Ah, Spring! The birds chirping, the bees buzzing, the tornado sirens. If you're in the midwestern U.S., it's all part of the season. You spend a lot of time waiting out tornado warnings in a "safe" spot in your house, or cellar, or wherever. It's usually a little tough to drag a TV in there, and I never remember batteries for the radio. Plus, I get bored.
The obvious answer is to get online and talk about it with everyone else is doing the same thing. All joking aside, tracking storms online is actually a pretty effective way to know when you need to go into your safe room, and when it' s safe to come back out. Here are some good ideas of ways to do that.
1) Follow your favorite weather person on Facebook. Mine in Tulsa is James Aydelott. He does a GREAT job of updating his Facebook feed with news.
2) Follow the #hashtag for your state on Twitter. Enter "#" then the two-letter abbreviation for your state, then "wx" into Search.Twitter.com (or into the search bar on Twitter if you're signed in. For example, in Oklahoma, our hashtag is #okwx
3) Watch your local TV Station's live feed on their website. For example, my fav is Fox23 News UStream.
4) The Weather Channel has information on their website (Weather.com), and they also have apps you can download for the iphone and android phones and other mobile devices. Note that they are not local, so if the information you see on this national service conflicts with the local weather, you might want to listen to the people who are actually standing out in the storm.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.