Last night I’m watching TV when Chris Wright breaks in to tell me there is a big red blob heading for Indianapolis. (True, he’s no Dallas Raines, but we make due with what he have here in Indiana.) He’s got the Doppler radar. He’s got the tornado warning graphic in the corner. He’s got little yellow boxes outlining the storm systems. He can zoom in and forecast the path of the storm. He can tell you when it will hit every little city, right down to the minute.
Then suddenly this downspout of weather information is interrupted by:
A big black screen with big white text and an awful bleating sound similar to those vuvuzelas at the World Cup. After a pause, a robotic male voice starts to speak with the broadcast clarity of someone talking on a cell phone in a tunnel. I’ve gone from getting the best weather information 2010 can provide to getting the best weather information 1970 can provide. My question: WHY DO THEY DO THIS?
I understand that the emergency alert system is supposed to warn people of imminent danger and get them to run for the cellar or hide in the bathroom when necessary. I’m going to assume it was created in an effort to help people. But when it breaks in on my super Doppler broadcast, I don’t see how it’s helping me. If I needed to take cover, Chris Wright would let me know. Weather people LIVE for these kind of storms. They love bragging about their coverage and their fancy radar in promotional ads for the station. In this situation, it seems like the Emergency Alert System is doing more harm than good.
So, someone please explain this to me. What am I overlooking that proves the EAS on TV helps people out? There’s got to be a reason, right?