Judah explains Houston County’s weather alert system

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Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 5:27 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - After this weekend’s severe weather event, we’ve received several questions about Houston County’s alert system.

While certain areas were more at risk, sirens went off throughout Houston County.

We spoke with Dothan/ Houston County EMA Director Chris Judah about what happens leading up to a tornado watch or warning.

Judah says as officials monitor the weather, they try to get the information out as quickly, but as accurately as possible. He says if you hear those sirens, you should immediately seek a safe place. He says you can’t rely solely on the sirens, however, because the wind and rain could drown out the alerts. Judah explains that its important have multiple ways to get your alerts and monitor the weather.

“Unfortunately, with the technology that we have, we can’t pinpoint the sirens in the different neighborhoods. So in Houston County, we have to either set off the east side, west side or the whole county at one time. We would rather over alert people and let people know that ‘hey something is going on in Taylor because it may happen in Dothan.’ And so by doing that on the west side, people will take that and can find out what’s going on to seek shelter. And when its on the east side, we do the same thing there,” Judah explained.

Judah encourages getting a NOAA radio, as well as several reliable phone apps, like the 4WARN weather app and an EMA app, to help keep you up to date. It’s also important to already have a plan in place prior to a severe weather event.

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