Social Media plays a big role in our everyday lives, but it can also save your life.
Did you know that 95% of Americans own a cellphone? That means you’ve probably gotten an alert about severe weather.
Although social media use has grown in recent years. It’s where a lot of people go for information, but also a big step forward from how we used to get weather alerts.
“Back in the old days there were a relatively limited number of ways to get severe weather information,” said Gary Woodall, the warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service.
Woodall recommends three methods for receiving alerts.
“One is hopefully a NOAA weather radio, because with the alarm feature with will wake you up or alert you. Our partners at the commercial media are a great way to get weather information. Smartphone apps, wireless alert notifications that we receive on our smartphone,” Woodall said.
The average person spends about 116 minutes a day on social platforms. One of the mediums is Twitter.
Woodall and his staff heavily utilize the site to keep the Mid-South informed when threatened by inclement weather.
Woodall also said, “If we get pictures of damage or pictures of a storm that’s moving into an area, we’ll retweet it that way we can re-emphasize to people that yes this is a hazard, this is a threat coming through.”
Download the FOX13 Memphis app to receive alerts from breaking news in your neighborhood.
Your photos and tweets also help during and after a weather event.
“The old saying a picture is worth a thousand words really comes true when we’re talking about tornados and severe thunderstorms. So, it’s helpful for us – it helps with our verification and reinforces to us that yes, the signature we’re seeing on radar is actually taking place,” Woodall explained.
But always remember, never put yourself in harm’s way for prestige. It’s safer to take shelter during the storm.
Safety should always be a priority during hazardous weather.
“Our primary goal when using social media is to help accomplish our mission of protecting life and property here in the Mid-South.”
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