Weather Alert Remote Notification for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Questions and Answers
- What is OK-WARN?
- OK-WARN is the Oklahoma Weather Alert Remote Notification program for emergency weather/situation notification service via alphanumeric pagers and/or E-mail addresses. The hazardous weather pager program gives deaf and hard-of-hearing Oklahoman's better access to important severe weather information. The success of a pilot program in 2001 led to the creation of OK-WARN, which now provides life-saving messages about tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, winter storms, flash floods, river floods and high wind warnings from local National Weather Service offices to deaf and hard-of-hearing people who sign up for the service.
OK-WARN Weather Alerts are available for deaf and hard-of-hearing Oklahoma residents only.
- What does it cost?
- For qualified deaf and hard of hearing persons, there is no cost. However, you must provide your own alphanumeric pager and pager service.
- What equipment do I need before I join?
- The only requirements are an alphanumeric pager in vibration mode and pager service. Any form of wireless communication device with a valid E-mail address is also compatible with the program. These would include mobile phones and personal digital assistants (PDA's).
- If a siren goes off in my area will my OK-WARN service notify me as well?
- YES! If a tornado warning is issued for your county, the OK-WARN program will automatically notify persons within that county.
- How long will it take for a message to get to me?
- From the time when the National Weather Service issues a warning for your area until you receive the message, OK-WARN typically takes a minute or two. However, there can be a few delays, usually caused by outside factors such as a paging tower or paging company going down, trouble with dialing into a paging company (high telephone traffic), busy internet traffic (E-mail messages) and user errors (low battery in the pager, changing of pager/paging company and damaged pager).
- Will weather factors cause me to lose my weather pages?
- Not usually. However, there have been a few occurrences during heavy hail, moderate to heavy snow and ice that have caused the paging company to lose communication with paging towers. Those delays are typically short lived.
- Is there a service range limit?
- The service range is dependent on the paging or wireless service coverage. The text messaging coverage on mobile phones is generally limited to your home coverage and it may not cover rural areas of Oklahoma.
- Do I have options once I have signed up?
- OK-WARN lets you customize the warnings you want to receive, the coverage area by county, and whether you want to receive warnings by pager, E-mail or both.
A sample tornado warning might look like:*TORNADO WARNING FOR..OKLAHOMA & CANADIAN COUNTIES IN CENTRAL OK*UNTIL 4:30PM*AT 3:36PM SPOTTERS REPORTED A TORNADO 2 MI S OF YUKON. THIS STORM IS MOVING NE AT 30MPH.
For more information about OK-WARN: Online OK-WARN Application