COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - When severe weather strikes the excuse "it came without warning" is almost obsolete because there is so much technology available to keep you informed.
Outdoor weather sirens are designed to warn residents of severe weather, but that's only if they are outdoors. Modern technology has created several ways for people to stay alert and stay safe during dangerous weather.
"Facebook and Twitter have both become really good ways for people to get information as well as other social media sties. Those are things you can do before the storms actually hit," said WTVM Chief Meteorologist Derek Kinkade.
Cell phones also have several ways to stay up to date on watches and warnings in your area.
Eric Harvey says he keeps up with the weather by using an app, "Most of the time I check my phone. It sends me weather updates and all."
Kinkade added, "Whenever those warnings are issued, whether they're tornado warnings, severe thunderstorm warnings, you can see those on the phone when they are issued for your area."
And if you don't have a smart phone or access to a computer, a NOAA weather radio with a battery backup will alert you even after the power goes off.
"There is no excuse not to know," said Wanda Lamb. She owns the Fireworks Outlet in Russell County and says, "I know when bad weather is coming because I have a weather radio. Also the EMA in Russell County gives us a call and lets us know it's on the way."
That gives you enough warning so that you can make it to your safe spot. Derek Kinkade added, "We can't turn on your TV in the middle of the night, we can't make sure you get that information if you're asleep, so have something that can wake you up, a NOAA weather radio."
If for some reason technology fails you, you can always rely on the old standard: word of mouth.
"My mom updates me about the weather and tells me to be careful. She's always letting me know when something bad is going to happen. My step-mom watches the weather channel all the time so I glance at that too," said Justin Stapler.
Of course our best recommendation for up to the minute weather coverage is always tuning in to News Leader 9. The things we mentioned like, Facebook, a smart phone app, or a NOAA weather radio, are either free or cost less than $50, which many would say is worth the price.