Severe weather: Preparedness and awareness

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) — Being prepared and aware of the weather conditions is important when severe weather is in the forecast. Having at least 2 ways to receive warnings is essential to staying safe and updated but even before weather starts getting active it’s important to know and understand what the forecast is.

The 13 Weather Team prides itself in having a daily weather story online as well as the brand new WIBW Weather App no matter what the forecast is but especially when there’s a risk of severe weather. This will be updated throughout the day as conditions and the forecast changes,

Not only does WIBW offer the brand new app through your phone which can follow you based on your GPS location and alert you when you're in a warning no matter where you are nationwide but we continue our partnership with Stormcall Storm Call as well which has an annual fee but it’s useful because it only warns you if you are actually in the warning polygon based on the address you enter into your profile. Even if you’re half a mile outside the polygon, you will not get a call to have to take action.

A weather radio is another great resource to receive warnings as well as social media. Be careful with facebook though as the feed may not show the newest post in a timely matter meaning you may not see the post that says there’s a warning for your area until it’s too late. Twitter is better for receiving warnings if you’re receiving warnings through social media.

There's also the outdoor sirens however sirens are meant for those that are outdoors to go inside and seek additional information. They are not meant to be heard inside and they don’t always necessarily mean there’s a tornado warning which is why you should be seeking additional information to find out why they are going off.

Bottom Line: Make sure you have at least two ways to receive warnings that are from different sources so if one fails (phone battery dies) you have the weather radio which has both power and backup batteries in it so you can continue to receive warnings. Knowing the forecast especially in the morning is only the beginning to staying safe and aware. It's important to stay updated throughout the day for any changes that there may be in the forecast and understand there will be changes. This is not because meteorologists don't know what they're doing, it's because they're constantly monitoring the latest models and current conditions to give you the latest and most up to date forecast as possible. It's also a way to get more specific as the day progresses on when to expect storms.

Remember we’re here if you have any questions on the forecast, it doesn’t do us or you any good if we give an accurate forecast if it’s not understood. Also know you have to do your part in staying safe, we can give you all the tools and forecast you need but you actually have to do some work to protect yourself and know how to take safe action during inclement weather.