As winter gives way to spring, our thoughts turn to the warm days ahead. Winter coats and boots are replaced by T-shirts and flip-flops. Instead of staying away from the cold, we’re out hiking our favorite trail or catching some rays at the beach.
But as we look forward to the spring and summer months, the threat of severe weather still looms. Late-season nor’easters can still batter the Northeast, tornadoes remain a threat in the Midwest and the South braces for another hurricane season.
Importance of Public Awareness
To help keep potentially dangerous weather events top of mind, many states host Severe Weather Preparedness Week campaigns during March and April. These events generate not only public awareness but also provide life-saving preparedness education and practices. Many states also use the week to perform statewide drills to be better prepared to handle events including floods, tornadoes, and even tsunamis.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has taken this approach a step further by emphasizing year-round weather preparedness. The NWS has created campaigns tailored for all seasons, including hurricane season.
Severe Weather Doesn’t Wait
Since severe weather can strike at any moment, organizations—especially ones responsible for large workforces, student bodies, or patients —must always be prepared for the worst. Having accurate and timely weather forecasts as part of an emergency mass communication system is key.
The Alertus ThreatWatcher tool can automatically broadcast real-time weather updates and up-to-the-minute, site-specific warnings from AccuWeather Skyguard®, Severe Weather Warnings, and from the NWS to multiple endpoints of the Alertus Emergency Notification System.
Once the threat becomes realized, organizations then need to enact their emergency plans. In 2015, a tornado event caused Shawnee Mission Medical Center in Kansas to jump into action.
The facility received two different tornado warnings: An “Imminent Warning” for the main campus in Merriam, KS and a “Null Warning” for its nearby sister location in Lenexa, KS. Since the alert notifications required different actions, the Alertus System was used to send a targeted, customized message for each location. They were able to notify personnel at the sister location that patients did not need to be moved while simultaneously notifying the main campus that patients did need to be moved.
Are You Ready?
If your state hosts a severe weather week, it is an opportune time to stop and review your emergency weather preparedness plans to ensure you are ready when severe weather strikes.
Click here to watch a recent Alertus webinar to learn how the Alertus ThreatWatcher notification tool could work for you. Also, be sure to register here for our upcoming webinar on April 19, featuring Methodist University, which will offer a deep dive into Alertus' outdoor notification capabilities.
For more information on all Alertus notification solutions, you can also contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.