Severe Weather Awareness: Different ways to receive weather alerts

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 3:26 PM CDT
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QUAD CITIES, Iowa/Ill. (KWQC) - Tornado sirens, or outdoor warning sirens, are something we are accustomed to hearing during the spring and summer storm season, alerting the potential for severe weather. However, sirens aren’t the most reliable way to receive important weather alerts.

Sirens are only meant to be heard if you are outside, not inside the comfort of your home.

In Scott and Rock Island counties, sirens will sound for Tornado Warnings and severe thunderstorms with the potential for 70 mph winds or greater, or hail that is golf ball size or larger.

You should have multiple ways to receive weather alerts.

A NOAA Weather Radio is the best way to stay up-to-date.

The FCC’s Emergency Alert System triggers the radio when a warning is issued to whatever county you live in, 24 hours a day, seven days per week. These useful tools can be purchased at your local hardware store.

On your phone, you can download the free QC Weather App powered by KWQC. You can set the app up to alert you anytime a watch or warning is issued.

It’s also important to make sure the Wireless Emergency Alerts, or WEA, are activated on your phone.

Anytime a Tornado Warning or significant Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Warning is issued, an alert will be sent to your smart phone.

Back in 2021, the National Weather Service began adding “damage tags” to Severe Thunderstorm Warnings.

Any Severe Thunderstorm Warning with the “destructive” damage threat will automatically activate the warning emergency alert on your smart phone. These are storms with the potential of baseball size hail and/or damaging winds of 80 mph.

When severe weather threatens any part of the KWQC viewing area, the First Alert Weather team will be on TV6 with the latest information.

You can get weather updates 24 hours a day on our new TV6 24/7 Weather Live Stream.