5 THINGS TO KNOW: How can I receive severe weather alerts in a timely matter?

Apr. 25—The National Weather Service gives recommendations on how to stay informed and multiple ways to receive severe weather watches and warnings. The weather service says the majority of reported injuries and deaths occur to people who are unaware or uninformed. The following list is ways the weather service recommends for people to stay informed.

1 NOAA Weather Radio

A NOAA Weather Radio is a nationwide network of radio stations that broadcast continuous weather information directly from the NWS. The radios can be programmed to set off only for a certain county and come with custom alerts that are important to the user. The radios are also a part of the Emergency Alert System and can receive Amber Alerts and other alerts issued by public officials.

2 Local radio and television

Television and radio stations are a vital component of the NWS' warning system. Stations routinely broadcast official watches and warnings issued by the NWS as well as forecasts. While TV and radio stations are an excellent source of information, they have one major disadvantage as a means of receiving timely updates. Your radio or television has to be on and you have to be able to hear it or see it.

3 Wireless emergency alerts via mobile device

Wireless emergency alerts are emergency messages sent by authorized government alerting authorities through your mobile carrier. Types of weather warnings that you may receive from the NWS include: tornado warnings, extreme wind warnings, and flash flood warnings. Other alerts such as Amber Alerts and evacuation orders can also be received by mobile phones. If you are traveling, WEA will send you messages if you enter into an area that has previously received an alert

4 Cell phone applications

Many government agencies and private companies offer mobile apps that can send alerts to a mobile phone when they are issued. The American Red Cross has mobile apps for general severe weather, as well as specific options for tornado, hurricane, earthquake, and flood alerts. McAlester/Pittsburg County Emergency Management also has a free app mobile app that will send alerts for not only weather but for local water issues and escaped inmates from the local prisons.

5 Outdoor Sirens

Sirens are designed to alert individuals who are outdoors. Sirens are not intended to alert people who are in cars, homes, or other buildings. Hearing sirens indoors may have been possible in the past, however, this should no longer be expected. Energy conservation practices and better insulation have effectively reduced the sound penetration into these areas.

They are an outdoor alerting device and should be used as such.