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NCZ001>006-018>020-032300-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BLACKSBURG VA
800 AM EST TUE MAR 3 2015

Severe Weather Preparedness Week in North Carolina is March 1-7, 2015

Today's Topics:  Ways to receive severe weather alerts...and 
information about tomorrow's Statewide Tornado Drill

One of the keys to staying safe during the severe weather season is 
making sure that you HAve a way to receive life saving severe 
weather watches and warnings.  There are many methods and 
tools...some of which are available with no cost or fees...that you 
can use to receive these important lifesaving alerts no matter where 
you are - at home...at school...or at work.  Here is a partial list 
of these methods and tools.  

1. NOAA Weather Radio (NWR):  NWR is a nationwide network of radio 
stations broadcasting continuous weather information from the 
nearest National Weather Service office.  Specially built 
receivers...which can be purchased at most electronics and large 
retail stores for less than $40...receive the NWR broadcast 24 hours 
a day...7 days a week...and sound an audible alert when official 
watches and warnings are issued for your area. Think of these radios 
as a "smoke detector" for severe weather alerts.

2. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA):  With WEA...emergency alerts can 
be sent to your cell phone or mobile device when you may be in 
harm's way...without need to download an app or subscribe to a 
service.  In addition to other alert types such as AMBER 
Alerts...this free service will transmit extreme weather warnings 
such as Tornado and Flash Flood warnings to your cell phone.  The 
alerts will look like a text message...and will typically show the 
type and time of the alert...any action you should take.  WEA 
messages include a special tone and vibration.  If you receive a WEA 
message...you should follow any action advised by the emergency 
message. Seek more details from your favorite TV or radio 
station...NOAA Weather Radio...news website...desktop 
application...mobile application...or other trusted source of 
information.

3.  Cell phone apps:  There are many great cell phone apps that 
provide real-time NWS warnings and alerts...some of which are free 
to download and use...and others that may charge a small fee.  A 
simple search of your app provider will reveal many of these apps. 

4.  Emergency Alert System (EAS) and your favorite TV and radio 
stations:  EAS is the message dissemination pathway that sends 
warnings via broadcast...cable...satellite...and wireline services. 
EAS may be used by state and local authorities...including the 
National Weather Service...in cooperation with the broadcast 
community...to deliver important emergency information such as 
severe weather information...AMBER alerts...and local incident 
information targeted to specific areas.  In short...when severe 
weather strikes...it's a good idea to tune to your favorite local TV 
or radio station or web site for detailed information about the 
severe weather threat.  

In addition to the aforementioned alerting system...many communities 
also offer free emergency alert notifications through their own 
systems...such as reverse 911 phone systems. Be sure to check with 
your local emergency management Agency to learn what is available in 
your area.

Tomorrow (Wednesday March 4th) at 9:30 AM...the National Weather 
Service in cooperation with local broadcasters will conduct a 
statewide tornado drill. The alarm test...which will come in the 
form of a Required Monthly Test...will activate the State Emergency 
Alert System and be carried by local radio broadcasters. Every 
school...business...and residence is encouraged to participate in 
this drill.  It's really easy...at 9:30 AM on Wednesday...take a few 
moments to practice your severe weather safety plan...and seek 
shelter for a few minutes as if a tornado was headed your way.  To 
help you prepare for this drill...be sure to visit the National 
Weather Service's severe weather preparedness website at 
http://weather.gov/raleigh/2015SWPW where you can learn more about 
seeking safe shelter when severe weather strikes.  In 
addition...throughout the day Wednesday...the NWS will feature NOAA 
Weather Radio messages and social media posts that highlight severe 
weather safety tips.   

Be sure to take some time this week to learn more about severe 
weather safety. Learning and practicing severe weather safety when 
the weather is good will allow you to react more quickly when the 
weather turns bad.  You can learn more about severe weather safety 
by visiting the North Carolina Department of Public Safety 
preparedness website at readync.org.  This web page features an 
abundance of information...and links to a free cell phone app...that 
will help you plan and prepare for the severe weather season. 

$$


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