(Effective October 2014) 

Weather Alerts Available in Norris Area 

The Norris City Council has reviewed different options and types of community emergency broadcast systems.  This review included a recent Public Workshop where a representative of the Tennessee Municipal Technical Advisory Service reviewed the different types of systems available.  While discussion is ongoing regarding systems that would require the City to expend funds (such as warning sirens and/or subscription based technology services), options are available now to every household in Norris for receiving emergency alerts. 

Different types of emergency alerting methods available today to local households are:

  • Local News broadcasts on radio and TV
  • The Emergency Alert System on radio and TV
  • NOAA Weather Radio
  • NOAA iNWS
  • Wireless Emergency Alerts

NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) is an established technology with systems that cover almost the entire country.   Radios are affordable ($16.00 and up) and readily available at many stores. These radios provide continuous broadcasting of current weather conditions and local forecast plus alerts.  New models of these radios can be programmed to specific areas so that a person could only receive local alerts if desired.   NWR broadcasts warning and post-event information for all types of hazards including: 

  • Severe weather
  • Earthquakes and avalanches
  • Environmental accidents such as chemical releases or oil spills
  • Public safety issues such as a child abduction or 911 telephone outage
  • Alerts are targeted using Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) codes
  • NOAA partners with emergency managers and other public officials for an all-hazards alerting system
  • NWR website: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr

iNWS Mobile Alerting is an interactive function of the National Weather Service (NWS).  This service allows a person to receive customized text message and email alerts from the national Weather Service.   Sign-up on-line: http://inws.ncep.noaa.gov/ 

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) is an emergency notification method sent by authorized government alerting authorities through your mobile carrier.  Alert types: 

Ø  Extreme weather, and other threatening emergencies in your area

Ø  AMBER alerts

Ø  Presidential alerts during a national emergency

WEA service is offered for free by wireless carriers.  The device must be WEA-capable, and it should be noted that some older cell phones/devices are not. WEA messages do not count towards texting limits on wireless plans.  The number of messages depends on the number of imminent threats to life or property in the affected area.  WEAs are broadcast from area cell towers to mobile devices in the area.  Every WEA-capable phone/device within range receives the message. WEAs look like a test message and will show:

Ø  The type and time of the alert

Ø  Any action you should take

Ø  The agency issuing the alert

The message will be no more than 90 characters and will not disrupt test, calls, or data sessions that in progress.  Alerts are rebroadcast until the emergency situation has passed and is no longer a threat to those in the area.   WEAs are unique from text messages in that WEA delivery is immediate and not subject to wireless network congestion/delays for voice or text messages.  Participating wireless carriers include:

o   AT&T Wireless

o   Bluegrass Cellular

o   Cellcom

o   Cricket

o   Sprint

o   T-Mobile USA

o   U.S. Cellular

o   Verizon

 

Everyone in the Norris community is encouraged to make use of these available systems, and be prepared!