(WGHP) – One of the keys to staying safe during severe weather season is by making sure that you have several ways to receive life-saving severe weather watches and warnings. There are many methods and tools that you can use to receive these important alerts, no matter where you are. 

NOAA Weather Radio

NOAA Weather Radio is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information from the nearest National Weather Service office. The weather radio is a specially built receiver that can be purchased at most electronics and large retail stores for less than $40s. The radio broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and sounds an audible alert when an official watch or warning is issued in your area. Think of these radios as a “smoke detector” for severe weather alerts. 

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) 

Wireless Emergency Alerts are able to be sent to your cell phone or mobile device when you could be in harm’s way, without having to download an app or subscribe to a service. In addition to other alert types, such as AMBER alerts, this free service will transmit extreme weather warnings such as Tornado and Flash Flood warnings to your cell phone. The alerts will look like a text message and will typically show the type and time of the alerts as well as any action you should take. 

WEA messages include a special tone and vibration. If you receive a WEA message, you should follow any action advised by the emergency message and then seek additional information from FOX8 News on TV or the FOX8 website

Cell Phone Apps

There are several great cell phone applications that provide real-time National Weather Service warnings and alerts, some of which are free to download and use, and others that may charge a small fee. A simple search of your app provider will reveal many of these apps. 

A great one to download is the MyFOX8 news app which will send you notifications in the event of a watch or warning being issued. If email is more your speed, you can get breaking weather alerts to your email.

Emergency Alert System, TV and Radio Stations

An Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a message dissemination pathway that sends warnings via broadcast, cable, satellite, and wireline services. EAS may be used by state and local authorities, including the National Weather Service, in cooperation with the broadcast community, to deliver important emergency information such as severe weather information, AMBER alerts and local incident information targeted to specific areas. 

It’s a good idea to tune in to FOX8 News on TV or the FOX8 website when severe weather strikes for detailed information about the severe weather threat. 

Social Media 

Another way to receive weather alerts can be through social media, but it should not be the only platform relied on. Algorithms for social media apps are constantly changing which means sometimes social media posts won’t be seen until a few hours or even days after an event. 

Make sure you’re following the FOX8 weather team and FOX8 social media pages to keep up with approaching storm systems and for information when the weather is active. 

Some social media apps also allow you to be notified when a post is made by certain accounts. To help with the algorithms, turn notifications on for the FOX8 weather team to stay prepared during weather events. 

Watch this video for information on ways to receive weather alerts

Do you know which National Weather Service office covers the county you live in? 

It’s also important to know what county you’re in and which National Weather Service office is issuing warnings for your county and city. Below is a map that shows which office covers each county in North Carolina. 

In the FOX8 viewing area, the following counties are covered by each of these National Weather Service Offices. 

NWS Raleigh: Alamance, Guilford, Forsyth, Davidson, Randolph, Montgomery, Moore, and Chatham counties

NWS Blacksburg: Caswell, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes, and Yadkin counties

NWS Greenville-Spartanburg: Davie, Rowan, and Iredell counties

As we continue to prepare for the severe weather season, make sure you’re able to identify which county you live in on a map, and are following the FOX8 weather team and your National Weather Service office on social media.