North Texas Cities Offer Additional Weather Alert Systems

While emergency sirens are in place in most areas, many North Texas cities have begun supplementing that familiar sound with a cell phone alert system.

Denton County offers phone, text and email notifications. It's an "opt-in" service, so you have to go on the county's website to register.

The same goes for many Collin County cities.

Fort Worth also has a phone system that residents can sign up for on the city's website since officials said the warning sirens are designed for those who are outside during a weather emergency

"Basically we want people to be prepared for what could happen, so we suggest people turn on the TV in the morning before they go to work, turn on the radio on the way to work and find out what the weather forecast is that day," City of Fort Worth spokesman Randy Westerman said. "Don't let severe weather catch you off guard."

Fort Worth also has what's called an accessible alert system for people who are deaf or blind. Messages can come through smartphones in sign language and with captions.

In Dallas County, sirens go off based on criteria like wind speed, hail of a certain diameter or if a tornado is spotted. County emergency manager Judge Clay Jenkins added that one the best alert systems is an app on your phone.

"Have a plan," he said. "Know ahead of time where you and your family should go and what you should do if you're in the path of a tornado or if there is flooding that is affecting your house."

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