WASHINGTON, DC -- January 27, 2014 -- Last week during a Transportation and Communications committee meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting, Chris Walters, chief operating officer of The Weather Company (Weather), announced a plan to work with city governments to support their communications efforts during severe weather events. The pilot program will enlist five cities to work with Weather as the company develops an automated system for cities to submit alerts and information, which will then be targeted locally and distributed via the company’s platforms, including The Weather Channel TV network, weather.com, The Weather Channel apps on smartphones and tablets, and Weather Underground.
“During severe weather events, large portions of communities connect with our media properties to get the critical information they need before, during and after the events. Our television network has the unique ability to target local emergency messages to viewers in the same way we deliver local forecasts,” said Walters. “Along with the targeting capabilities of our online, smartphone and tablet platforms, we can be a valuable communications avenue for cities that need to deliver messages to as many citizens as possible.”
The pilot program is scheduled to start this spring, with the goal of automating data submission for city officials and reducing the time for local alerts to appear on the crawl on the lower third of the television screen, on the local forecast pages on the web and in mobile applications. The information will also be available to on-camera teams so it can be discussed during severe weather programming.
For many years Weather has maintained two-way partnerships with public and non-profit emergency response organizations, including The American Red Cross, FEMA and NOAA, allowing for a constant flow and disbursement of critical weather-related information when it matters most. Expanding these efforts to formally engage cities more actively will support the company’s efforts to facilitate more effective communication during severe weather events.
The company looks forward to working with a handful of cities to shape this program that will be made available to all cities.
# # #
The Weather Company: Where the World Gets its Weather
Through The Weather Channel, weather.com, Weather Underground, Intellicast.com, and third-party publishing partners, the company provides millions of people every day with the world's best weather forecasts, content and data, connecting with them through television, online, mobile and tablet screens. Through WSI and Weather Central, the company delivers superior professional weather services for the media, aviation, marine and energy sectors. The Weather Company is owned by a consortium made up of NBC Universal and the private equity firms The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital. For more information, visit www.weather.com/press.