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How Texting Can Keep You Safe in Severe Weather

How Texting Can Keep You Safe in Severe Weather
Most of us can recall a time when we wished we'd planned a little better during a big storm. After all, bad weather is an unavoidable fact of life, and all we can do when severe weather is expected is plan accordingly to stay warm, dry, and safe. Believe it or not, text messaging can help you do that: SMS weather alerts are perhaps the most powerful and effective tool to stay in the know, and therefore to plan right, for severe weather.

Text message weather warnings take advantage of the immediacy of SMS. During an inclement weather situation, it is best to be in the know as soon as possible. Rather than finding out via friends and family or news articles, getting information from text alerts ensures that updates are immediate. And text messages are more likely to be seen, and seen immediately, than other media like broadcasts and emails.

Because of this, text message alerts contribute to the best kind of weather emergency preparedness system. While sooner is usually better than later, time is especially of the essence during inclement weather. The quicker someone finds out about an upcoming storm or an expected tornado, the more time they will have to plan accordingly. This is especially important in the case of an acute weather emergency, where every second counts in taking protective action.

SMS weather alert services are also powerful because of their accuracy. While word passed along by a friend, family member, or roommate may be correct, it could falter on smaller details. Weather alert texts are accurate, up-to-date, and may include detailed information such as expected conditions, timing, and affected areas.

And, of course, SMS is a fairly robust line of contact during inclement weather. When landlines are down and the power is out, making Internet and television broadcasts inaccessible, text messages can often still be sent and received, making it an ideal way of keeping affected people posted with relevant updates during a weather emergency.

Several subscription services to SMS weather alerts exist to meet a range of needs. The National Weather Service offers a list of a diverse range of listservs, many of which are free and have SMS capabilities. Several of the services are region-specific, catering to a specific state or even a specific county. Others offer alerts for specific interest groups that may be affected by weather differently, like sailors. Some listservs watch for specific weather events, from hail to tornadoes to tsunamis.

There are also several more universal, "all-purpose" SMS weather update services available. Severe Warning Systems and Weather Underground, among others, offer text message listservs that send general weather alerts tailored to subscribers' locations. These services are great ways for the average person without very particular region- or activity-specific weather concerns to ensure that they will be in the know immediately and kept up to date should severe weather seem imminent.

Text messaging has been applied to an impressive array of technologies and tactics to keep us safe. With inclement weather being a situation so many of us are familiar with, this use of SMS is a widely relevant and helpful way to stay safe, prepared, and up-to-date when things take a turn for the worse.

About the Author -
Sharon Housley is the VP of Marketing for NotePage, Inc. a software company for communication software solutions. http://www.notepage.net


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