As you know in rural areas there are no early warning sirens to alert us to severe weather. A good way to protect yourself during severe weather is Weather Call. This service has the ability to call you in the event of a tornado, severe thunder storms or flash flooding (you can choose which alerts you receive). The warnings are specific to the address you provide, so you won’t receive calls about a tornado in other areas of the county. There is also a mobile weather call that monitors your current location and will alert you about severe weather and/or lightening strikes. Storm Tracker websites as well as Weather Radio Apps are also helpful in keeping you informed and safe. Below is information on all of the tools, followed by precautions to take in the event of a Tornado Warning.
Weather Call @ Home:
You can sign up for weather call from KTUL. They can call/email as well as text up to three phone numbers or email addresses for any address in the nation. It costs $9.95 a year. You can sign up at the following link: http://www.wcsyslp.com/ktul/athome.
Weather Call To Go:
You can sign up for weather call to go from KTUL. It is a web based program designed for Apple or Android smart phones that monitors your safety. You activate the program during a threat of severe weather and your phone will send its location once a minute to weather call. It costs $11.95 a year. For you fisherman, farmers and golfers, you can get real-time lightening strike alerts for $11.95 a year or bundle both the Weather Call To Go with the Lightening Strike Alert for $17.95 a year. You can sign up at the following link: http://www.wcsyslp.com/ktul/togo.
You may also keep abreast of the storms by viewing Storm Trackers. This website gives you a radar of the storms along with the location of all the storm trackers. Click on one of the cars to see their live streaming video of the storms. You can ride along with professional storm chasers from the safety of your computer in real time. You can watch for free at http://www.chasertv.com/ or if you have difficulty loading during high traffic times, you can watch for free at http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/storm-chasers/live-tracker/live-tracker.html
- iMap Weather Radio is available for both iPhone and Android phone users. It turns your smart phone into an emergency weather radio. Get storm-based alerts for tornado, flood, thunderstorm and other life-threatening weather. It is $9.99 from your app store.
- StormShield by E.W. Scripps Company is available for both iPhone and Android smart phones. It turns your smart phone into an emergency weather radio. Get storm-based alerts for tornado, flood, thunderstorm and other life-threatening weather. It is $4.99 from your app store. (If you have a jailbroke iPhone, this app may not function properly.)
- Simple Weather Alert is a FREE app for Android phone users. It monitors the NWS for your area and will alert you when their is severe weather headed your way. You can set it to flash lights, and ring bells when a tornado warning is issued for your area. You can download it from your app store.
- NOAA Weather Alert Lite is a FREE app available for iPhone users, however it does NOT send out emergency alerts. You have to upgrade to their full paid version NOAA Weather Alert Plus for $4.99 to receive severe weather alerts. Warning: It is not as reliable and good a system as iMap Weather Radio.
- Tornado by American Red Cross
This FREE app works on all forms of smart phones, and ipads, etc. It is available in English and Spanish. It uses a loud alarm when it makes tornado notifications. You can download it from your app store. More info on it here: http://www.redcross.org/news/press-release/New-Tornado-App-Brings-Safety-Information-to-Mobile-Devices
- Location-based NOAA tornado, severe thunderstorm and flood watch and warning alerts;
- Enhanced weather maps and information provided by Weather Underground, a digital brand of The Weather Company;
- One-touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to broadcast reassurance to family and friends via social media outlets that they are out of harm’s way;
- Simple steps and checklists people can use to create an emergency plan and share it with household members;
- Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity;
- Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm;
- Locations of open Red Cross shelters;
In case of a Tornado
Precautions you can take:
Place gallons of water, medicine, non-perishable food (food for pets too), flashlights, radio and extra batteries in your shelter/closet/bathroom…wherever you go to escape the storm. Wear bike helmets, batting helmets etc. to protect your head. Cover yourself with a mattress if possible. Charge your phones and turn your GPS locator on if you have one. Tell at least three people where your safe place is so they will know where to look for you. Register your storm shelter with your local law enforcement and/or your fire department…this will give them a location to begin looking for you and your family if there is debris.
- Go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level.
- If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
- Put on sturdy shoes.
- Put on a helmet (motorcycle, bicycle) to protect your head and goggles if you have them.
- Cover yourself with a mattress.
- Do not open windows.
- If in Tulsa in a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
- If in a mobile home, get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.
- Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
- Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
More safety tips: