By Shawn Ryan
What you ignore may get you injured—or worse.
That certainly can be the case when it comes to Severe Weather alerts. Some people see an alert pop up on their cell phone or email and think, “What’s the big deal” or “Why worry about something that may not happen?”
That’s a dangerous mindset, said Tim Pridemore, emergency management coordinator for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
“Weather information provided by UTC-ALERT is specific to the campus,” he said. “We encourage everyone to have a way of monitoring the weather wherever they are. That can be a weather radio or even a good weather app on their phone.
“All of the weather warning technology in the world does no good if people are not listening for the message.”
Severe Weather Awareness Week runs from Feb. 19-25 and is presented by the National Weather Service offices in Tennessee. Free online presentations will cover a new topic each day during the week.
“There is a reason why 24 of the 25 deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history occurred prior to 1955,” Pridemore said. “There was no radar, little ability to push out the warning and no storm spotters to report what was actually happening on the ground.
“For all of our technology, there is nothing like having eyes on the storm, a system to capture that information and the ability to alert people in advance.”