Severe Weather Awareness Week: Receiving warning information

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - You should have several different ways of being notified of warnings. If you have only one or two, and they fail, you may not find out about a dangerous thunderstorm in time. You should also think about when each one will work best for you, and when won’t: are you at home? Work? Driving? What about when you’re sleeping?

KCRG-TV9 is a great way of getting severe weather information when you’re awake, but we can’t turn on your TV when you’re asleep to tell you something is coming.

The KCRG-TV9 First Alert Weather app can send you push notifications of warnings day and night, and you can have the app follow your location so you get alerts wherever you are.

NOAA Weather Radio has a loud tone-alert when your county goes under a weather warning. It also has a battery backup so that, if you lose power, you’ll still get alerts.

WeatherCall is a subscription service that will call your phone when a weather warning is issued for your home address.

A couple of our radio partners carry KCRG-TV9’s severe weather coverage. In the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City areas, it’s carried by AM 600 WMT. In the Waterloo area, it’s covered by NewsTalk 1540 KXEL.

Nearly all cell phones receive “wireless emergency alerts,” which includes tornado warnings. These alerts come in automatically but don’t give much information.

Outdoor warning sirens (often called “tornado sirens”) can notify you of incoming severe weather. However, you should not rely on these because they’re meant for people outdoors, not indoors. The reasons they go off are different from city to city and county to county, as well.