Cell Towers Integral in Florida County’s ‘Great Tornado Drill’

February 5, 2017

Reprinted from Inside Towers

Smartphones aren’t only useful for sharing selfies or texting your bestie. They are also a tool that can prove vital in emergency situations, as Escambia County, Florida is making known during the state’s 16th annual Severe Weather Awareness Week.

Earlier this week, Escambia County Public Safety conducted the “Great Tornado Drill” to prepare citizens for severe weather, reports WEAR-TV. The plan encouraged participants to develop a plan for emergency situations and also emphasized the importance of mobile devices during severe weather.

The National Weather Service issues notifications during severe weather situations. Notifications are sent to nearby cell phones and come standard on all new smartphone models.

“If there is a tornado warning here in our community, they can communicate to the towers that service our cell phones. They will send a tornado warning to that tower and each cell phone in that area, that touches the tower, will receive the alert automatically,” John Dosh, Escambia Emergency Manager, told WEAR-TV. “It sends out a wild alarm, you look at it and it sends you a text message, saying tornado warning. It gives you the ‘wheres’, the ‘whats’ and for how long.”