How ReadyWarn Works

ReadyWarn aggregates data from multiple sources in real-time and allows subscribers to redistribute this information to their Twitter and Facebook accounts automatically. Severe weather alerts are currently available through ReadyWarn with many other products to be added in the near future. These will include Amber alerts along with local, state, and national government emergency events.

Setup Process

Setting up the ReadyWarn service is a simple process that takes only a few minutes to complete. Once you have signed up, simply connect ReadyWarn to your social media accounts. You can then customize the alert message formats by determining what type of information to include in the alerts. Finally, you choose the counties and event types that you want to provide alerts for.

Once this process is complete, alerts for the locations and criteria you selected will automatically be delivered to your social media accounts.

Supported Platforms

ReadyWarn currently supports alert delivery to Twitter and Facebook. Standard Facebook accounts and fan pages are both supported. Development is currently under way to provide delivery to other systems including Word Press.

The process of authorizing ReadyWarn to post to your Twitter and Facebook accounts is easy and instructions are included in the support section of the management portal.

In order to prevent alerts from being cut off due to message length restrictions, ReadyWarn implements a custom process we call "Overflow". For example, if an alert is issued for multiple counties and the text of the alert exceeds 140 characters, we will cleanly break the alert into multiple posts. See Overflow and Short Watch Message below.

Event Types

ReadyWarn currently provides a broad range of weather related watches and warnings. Advisory products are currently being implemented and will be available in the very near future. We are constantly adding new products and welcome any request.

In addition to severe weather alerts, ReadyWarn is also working to integrate other types of notifications in the near future.

Customization Options

ReadyWarn allows users to customize the format of alerts in a number of ways.

Basic Watch or Warning Format

Short Watch Format


Header: The header is optional text that can be added to the beginning of each message. **See Header/Tag note below**

Event Type: The Event Type is the actual phenomena and significance of the event itself. In the future it will be possible to customize this by controlling the case of the text. (Tornado Warning, TORNADO Warning, Tornado WARNING, TORNADO WARNING).

Locations: Locations are the counties included in the alert. Counties can be listed for both warnings and watches. If an outlet covers a large number of counties however, it may prefer not to list every county in the watch. For an alternative, see Short Watch Message below.

State Code: This is useful for outlets that may cover counties in multiple states especially if the same county name exists in more than one state. If this option is disabled, "in XX" will be left out of the message.

Expiration Time: The Expiration Time displayed is the local time based on the location's time zone (time zones are determined automatically). The Time Zone ID option in ReadyWarn allows an outlet to determine whether the time zone should be displayed. This is useful if the outlet covers counties in multiple time zones. In addition, if an alert is issued which includes multiple counties in multiple time zones, ReadyWarn will display the expiration time for both zones regardless of whether or not the Time Zone ID features is enabled. The resulting expiration time would be displayed as "until 7:30pm CDT/8:30pm EDT". For certain events that typically last more than one day, the day name will be added. Example: "until 7:30pm CDT Friday"

Tag: The Tag is text that can be appended to the end of every message. This is the ideal location for a link back to the outlets site. The Tag can be any text up to 35 characters. **See Header/Tag note below**

Header/Tag Note: The Header and Tag are intended to allow outlets to brand and customize their messages. However, it is important to keep in mind that adding this extra information decreases the amount of space available for the actual event details. Platforms like Twitter only allow 140 character messages and while ReadyWarn provides a unique "Overflow" function to ensure that all of the critical information is posted, the length of the header and tags should be kept to a minimum.

Posting Features

Overflow: The ReadyWarn Overflow feature helps resolve the issue of character limits on platforms like Twitter by cleanly breaking large alerts into multiple posts. Overflow creates posts containing all the message elements (header, event type, locations, etc) until each of the covered counties have been processed. In the case of watches, especially for larger outlets, the Short Watch Message option may be useful to limit the number of posts for events that include many counties.

Short Watch Message: The Short Watch Message (SWM) feature allows outlets to post watch messages that may cover a large number of counties in a single post. Instead of including the list of counties, the outlet can replace the location list with a block of customizable text. An example may be: "Tornado Watch for portions of the WXYZ viewing area in WI until 5:00pm CDT". The bold text can be customized and is included in any watch that is issued if the Short Watch Message feature is enabled.

Courtesy of WEHT TV in Evansville, Indiana