Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Blacksburg, VA

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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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