A Better Region 8: We will not stop interrupting programming due to severe weather

A Better Region 8: Severe Weather

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A few days ago, tornadoes struck across the Southeast, killing 23 people.

I'm not sure if those killed were prepared.

I’m not sure you could be.

One tornado had winds greater than 170 miles per hour. That is hard to survive in the best of places. Thanks to technology, today we can look inside storms to see just how violent they are and pinpoint where they’re headed.

Each year, meteorologists are able to add a few seconds of life-saving time to their warnings.

I implore you to pay attention when there’s the threat of severe weather and have a game plan in the event you have to seek immediate attention.

The death toll may have been worse had more people not received a warning from a TV or radio station, cell phone or internet.

Unfortunately, television stations in Georgia and Alabama were getting complaints and even threats about their program being disrupted because they were on the air warning viewers of the tornado emergency.

And yes, we get them too.

“The weather’s not bad where I’m at” or “Just put it on the internet, my show is on.”

Trust me, our weather team and the National Weather Service take each storm and each warning very seriously.

For a tornado warning, a certified storm spotter has to see one or meteorologists see indications of one on the radar.

They’re not guessing or going on the air for the fun of it.

It’s in these times that we, as a broadcast television station, have an obligation to our community to provide this life-saving information. Part of our requirement to keep our license from the federal government is to operate in the public’s best interest.

Besides that, we wouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing we could have done more to save a life but didn’t.

So yes, even if there are just five people in the path of a tornado, we’re going to make the rest of the viewing area mad to let those five people know.

Thanks for understanding ahead of time.

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