iMap Weather Radio Proven To Be Life Saver
by Daphne Thompson, on Feb 8, 2012 1:36:36 AM
Norman, OK, February 8, 2012 - Founded in 2000 by former National Weather Center meteorologists, the Norman, Oklahoma-based company developed and launched a smartphone app in 2011 that essentially acts as a personalized severe weather warning system.
The app, called iMap Weather Radio, has proven its worth as a lifesaving mobile application since its release; being adopted by media outlets as a go-to product for their audiences. An advanced upgrade is scheduled for release in early March, in time for severe weather season in Tornado Alley.
Beginning January 22, a 4-day stretch of severe weather affected Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana & Texas. The most publicized of these storms produced two EF3 and one EF2 tornadoes in the northern suburbs of Birmingham, AL where the National Weather Service provided a warning lead time of 34 minutes. This lead time, combined with the use of console and iMap Weather Radio, saved countless lives in the early morning hours of January 23. In the event of severe weather such as this early season nighttime tornado outbreak, iMap Weather Radio will automatically wake-up a user's phone and send three shrill tones through the device’s speakers. An audio alert from the National Weather Service will play, and the user will be directed to more information about the severe weather threat. iMap Weather Radio is location-based, meaning the product will push National Weather Service alerts based on the specific location the user is at. Users can also save five alternate locations from which to receive reports.
"iMap Weather Radio addresses the problem of individuals not getting timely alerts if they're away from their television, they're driving or asleep," said James Spann, Birmingham Alabama’s ABC 33/40 Chief Meteorologist. "If you look at the number of cellphones out there in the marketplace, it's a very highly effective way of getting lifesaving information into people's hands when they need it most."
95.8 million people in the U.S. own smartphones, according to an October report from CTIA Live, a wireless research company. Smartphones utilize the Internet and run applications that automatically download information such as news and weather.
In addition to an appearance on ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, observations from users of iMap Weather Radio have flooded social media with feedback. On Facebook, J. Little says “The Alert from my phone woke me up and I was aware of the situation before the sirens sounded.” Twitter is abuzz as well “AL Folks without a weather radio tonight, iMap Weather Radio, a $10 iPhone app is highly recommended for radio, video & alerts.” says @TuscaloosaNews.
The iMap Weather Radio App is currently available for iOS through the iTunes App Store, but WDT plans to release a version for Android phones by Q2.
National Weather Service officials urge individuals not to discount traditional weather radios. Because they transmit over VHF bands, the radios may be more reliable in disaster-affected areas where cell towers may have been damaged.
About iMapWeather Radio
With iMapWeather Radio, users receive critical voice and text alerts on life-threatening weather events. With the application, iPhones will "wake up" and also "follow you" with alerts wherever you go. Enjoy the power of a weather radio, with all the convenience and precision of a smart phone. iMap Weather Radio is available for $9.99 on the iTunes store. For more information: iMapWeatherRadio.com
About Weather Decision Technologies
Founded in 2000, Weather Decision Technologies has become a global leader in providing state-of-the-science weather detection, nowcasting, and forecasting systems and services to our partners and customers. WDT's iMap services provide dynamic, web-based and mobile interactive applications and mapping solutions for the world's leading local media companies and consumers. WDT is headquartered in Norman, Oklahoma. wdtinc.com.