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MyWARN, A Proven Life-Saver

1-10-2013 12-35-02 PMEarlier in 2012, the staff at the MyWARN Weather Center received one of the greatest compliments from a customer about how MyWARN saved her life, as well her family’s, during what she thought was a random afternoon thunderstorm. After having a more in-depth conversation with this young lady named, Emily, we heard more details about her circumstances. Emily was thinking about her family’s safety, especially when it came to receiving severe weather alerts during the night. You see Emily’s story is no different than thousands of other people across the country. Emily is from eastern North Carolina, where she and her three young children live in a mobile home. Emily’s first thought was a wise one. She needed an effective way to receive severe weather notifications. So, she looked for an app for her smartphone; a service that is cheaper than a NOAA weather radio, did not require programming, and would go everywhere she went. Needless to say, she found that in MyWARN. After the tornado outbreaks of 2011, the interest in effective ways of receiving severe weather alerts skyrocketed. Along with the outbreaks in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama, there was also a significant tornado outbreak in the Carolinas, specifically North Carolina, where 28 tornadoes occurred in that state alone, killing 24 people. As we headed into the 2012 severe weather season, MyWARN was released and rapidly become one of top 10 paid apps on the app store. Being portable proves to be how MyWARN saved Emily and her children’s lives on that fearful summer afternoon. “As I was driving into what I thought was a typical summer afternoon thunderstorm today with three children my phone began alerting, Tornado Warning for this area. I immediately turned around and drove to my parent’s house right down the road (I had just left from there).” “Then once a safe place had been reached at my parents, we turned on the news and realized the path of the Tornado went right through where I had been driving only minutes before.” “My money was well spent!!! Thanks MyWARN!!!!” 1-10-2013 12-43-03 PM The radar map from that day shows that this was just a random summertime afternoon thunderstorm that was able to develop in a higher instability area. With the heating difference between the hot land and the cooler water, this storm produced enough wind shear that the thunderstorm began to rotate and produce a tornado. This was not a major severe weather outbreak, nor a massive and dynamic springtime severe weather system; it was just a typical summertime afternoon thunderstorm that produced a tornado. No watches or risks were issued for the area, so it essentially was a day when no severe weather was expected. These are the days that show the effectiveness of MyWARN. Major severe weather outbreaks are usually well forecasted, but it’s the days when not much attention is given to the weather that need to be watched. Luckily, Emily had MyWARN and it proved to be the life-saving piece of technology it was designed to be. Emily’s story is not the only one we have heard from our customers. We have numerous emails from customers telling how MyWARN helped them avoid a thunderstorm producing golf ball sized hail, and thus prevented unnecessary damage to their automobile. MyWARN alerted them to the risk of severe weather when they thought all was clear. Countless other incidences have come to us, but Emily’s story proved to us that developing MyWARN was worth it. Keeping MyWARN simple is our plan, but we are incorporating the ability for users to see a local news affiliate’s severe weather coverage by providing a streaming affiliate in each DMA. Once an affiliate signs on, you will be able to see live, local severe weather coverage through your device. This will prove even more helpful when it comes to letting users know the exact threat to their location. As we continue to improve the MyWARN experience and expand our streaming network, we look forward to hearing more feedback from our customers, and hopefully more stories of how MyWARN has saved even more

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