The National Weather Service is shifting its focus from the brutally cold winter this week to spring.
Specifically, its looking at the severe weather that commonly occurs during these months of change.
For National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, one topic in particular is possibly the most important because it could save your life and the lives of your family: Weather alerts.
These weather alerts are issued in the form of advisories (weather is a minor inconvenience), watches (conditions are likely for dangerous weather) and warnings (dangerous weather is imminent, take cover). You can receive these alerts in many different ways -- sirens, television, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio, and now on your smartphone.
The average lead-time for a tornado warning is 13 minutes, according to the NOAA. That’s not much time to get to safety, especially if you don’t get the warning right away. With tornado sirens, you have to be outside to hear them.
For TV, you have to be watching. A NOAA weather radio will notify you immediately as long as it’s close by. That’s why your smartphone, armed with the Storm Shield Weather Radio App, is likely the best option. Chances are, you have it on you, and it’ll alert you the fastest in a situation when seconds count.
The Storm Shield Weather Radio App keeps track of your exact location. If you land within one of the watch or warning boxes, your phone sends out an alarm, giving you the maximum amount of time to get to a safe place. Because the app knows where you are, you won’t receive any false alarms either, getting warnings places miles away.
Storm Shield is available for iPhone and Android devices at the iTunes and Google Play app stores.
Follow Storm Shield Meteorologist Jason Meyers via the Storm Shield app on twitter, @StormShieldApp and Facebook. Download the Storm Shield Weather Radio App for your iPhone or Android device and get severe weather alerts wherever you are.