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SMS Weather Notifications: How to Prepare for Bad Weather Before It Hits

Posted by Brooklin Nash in Emergency Notification on October 21, 2019

How to Send Weather Notifications via Mass Text Message

When dangerous weather is on the way, people need to know. Whether you’re responsible for teachers and students, employees in an office, or an entire city, you should prepare to keep your people up to date with weather notifications. Severe weather text alerts can keep everyone informed and safe in inclement weather.

In fact, severe weather text alerts can be useful before, during, and after an emergency weather situation if used correctly. This means it’s important that we learn to send quality weather notifications now so we’re pros when the bad weather really comes.

weather notifications, severe weather text alerts

Using SMS Weather Notifications Before Inclement Weather

Even when there’s no bad weather on the horizon, text message alerts are useful. This is mainly because practice makes perfect. So, practicing sending and responding to emergency weather text alerts helps everyone be more prepared when there is a true threat.

For example, consider managing an office building that holds about 100 employees. There are likely policies in place for business continuity in case of scenarios like a fire or flash flooding. But how can those in charge of the office ensure that all employees know these procedures?

The solution is rather simple if you keep in mind that weather notifications via mass text messages can be delivered immediately to everyone at once. So, this same type of message can be delivered before there’s any threat.

When no severe weather text alerts are necessary, you can use text messages to:

  • Organize and call for practice weather drills
  • Remind your audience of important weather policies or tips
  • Inform others when inclement weather policies have changed
  • Ensure that your contact list is up to date
  • Share forecast information with those who may be affected

The added benefit of sending regular weather notifications or severe weather text alerts to those you’re responsible for is that they become accustomed to receiving important information in this format. Then, in the case of a true emergency, they’re up to date with all policies and know to follow the instructions they receive.

Example 1:

This message is a test of the weather notification system. No action is needed.

Example 2:

A reminder as we enter the winter season: better safe than sorry! If you ever feel you cannot get to work safely, call Pam at 555-6789 

Using SMS Weather Notifications During Inclement Weather

The uses for severe weather text alerts during weather-related emergencies are more obvious. Any method of communication that allows for instant communication with large groups of people simultaneously is beneficial during emergencies, and text messages do just that.

Consider the city of Atlanta as a setting demonstrating the benefits of weather notifications.

Atlanta has fallen prey to many inclement weather events, such as the infamous Snowpocalypse in 2014. While the amount of snow that fell in Atlanta would be inconsequential up north, it resulted in a landscape that some have said was similar to the opening scenes of the Walking Dead.

Because no one was prepared for snow, the damage was great. Employees were stuck in their places of work and kids got stranded in their schools. Many cars ran out of gas on the interstate because once everyone realized just how much snow was coming, they left the city all at once, creating major traffic jams.

In this example, severe weather text alerts could have been used in several ways:

  • When snow first began to fall, admin and leadership could send a message to remind everyone of company procedures and policies related to inclement weather.
  • Recipients could respond to these initial texts with comments on road conditions and any concerns they have
  • As the day progressed, management could continue to keep everyone updated on road conditions, send out messages allowing employees to leave earlier, and remind everyone what resources were available to them should they feel they couldn’t get home safely.
  • Those who left work early could keep leadership up to date about road conditions and inform decisions about when or if people should leave work.

In other inclement weather scenarios, these messages could let individuals know about flooded areas, damaged property, tornado sightings, or other pertinent safety information.

Example 1:

Roads closed due to snow: E Peachtree, Ponce de Leon, and Oak Hill. Reply to this message with additional traffic info.

Example 2:

There is an active tornado warning for Gwinnett County. All employees at the Snellville and Lawrenceville locations should report to ground level conference rooms and stay away from exterior windows.

weather notifications, severe weather text alerts

Using SMS Weather Notifications After Inclement Weather

Even once a severe weather situation has passed, severe weather text alerts can be useful. This is because often, the effects of inclement weather are felt long after the bad weather itself.

After any sort of bad weather, you can expect damage to both property and people. The damage to people can be both physical and emotional, as disasters often cause a decrease in perceived safety.

Mass texting allows admin and other leadership to stay in communication with those who have been affected by the bad weather. Instead of sending weather notifications, this follow-up can consist of:

  • Messages detailing available resources
  • Altered schedules or parking due to construction
  • Updates to the inclement weather policies or procedures
  • Thank-you messages to those who followed procedure or otherwise aided in keeping others safe
  • Requests for feedback on how those in charge handled the crisis

These kinds of messages can be tweaked depending on the audience: parents, students, employees, residents, and any other group could all benefit from a clear understanding of what happened, what’s available to them, and how things will change in the future.

Example 1:

Due to damage from last week’s storm, the Hall Drive entrance will be under construction until further notice. Please drop car rider students at the Beech Avenue entrance.

Example 2:

Thank you, staff! Due to your preparedness, we suffered minimal losses during yesterday’s storm. If you have any concerns or questions about the day’s events, reply to this message or set up a meeting with Dayana in room 236.

Severe Weather Text Alerts (And Why You Should Start Using Them Now)

Mass text messages have infinite applications before, during, and after inclement weather. If you’re responsible for keeping a large group of people safe then weather notifications, including severe weather text alerts, are an important part of doing just that.

Fortunately, this type of message isn’t hard to send. Almost all employees have cell phones, and emergency messages can even be pre-recorded for use at a later time.

Keep your people safe by keeping them informed. Set up an inclement weather text alert system.