Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) — While many of us now rely on cell phones and internet to receive our weather information, it shouldn’t be our primary source for weather information. It’s not unusual for cell and internet service to go down during bad weather so you want to make sure you have multiple ways to receive life saving weather information.

NOAA Weather Radio (NWR)

A NOAA Weather Radio is the first line of defense when severe weather strikes. NWR is a nationwide network that broadcasts watches, warnings, advisories, forecasts and other weather information 24/7. Many of these radios use S.A.M.E. code technology which allow the radios to sound for warnings that pertain to the county, or counties, that matter to you.

Recent models of the Midland WR120 allow you to turn off various watches, warnings and advisories that you may not care about.

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)

Wireless Emergency Alerts are short emergency messages from authorized federal, state and local officials that are broadcast from cell phone towers to and WEA-enabled mobile device. You’ll also receive alerts from the National Weather Service, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the President of the United States. The government does not use mobile GPS locations to target alerts, but rather sends the alerts to cell phone towers in a targeted area.

  • WEAs look like text messages but are designed to the get your attention with a unique sound and vibration that’s repeated twice.
  • They are no more than 360 characters and include the type and time of the alert, any action you should take and the agency issuing the alert.
  • They are not affected by network congestion and will not disrupt texts, calls or data sessions that are in progress.
  • You are not charged for receiving WEAs and there is no need to subscribe.

NWS Warnings you may receive

  • Tornado Warning
  • Tornado Warning (Emergency)
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning (only when damage threat is “destructive”)
  • Flash Flood Warning
  • Flash Food Warning (Emergency)
  • Dust Storm Warning
  • Extreme Wind Warning
  • Hurricane/Typhoon Warning
  • Snow Squall Warning
  • Storm Surge Warning
  • Tsunami Warning

Download the CiProud 2 Go Weather App

Our weather app brings elements of our VIPIR weather system to the palm of your hands. While many apps rely on models to bring location specific forecasts, the forecasts in our app are 100% human generated and provide personal updated and notifications from Your Local Weather Authority meteorologists. Here are other features included in the app…

  • Location based warnings instead of county based warnings so you’re warned for the locations you care about with the warnings you care about.
  • VIPIR exclusive safety net alerts such as
    • “Twisting Storm Approaching”
    • “Dangerous Storm Approaching”
    • “Lightning within 15 miles”
  • Interactive map with radar, currents and model data for real time storm tracking anywhere in the U.S.
  • Power outages and road conditions
  • Daily video forecast updates with your Forecast 2 Go and much more!

Click here to download the app.

Watching WMBD and WYZZ

When severe storms start to move across Central Illinois Your Local Weather Authority will cut into programming to update you on an incoming storm. If these storms are particularly life threatening (tornado warnings or severe thunderstorms with more than 70 mph winds) we will go wall to wall with our weather coverage to bring you minute by minute updates. While we try to keep these interruptions to programming brief, destructive and/or tornadic thunderstorms require us to go wall to wall and stay on air until the threat ends or moves out of our area. We understand this is frustrating to those who are watching a show, it’s important to understand that many viewers tune in at different during a warning to receive information and we need to be there for them.

If you are a cable or satellite subscriber I recommend by a digital antenna so you can watch our coverage over the air for free. Satellite feeds often go down during bad weather and EAS alerts from cable providers often cover up warnings we are already covering live on T.V.

Livestreaming on Social Media, and the CiProud to Go Weather App

In an effort to cut down on the amount of interruptions to your programming, we now provide livestreaming of almost all severe weather events on our various digital platforms. These livestreams allow us to start our coverage as the storms move into the region and continue that coverage until they move out of the area. We will still cut-in to programming when there is a significant risk to life and property, but we can keep those cut-ins brief and redirect people to our livestreams for extensive coverage.