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National Weather Service: Phone settings impact whether you get alerts during storms

Cell phone
Posted at 6:08 PM, Jun 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-08 19:46:51-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As people woke up from the storms that swept through the Kansas City area early Wednesday morning, many of them wanted to know why they never received an emergency alert on their cellphone.

Sarah Mason-Cluckey lives in an town-home in Clay County.

"The lights flickered around 1:20 and I was like, 'Oh, that's never happened before,'" Mason-Cluckey said.

Mason-Cluckey said that by the time she realized Clay County had a tornado warning, the threat had passed.

Come daylight, she noticed downed trees in her neighborhood.

"I looked at my phone and I didn't get an alert," Mason-Cluckey said. "It's just real concerning that there were so many huge branches and trees."

Julie Adolphson, meteorologist in charge at National Weather Service, said if people under a warning did not receive an alert, there's only one likely explanation.

"They will, or will not, make it to your phone if you have certain settings on your phone," Adolphson said.

If the alert settings on a person's phone are not in the "on" position, the alerts will not come through.

Mason-Cluckey said she initially thought it was an issue with her service provider. But, she too noticed her alerts were off.

NWS said the only other reason a person wouldn't receive an alert is if they were not within the path of severe weather.

"Once we issue the warning from National Weather Service, it goes immediately at the light of speed to all the cell towers that are within the footprint of the warning we issued," Adolphson said.

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