Alerts And Warnings
Receiving timely information about weather conditions or other emergency events can make all the difference in knowing when to take action to be safe. Local police and fire departments, emergency managers, the National Weather Service (NWS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and private industry are working together to make sure you can receive alerts and warnings quickly through several different technologies no matter where you are–at home, at school, at work, or in the community.
For those with access and functional needs, many messages are TTY/TDD compatible and many devices have accessible accommodations. Review this page to make sure you will receive critical information as soon as possible so you can take action to be safe. Be sure to share this information with your family, friends, and colleagues. And remember to keep extra batteries for your mobile phone or radio in a safe place or consider purchasing other back-up power supplies such as a car, solar-powered, or hand crank charger
IPAWS INTEGRATED PUBLIC ALERT AND WARNING SYSTEM
Organized by FEMA, the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) is the Nation’s alert and warning infrastructure. It provides an effective way to alert and warn the public about emergencies using the Emergency Alert System (EAS), Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, and other public alerting systems from a single interface. IPAWS is used to send notifications for three alert categories— Presidential, AMBER, and Imminent Threat.
Using IPAWS, officials can send messages simultaneously through multiple pathways, including:
- EAS: used by alerting authorities to send detailed warnings to broadcast, cable, satellite, and wireline communication pathways;
- WEA: Free, 90-character emergency text messages sent by local alerting authorities to equipped mobile devices within range of cell towers broadcasting in the affected area. You do not have to sign up for WEA alerts. To find out if your mobile device is capable of receiving WEA alerts, contact your cellular service provider or visit www.ctia.org/WEA; and
- IPAWS compliant digital road signs, sirens, and other systems.
Note: For more information on IPAWS, EAS, and WEA, visit www.ready.gov/alerts
NOAA WEATHER RADIO ALL HAZARDS
The NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, or NWR, is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting forecasts, warnings, and emergency information 24 hours a day. It is a comprehensive weather and emergency information service available to the public. All-hazards messages include weather events, technological incidents like chemical spills, AMBER alerts, and national emergencies. NWR also broadcasts EAS notices.
A special weather radio receiver is required to receive NWR broadcasts. You can buy these receivers at many retail outlets such as electronics stores, department stores, big box stores, or online. Be sure to look for the Public Alert or NWR logo to ensure the radio meets technical requirements. Models identified as SAME, or Specific Area Message Encoding, receivers allow users to select alerts for specific geographic areas. For information on NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, visit www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr.
Get alerted about emergencies and other important community news by signing up for the City of Memphis Emergency Alert Program. This system enables the City to provide you with critical information quickly in a variety of situations such as severe weather, unexpected road closures, missing persons, and evacuations of buildings or neighborhoods.
You will receive time Sensitive Messages wherever you specify, such as your home, mobile or business phones, email address, text messages and more. You pick how.
OUTDOOR WARNING SIREN SYSTEM
The Outdoor Warning Siren System is used to alert people outdoors of an immediate danger so they can take cover. The system is not designed to be heard inside building walls. The City of Memphis has 105 outdoor warning sirens throughout the community and are tested every Wednesday at 3:30PM-weather permitted.
LOCAL SCHOOL OR ORGANIZATION NOTIFICATION SYSTEMS
Many workplaces, schools, and community- and faith-based organizations have notification systems to warn individuals of emergencies and provide tailored notifications. These may range from listservs to opt-in text and email systems similar to those used by local jurisdictions. Check with your organization today.
MOBILE APPS WITH LOCAL ALERT FUNCTIONS
ReadyTN is a mobile device application from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) providing emergency preparedness, response, and recovery information to Tennesseans. The App provides situational awareness for Tennesseans with information on road conditions, weather updates, open shelters, and contacts for county emergency agencies.
Stay updated with severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations across the U.S.; learn how to stay safe before, during, and after over 20 types of hazards; save a custom list of the items in your family’s emergency kit; and locate and receive driving directions to open shelters and disaster recovery centers. You can also submit disaster-related photos to a public map using the Disaster Reporter feature. The FEMA App is also available in Spanish. Download the app to your mobile device or smartphone free on iTunes or Google Play. Learn more at www.fema.gov/mobile-app.
AMERICAN RED CROSS APP
The Red Cross Emergency app combines more than 35 different types of severe weather and emergency alerts. You can choose the alerts that are important to your location or the location of loved ones. The “Family Safe” feature allows you to notify loved ones that an alert has been issued in their area and check to see if they are safe. The app also offers information on what to do before, during, and after severe weather hits and how to find open Red Cross Shelters. All content is also available in Spanish. You can download the app to your mobile device or smartphone free on iTunes (Apple-iOS 6.0 or later) and Google Play (Android). Learn more at www.redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps.
Summary of Actions
- Confirm your mobile device can receive Wireless Emergency Alerts.
- Sign up for text and/or email alerts from the City of Memphis
- Consider purchasing a NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards.
- Sign up for alerts for the workplace, schools, houses of worship, or other community organizations you’ll want to hear from in an emergency.
- Download relevant hazard alerts and warnings apps.
- Create a list of all the alert systems available to you, and make sure everyone in the household receives the alerts as part of your household communication system.