An exploration of things to do in Arlington

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Arlington Alert: Keeping My Socks Dry

Last Friday night, some friends and I were getting ready to leave Eleventh in Clarendon, wondering if it was going to rain. Just then, I got this email from Arlington Alert:

Update / National Weather forecast reports a Severe Thunder Storm Warning for the District and surrounding Jurisdiction until 9:45 PM.
Before I worked in TV news, I didn't know the difference between a storm watch and a storm warning.

Basically, a watch means conditions are right for you to eventually get that type of storm (thunderstorm, tornado, even a hurricane), but that doesn't necessarily mean you will get the storm (or even anything at all). A warning means if it ain't there already, it's gonna be soon, so seek shelter.

So the warning meant we might not have time to get to our cars before getting drenched. Sure enough, within minutes there was wind, lightning, and pouring rain. We took our time finishing our beers, let the storm pass, and were on our way.

And that's the beauty of Arlington Alert -- it gives me the simple, clear information I need to help me avoid major pains in the butt.

Just in the last month, I've gotten these useful alerts:

- That there were emergency drills planned at the Pentagon and not to freak out
- That there was a bike race in Clarendon and to avoid driving there
- I got one while I was at work that power was out in my neighborhood (it was restored by the time I got home, but still, nice to be in the loop)
When you sign up, you can tailor your alerts to your needs:

* How you get them (text message, email, etc.)
* What kind of information you get (lots of advisories or only the critical stuff)
* What locations impact you (if you work downtown, you can even get DC alerts)
Of course Arlington Alert will also be critical if there's a major disaster. But if I told you to sign up based on that, I'd be selling the system short. Major disasters may only come once a decade, but Arlington Alert is useful practically every week.

Sign up now!

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1 Comments:

Blogger Daniel said...

Funny, I was just pimping out this service myself. My building is very close to the incident last week on Lee Highway and people on my buildings Listserv were unaware... and then bam, out I came with the link. Awesome service and a great example of why I love Arlington...

5:48 PM

 

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