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Best Sources for Weather Alert Information

On January 23, ABC News mistakenly reported that individuals can sign up for weather alerts through FEMA. We’ve seen a lot of interest from the public following that report and we wanted to correct that point: FEMA does not send out alerts as this is a local responsibility. When natural disasters strike, it is important to follow the advice of state and local officials, and so here is some helpful information on ways you can get information and receive alerts.
  • Talk to your local emergency management agency.  There are actions that should be taken before, during and after an event that are unique to each hazard.  Identify the hazards that have happened, or could happen, in your area and plan for the unique actions for each.  Local emergency management offices can help identify the hazards in your area and outline the local plans and recommendations for each. You can also find out from your local government emergency management office how you will be notified for disasters.
  • Check on alert and warning systems for workplace, schools and other locations.  The methods of getting your attention vary from community to community.  One common method is to broadcast via emergency radio and TV broadcasts.  You might hear a special siren, or get a telephone call, or in rare circumstances, volunteers and emergency workers may go door to door.
  • Listen to NOAA weather radio and local news to monitor for severe weather updates and warnings.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service remains the source for official weather watches and warnings. You can sign up to receive their email weather alerts at

In addition, there are some other things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling a supply kit and developing a family emergency plan.  You can get more information on preparedness tips at // or // to find out how you can protect your family during emergencies.

Last Updated: 
06/02/2017 - 09:29


With as much tax dollars as Americans shell out, I believe it would be a great idea to alert the public by phone in the event of a severe storm. Especially at night when they may be sleeping. Come on! Save some lives!

Is there a way you can be notified by phone during a severe storm warning/tornado warning? If you are under a warning in the middle of the night (like Sunday night in Alabama), there is no way to know if you are sleeping. I think it would be great if you could receive a phone call to alert you.

@Anonymous above - Many communities already offer this service. <br /><br />In my state, half of the counties provide free, opt-in emergency notification. I would suggest contacting your local officials to organize, as FEMA suggested above.

Purchase a good weather radio with SAME codes & battery backup - follow directions with radio. Check for signal reception frequently in the location you place it. If no radio coverage try freeware (donation requested) WX Warn found at customize it and leave computer on. Personal opinion ... cell towers should be required to broadcast alerts based on their location so if you travel you get local alerts as well as where you registered for alerts.

According to CNN, fema is suppose to hv phn alert. I only came to this site to sign up, but seems like they ARE NOT MAKING IT EASY TO FIND OR SIGN UP FOR.....HINT!

It has happened again. The News Media reporting information without getting their facts verifed from the source.

100% correct! I also came to this website to get phone alerts for my family who live in the South. Looks like FEMA does not even offer this service, thanks CNN for reporting something false...

I was very excited when I saw on TV that we could sign up at to receive a phone call especially at night and surprise surprise I find it was not true. Shame on you for reporting that.

It was told on the news last night that you could go to and register to get alerts on your phone for tornados/severe weather.....I can't find it! Anyone else?

This is the purpose of NOAA Weather Radios. You program it with your area and if a warning is issued, it will sound a significantly loud alarm.

Diane Sawyer should have gotten her facts straight. The threat of severe weather WAS forcasted and in the media for days before. The weather men in Alabama all did a great job of keeping us informed. Kudos to James Spann and all the others who were up all night keeping us informed. I personally dont have a NOAA Weather Radio, however I do have an App on my Smart Phone that alerts me of severe weather. I made sure the volume was set loud enough to wake me up. It did! Moments later my daughter came into my room as her boyfriend had called to alert us as well (as he lived in Concord and lost his home back in the April 27th tornado). We could barely hear the sirens outside ... but then again we did NOT and do NOT rely on them. The weather App worked great. However I do believe I will also purchase the NOAA Weather Radio as well. People there IS a way of knowing ... purchase a Weather Radio or download an App. Protect your family!!

FEMA didnt report it. ABC News (Diane Sawyer) did. FEMA is just being kind enough to post that ABC News uiincorrectly reported this information. FEMA is also kind enough to inform us of ways to protect ourselves.

On January 23, ABC News mistakenly reported that individuals can sign up for weather alerts through FEMA. We’ve seen a lot of interest from the public following that report and we wanted to correct that point: FEMA does not send out alerts as this is a local responsibility.

Did you read before you posted? FEMA does NOT offer this service which is why you can't find it!

The people in Alabama were warned well in advance of bedtime. Most of us were not surprised. Stop believing everything the national media tells you. Get NOAA weather alerts via radio email or smart phone apps.

You can download an app on your phone: iWeather Radio. It acts as a weather radio

Did you even READ the above post?? Might want to next time BEFORE posting a comment. And don't you know network news do NOT always get the facts right.

If you live in Alabama you can sign up for weather calls about tornado for your area through abc3340

I keep my cell phone on vibrate at night so that I cannot be disturbed and who has a landline anymore? This is why you purchase a weather radio so you can be aware of storm warnings.

I use the IMap weather Radio for my iPhone and iPad. It wokeme up Sunday night during the severe weather in Alabama. The first warning went off at 3:00 notifying me that we were under a tornado watch and then continued to alert me as our county and surrounding counties were under a tornado . The tornado hit approx. 1/2 to 1 mile from my home.

CNN made several mistakes in the report on the tornados Sunday night and Monday morning. I hope they realize this.

I'm told there are apps for Smart Phones but have not looked into it yet. Does anyone know?

I also am looking for the alert call. Maybe they will have someday.

ABC news sucks!

I do not trust FEMA at all. They were horrible when my mom's house flooded - so much red tape and not any results!!! I trust local weather channel (James Spann) and my phone alerts! <br />"Typical media and their good ole boys club!" shame on ABC news!

I too came to this site to sign up for a phone call from FEMA only to learn it was a false statement. You tv guys should check your facts before putting it out to the public. I believe some agency here in the South should do the phone call alert. I don't text and my phone is so ancient it isn't up to date for apps. Guess I'll visit Radio Shack and get a NOAA radio. I hope they can program it for me.

It was ABC News. As you probably know, mistakes do happen. Haha

Really!!! I heard it on ABC nightly news. Guess they should have given more information, but guess they couldn't since they didn't have any.

If you came here looking for a way to give FEMA your phone number because of something you saw on the news, forget it. The news was wrong. The news, at least ABC, said the tornadoes of Jan.23rd took people by surprise and without warning. Also wrong. At least in and around Birmingham, Alabama we were aware of impending bad weather for a couple of days in advance, both on Jan.23rd AND April 27, 2011. Here are some of the ways we get severe weather info without relying on FEMA: NOAA weather radio, local radio, local tv, text message (usually a service provided by local radio and / or local tv), phone app, iPad or Android tablet app (The Weather Channel, for instance), local newspaper, conversation with fellow human beings ("Say, you heard anything about the weather?" "Yeah, they say it's supposed to get bad tonight." "Really? When?" "I heard around 11pm but they may have changed it. Might want to listen to the radio instead of your iPod to make sure."), and finally - as a course of last resort - looking out a window. To be sure, that last one only works in daylight and only out of windows actually facing any approaching storms. I've tried them all and they all work. <br />4-27-11 Survivor (missed my home by 100 yards)

This would be a great idea considering there are a lot of rural areas who do not live near a siren! I would love to get a phone message or something on my cell phone if we were under a warning, even if we lived close to our little fire house, we do not have a siren. Imagine how many lives could be saved!

Great comments from you all, but those without smart phones and weather alert radios, go back to old school days, a dog ( inside or outside dog )will let you know the storm is coming. I experience that in Georgia, the dog will not stop backing till we realized it was because the storm was coming.

I thought it was a great idea and became excited that you could get weather alerts by FEMA. Tornadoes or other natural disasters striking at night are a scary reality. We really need to take those preparedness steps serious. Thanks for quickly clearing up the misinformation. Pamela K.

I don't care who reported it. Even though it was false, it's a very good idea. We as american's pay a lot of tax dollars. We've sent people to the moon and back. Get off ya behinds FEMA and make this a reality!!!!

The local ABC Huntsville, AL TV station (WAAY-TV) has a paid service to register your phone and be notified when a bad storm/tormado is approaching your immediate area. I believe you can register several phone numbers; i.e., home, cell, etc. for a price under $10.00 a year. Check the WAAY-TV website or call their Huntsville office to verify.

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It is not FEMA's mission to issue warnings of any kind. Their mission is after the storm. That is the duty of the National Weather Service. They have just rolled out a new nationwide alerting system that will get you warnings for whatever location you are currently in. You should be able to find the information about it on you nearest NWS website or the NOAA website.

Media can really mess things up. So many hoax news these days.. But new innovations must be done to alert people about weather...