Below is a blog entry I wrote a last summer when I signed up for Storm Call. I think it's worth another look. This week's weather here and elsewhere is a perfect example of how 11 Storm Call can be a crucial way to get the warning.
First Published July 14th, 2009
I just signed up for 11 Storm Call. I didn't do it because anyone told me to - or even asked me to. I did it because I get it. I understand why this is better than any other notification system for potentially deadly weather. I work at a TV station, so I'm pretty plugged in to weather situations, heck, I sit right next to the weather guy three times a day.
But I've been in this situation, maybe you have too. I'm at home, maybe listening to music, watching a DVD, reading, anything that doesn't give me immediate access to up-to-the-minute warnings by TV or computer. Clearly I'm usually aware if there's a storm outside, but it happens all time around here. I'm not always aware if a typical thunderstorm becomes a tornado warning.
With this system I will know, every time, any time, even if it's a situation like the one above. How about this, it's the middle of the night, and a storm doesn't wake me up. A phone call always wakes me up. I've got it set up to call my home number, and my cell number. I always have the ringers on in case I'm needed at work for breaking news. I will get a phone message from Brian Bledsoe, and believe me, if it's a tornado warning, I will get the message.
Whenever it's really bad weather-wise, I'm tempted to call family members who live in the same area and make sure they're aware of the danger. Now I'm going to get all of them to sign up too. I'll feel better knowing they're all safe.
Lots of us have fancy cell phones, i-phones, blackberries that do give you e-mail updates. Don't you switch those off at night? If your TV and radio are off, you won't hear about what's happening. This phone call will get your attention. You can also set it up to send an e-mail or text message too, for times when you are more connected, if that's what you want.
OK, so what about one of those special weather radios. They're pretty good. But with those, you get warnings by county. El Paso is a big county. If you live in Fountain, you don't really care about a tornado warning for Peyton, and vice versa, but you still get the alert. How many false alarms will it take before you just shut the thing off? Then it's not doing you any good at all.
With Storm Call, you get warnings down to the neighborhood level. It's all done by zip codes and a gps pinpoint of your exact street address. Like Brian Bledsoe says, if your home is 10 feet outside the warning zone, you won't get the call, you won't get the annoying false alarms.
Bottom line, you're going to see TV stations hyping their own warning systems, and they're all OK. This one is better for the reasons I just outlined. I'm signed up to get the call, you should be too. It's kind of like having Brian as a buddy who wants to call and give you a heads-up if there's trouble. I know Brian pretty well, but I don't think he'd call me with a weather warning...now he will. He'll call you too. You can sign up by clicking on weather on our home page, then on 11 Storm Call. Here's a link.
It is $9.95 a year, less than a dollar a month. I think it's a little very money well spent.
We'll talk again soon.