Wednesday May 25, 2011
This morning, I met with members of our MetroSafe team because we share a concern about the potential for very severe weather to hit the Louisville region Wednesday night.
Considering what has happened in Joplin, Missouri and other cities, I thought it was best to be proactive to warn our citizens and to do everything possible to help them stay safe.
Although forecasting the weather is always a bit unpredictable, it looks as if the severe weather — which could spawn tornadoes — will hit the city later this evening, with the worst of the storm passing through the area between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep.
I strongly encourage families to monitor the situation closely overnight. In addition to watching local media, citizens can also purchase weather radios and sign up for text alerts from various sources, such as the National Weather Service.
A text alert in the middle of the night might awaken you – but could also save your life. We have given to the media a list of places to sign up for text alerts and to buy weather radios.
As you know…and as you will hear about in my budget presentation on Thursday…the city is in the midst of purchasing the technology for an emergency alert system that will allow citizens to sign up for various alerts, via text, phone calls, email, etc. – however, that system is not yet in place.
I also want to remind citizens that the outdoor warning sirens will sound in case of severe weather; however, those sirens -- by design -- are not meant to be heard inside a house or building.
They are for people who happen to be outdoors when the weather approaches. Again, let me repeat that – the warning sires are not meant to awaken you inside your house.
Doug Hamilton, director of Emergency Management Agency and MetroSafe, will update us on the situation, which he and others will be monitoring overnight.
Severe Weather Safety Resources
One of the best items for real time warnings is to have a National Weather Service weather radio [with operating battery backup] in your home or business. While not fool proof, their reliability is high. Weather Radios are available at Target, Wal-Mart, Meijer's, Radio Shack, Walgreens, Home Depot, Lowes, etc. If a home or business can’t afford the radio [$25-$35], all televisions stations and all radio stations are required to broadcast tornado warnings in real time as part of their FCC licensing agreement. An additional method of notice is to enroll in any of the following services that provide free real time notice of weather warnings.
THE WEATHER CHANNEL
Get storm alerts and The Weather Channel local forecasts free on your desktop http://www.weather.com/services/desktop.html
weather.com on your mobile phone
weather.com on Internet Explorer
Weather Forecasts via Text Messaging
News and Radar
Get severe weather alerts on your cell phone http://www.whas11.com/weather/severe-weather/Get-severe-weather-alerts-on-your-cell-phone-92318299.html
WHAS511 Text Alerts
Weather E-Mail Alert sign up page (must register) http://weather.whas11.com/auto/whas11/member/editemailuser.html
Sign-Up for the Weather E-mail
Sign up for WAVE Text Alerts
Email Alert Signup
Weather alerts on cell phone with text messaging http://www.wlky.com/wirelessnews/index.html
Fox 41 iPhone app
Louisville Jefferson County EMA - http://www.emergencyemail.org/add.asp?src=&lc=11211