OKLAHOMA CITY — Beautiful weather brought out thousands of Oklahomans to the Severe Weather Awareness Expo at Penn Square Mall.
Shoppers took time to meet the 4 Warn Storm Team, see Dominator 4 – the ultimate storm chase vehicle – and Bob Moore Chopper 4.
NewsChannel 4’s Linda Cavanaugh, Kevin Ogle, Bob Barry Jr., Jon Welsh and Ali Meyer, along with Lacey Lett and Scott Hines, were on-hand to sign autographs.
People marveled at the sight of Dominator 4, and children enjoyed sitting inside the unique looking vehicle. It was also a cool experience for people to meet pilot/reporter, Jon Welsh and check out the helicopter he reports from, Bob Moore Chopper 4.
The Severe Weather Expo also had exhibitors on-hand from a tornado shelter company to weather service providers.
About the expo
A severe weather expo was held at Penn Square Mall on Saturday, March 7 from noon to 4 p.m.
The expo was a way for Oklahoma City residents with hearing disabilities, blindness, and vision impairments to learn about free disaster text and email alerts offered through the City.
The City’s Emergency Management staff were at the United Way’s table helping people sign up for the accessible alerts and providing information about tornado safety, disaster response, and what to do when you hear the City’s outdoor warning sirens.
The alert messages are designed to respond primarily to “threat to life and property” events.
The subscriber-based service is free to OKC residents through the Avian Hazard Advisory System (AHAS).
How the disaster alerts work
The alerts are sent out in American Sign Language video, English voice over, and the English text of the message. They will also transmit the information to refreshable Braille readers.
Alerts are sent to subscribers with zip codes in the affected area of the emergency or disaster. The system sends accessible alert messages in American Sign Language (ASL), English voice and transcript to internet and video capable devices such as computers, cell phones, smart phones, tablets, and wireless devices.
To keep the AHAS transmission system at optimal performance levels, Oklahoma City Emergency Management requests that only residents who have hearing or vision impairments register for alerts.