How it Works

Dissemination Of Weather Alert Information

Introduction to weather alert systems

Weather alerts notify people about weather conditions in a particular area to make them prepared in advance to minimize the dangers associated with it. Receiving early warnings about severe weather or other disasters make people take action and be safe. The National Weather Service (NWS), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and private industry work together to ensure that people receive weather alerts and warnings quickly regardless of where they are at home, school, work, or in the community. Weather Alert must reach people who are more susceptible to events.

Effective communication with fundamental and usable information is critical for organizations and communities to plan and react appropriately, saving lives and livelihoods. Reliability, trust, and honesty is an essential elements of effective disaster communication. However, if the information source is not trustworthy, persons at risk may fail to respond promptly to the warnings. Establishing trust takes time.

Local, regional, and municipal communication networks should be established ahead of time, as well as credible voices. Multiple dissemination channels are used to alert as many communities as possible, ensuring that no victim is left out from notifications. So, the agencies ensure that warning messages reach the person either through radios, text, emails, billboards, social media, or any other distribution channels.

Color levels in weather alert

Yellow color weather alert

The YELLOW level weather alerts advise individuals who are in danger due to the nature of their geographical location or activities, enabling them to take measures. The YELLOW weather alert describes weather conditions that cannot cause severe hazards though necessary precautions are required. When the yellow level is coming, people get aware of the weather conditions. And they should continue with their normal activities bearing in mind the small impacts that the weather conditions may cause.

Orange color weather alert

The ORANGE level weather alert issues warnings of weather conditions that cause significant impacts on people and property. When the orange weather alert comes, people in geographical locations should prepare themselves for the coming consequences. The orange color simply means people should get ready for any devastating impact of weather conditions.

Red color Level weather alert

The RED level extreme weather alerts are dangerous weather alerts to the public. The probability of weather conditions to cause severe damages and destruction of properties is high. Victims should take measures to safeguard themselves. And their assets from deadly weather conditions.

People can move to safer places, lock themselves in the house or undertake other precautionary measures. The red weather alerts signify that the possibilities of a hazardous event occurring are high. So, it affects communities or individuals to take safety measures to protect themselves and their properties. The government and other agencies collaborate to enhance proper mitigation tools that save lives and properties.

How weather alerts system works

Integrate warning teams, including the NWS, local media, and emergency management to develop a mass communication protocol. Undoubtedly, trust is fundamental in this situation. The NWS then generates alert polygons on geographic location. After this, the collaborative team generates alerts for the weather conditions through SMS, radio, and television.

An “outlook” indicates preparation for forthcoming weather conditions. A “watch” suggests that the public should keep an eye out for adverse weather. And a “warning” signifies that severe weather is imminent, and an extreme “alert” indicates that people should take urgent action. The measures and cause are covered in the notification message.

Methods of disseminating Weather alert information

One of the most essential duties of the weather industry is to offer timely and accurate weather alerts to the public. The public are in better position now in terms of accessing weather alerts. It was twenty years ago when the only methods of getting a warning were by radio, television, or sirens.

Text and email opt-in and sign-up systems

Many regions provide public alert and opt-in warning systems. When people register in opt-in system, they must create an account where they will be receiving weather alerts. Most opt-in systems allow users to select the best device to receive weather alerts. Receiving text messages does not require internet connectivity and can support all forms of phones. It is one of the best modes of notification for those people without televisions and radios in their houses. Receiving text messages from the mobile device service provider is less costly.

Using Televisions and Radios

Television and radio stations play an essential role in giving weather alert information to the public. World meteorological departments can send weather forecasts data, alerts, and watches to different media stations such as television and radios. Radio listening is one of the means by which people from remote areas receive weather alert information. While almost 80% of the households in the world use televisions to acquire information because images like radar displays and maps utilizing to illustrate the incident in depth is a good source of emergency information.

Use of Outdoor sirens

Outdoor sirens are intended to alert those people who are outside. Sirens are not designed to warn individuals in cars, houses, or other closed structures. Although sirens were traditionally used to alert people indoors, the insulation of advanced energy-saving minimizes the sound levels.

Emergency Alert System

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a global weather alerts technology that broadcasts essential weather information to the public via radio, television, and satellite channels during times of adverse weather conditions.

Wireless Emergency Alerts through mobile phones

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are brief alert messages broadcasted from cellphone towers to any WEA enabled mobile device in a disaster prone zone by approval from federal, state, municipal, local, and territorial public alerting authorities. Mobile phone broadcast technology is widely applied by wireless companies for WEA message transmission. WEAs are public service announcements that warn the public of an approaching natural or man-made calamity. The WEA system offers instant messages that are life-saving. The meteorological departments send weather alerts to the various organizations and cell towers in the regions to receive them.

These weather alerts will then be sent to all cellphones with that cell tower. The WEA technology does not have the capability to detect locations. And the weather alerts are transmitted to all mobile phones. Tornado alerts, Extreme Wind Alerts, and Flash Flood Warnings are examples of weather alerts which are issued by the World Meteorological Department. The government sends emergency warnings requiring evacuation or prompt action during a major disaster.

PEP (Primary Entry Point) stations

PEP stations are private or commercial radio broadcast stations that collaborate to offer the public emergency weather alerts before. This weather alert system is in the U.S presenters have a built-up communication mechanism that will allow them to provide weather alerts to the public even if the electricity is disrupted.

Social media platforms

Social media is becoming more popular, but it is still mostly the domain of urbanites and internet connectivity. This dynamic is fast-changing, and having a social media plan in place will help in early warnings. Also, the dissemination of Public service announcements and necessary details about weather alerts and measures should be undertaken. Multiple channels necessitate distinct dynamics. Similarly, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms solicit and share information.

Mobile apps

Weather alerts apps installed on mobile phones plays a role in sharing information with individuals. They can detect the weather conditions of geographical locations so, they alert mobile users on the intensity of the weather and the time of occurrence. People can prepare themselves by either evacuating to safer places or staying indoors until the condition calms down. The only disadvantage with the emergency alert system is, the smartphone users who can access it.

Public education

Public education improves the community’s resilience to respond to extreme weather events. People get life skills at the risks of dangers, communication methods and the relevance of alerts and measures to prevent losses and damage. However, Government agencies, weather experts, and NGOs provide public education on the onset of adverse weather circumstances, communities’ capability to adapt by their knowledge of the risk association with weather conditions, and what precaution measures should be undertaken when the weather conditions become severe.


In summary, weather alerts system is an adaptation and mitigation tool that uses integrate communication technologies to assist societies in preparation for severe weather occurrences.

More lives and properties are protected through the enactment of an effective weather alert system. Weather monitoring systems will aid public authorities and administrators in their preparations, cutting costs and safeguarding the economy. However, weather alert systems must actively involve individuals and communities at risk from various hazards and enhance public awareness and education about the dangers. So, effectively share messages and weather alerts, and guarantee a continuous state of preparedness and the ability to take early action.