Weather Service. The system delivers voice calls, text messages and emails to subscribed residents within the direct path of the storm. Messages provide residents extra time to prepare that has proven to save lives.
Residents should also download the CodeRED Mobile Alert app as part of their preparation efforts ahead of severe weather. The app uses geospatial technology to deliver location-based alerts directly to any subscriber’s mobile device. App users can add a 1-year subscription of CodeRED Weather Warning only .99. You can download the app here.
Know what alerts mean
Knowing the difference between a warning and watch can help an individual know what action they should take once they receive a CodeRED alert. A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted. Tornado warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Residents should immediately under ground to a basement, closet, hallway or bathroom. A tornado watch indicates a tornado is possible near the watch area. Talk to your family about your severe weather plan. Be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued. Please note, the CodeRED Weather Warning system only delivers tornado warnings. The system does not deliver watches or advisories.
Participate and spread the word
Participating in local events organized by local public safety officials can provide an individual with the tools they need to prepare for the next tornado. Communities across the nation are organizing activities during America’s National PrepareAthon, a nationwide community-based action campaign aimed at increasing emergency preparedness for hazards, including tornadoes. Many PrepareAthon participants are conducting tornado safety and evacuation drills. These drills can serve as a reminder to residents who haven’t yet signed up for CodeRED to add their phone numbers to their county or city database. Help spread the word about PrepareAthon events and the CodeRED system by sharing the social media posts of your local emergency managers and encouraging your family and friends to sign up for alerts.