How the deaf and hard-of-hearing can Be Prepared - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

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How the deaf and hard-of-hearing can Be Prepared

Devices can be attached to weather radios, such as strobe lights, to help the hard-of-hearing know when a warning is placed. (Source: WAFF file) Devices can be attached to weather radios, such as strobe lights, to help the hard-of-hearing know when a warning is placed. (Source: WAFF file)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Jennifer Saari, a meteorologist with the Huntsville office of the National Weather Service, has spent countless hours putting herself in a deaf or hard of hearing person’s shoes to get a better understanding of how to better provide weather alerts to that community.

“Most weather alerts are audible, so you may need to actually hear the alert to receive it,” she said.

Nowadays, there are several adapters to choose from to attach to your NOAA Weather Radio, such as visual alerts, like strobe lights, and bed and pillow shakers to ensure that you wake up when you need to seek more information.

During severe weather coverage, you’ll of course find warnings and weather information in our closed captioning and crawls.

To take it one step further, Ms. Saari recommends attending one of their storm spotter classes specifically designed for the deaf and hard of hearing:

“We talk about things in a regular spotter class: weather 101, weather safety, weather preparedness, and we put a little more information in there that is may geared to this community. Maybe some radar interpretation, so they can understand what’s going on when you guys are doing live coverage, so they can make the best decision for themselves.”

The National Weather Service’s annual Storm Spotter Training Class for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is Tuesday, October 13, 2015 from 5:30-7:30pm. This class will be located at the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (3000 Johnson Road SW, Huntsville, AL 35805). Interpreters and CART services will be provided.

You can find more information on the class in this PDF flyer.

You can also check out this YouTube video providing sign-language instructions for programming your weather radio.

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