The National Weather Service and You
The city made a decision in early April 2017, to de-activate the Outdoor Emergency Warning System (OEWS). Instead, the city believes that activation of many new mobile weather phone applications and the use of weather radios will provide more efficient community notification for weather-based emergencies. As such, no further testing of the Outdoor Emergency Warning System will occur.
Without a doubt, the most effective way to learn about impending bad weather is the National Weather Service (NWS). The NWS, located in Boulder, provides weather, water, and climate data, forecasts and warnings for the protection of life.
This NWS center is monitored 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week providing up-to-the-minute tracking of weather within the area. The Longmont Office of Emergency Management highly recommends residents familiarize themselves with these resources and sign up for the notifications they provide. They are clearly the most effective way to receive information about the weather:
HOW TO GET WEATHER ALERTS: The Longmont Office of Emergency Management encourages residents to use the following National Weather Service (NWS) based notification systems for Boulder County because the emergency sirens are no longer in use:
- Weather radio - Information transmitted from a weather radio does not require internet service. This information is distributed directly from the National Weather Service Boulder County. Weather radios can be purchased at most hardware and retail stores that sell electronics.
WHY THE CHANGE:
The Longmont system was manually activated from the Longmont Emergency Communications Center (LECC) based on notification from the National Weather Service and local certified weather spotters. The siren system was used only for tornadoes and was part of a larger public warning plan. The sirens were not effective at getting citizens inside a shelter which was their purpose.
So the city council has directed OEM staff to implement a new public warning strategy during severe weather events that utilizes newer technologies. This strategy includes utilizing technology to automatically “push” customized severe weather information to smartphones and landlines, using technology to deliver weather information to city facilities (outdoor pools, etc.), and increasing the outreach and education around weather radios.
City Council discussion with Public Safety regarding the direction of the Outdoor Warning System. (Starts at 2 hours 25 minutes and 37 seconds).
Should you have further questions, please contact the Office of Emergency Management at (303)774-3793.
The notification systems listed below are NOT generally used for impending weather, but are important notification systems for our residents to sign up for:
- Please take a minute to sign up for the Reverse 9-1-1 for mobile devices system. This is a notification tool that allows the city to contact you via email as well on other mobile devices based on the type of emergency. For additional information, details and sign-up information for mobile devices, please visit our web page.
- The city also has an email based subscription called e-notification. Although this system is not intended for emergency notification, city personnel can use it to send email messages directly to subscribers with late-breaking updates on issues such as West Nile virus, traffic street closures, city council news and several other categories. For more information on e-alert notifications.
For more information about emergency preparedness in Longmont, please call the City of Longmont, Office of Emergency Management at (303) 774-3793 or email.