Basic Questions about the Service
- What is Alabama SAF-T-Net?
Alabama SAF-T-Net is a free weather alerting service for the residents of Alabama. It works with smart phone apps, text messaging, email and automated voice calls.
Alabama SAF-T-Net technology focuses on the worst of each storm, not the storms as a whole. This means the weather notifications you receive are more accurate, and specific to your selected locations. In addition, you receive exclusive notifications up to 15 minutes before the storm arrives.
- How do I receive Alabama SAF-T-Net weather alerts?
Alabama SAF-T-Net weather notifications can be received several ways:
- The Alabama SAF-T-Net app (iOS and Android devices)
- A text-capable mobile device
- Through your email account
- Additionally, if you don’t have a cell phone, mobile device or email account, you can choose to receive automated phone calls on landlines.
- What weather events will trigger an Alabama SAF-T-Net alert?
You can choose to receive notifications for any of the following instances. With the exception of Emergency Management alerts, all these are optional.
- National Weather Service Tornado Warnings (storm-based)
- National Weather Service Severe Thunderstorm Warnings (storm-based)
- National Weather Service Flash Flood Warnings (storm-based)
- Only with Alabama SAF-T-Net: Storms are entering your area.
- Only with Alabama SAF-T-Net: Notifications when a storm capable of producing hail, damaging winds OR flooding rains is approaching one or more of your alert locations. Each alert is accompanied with a Baron Tornado Index ranking of the storm’s tornado potential.
- Only with Alabama SAF-T-Net: Notifications when a storm containing potential tornadoes is approaching one or more of your alert locations. Each alert is accompanied with a Baron Tornado Index ranking of the storm’s tornado potential.
- Custom messages containing alert or safety information from local participating Emergency Management officials
- What is the Alabama SAF-T-Net app?
The app is the easiest and most powerful way to use the Alabama SAF-T-Net service. It is designed for almost any iPhone or Android smart phone. The app is a great daily weather tool, providing current conditions, forecasts, a radar map and more, in addition to Alabama SAF-T-Net weather alerts. You can also use the app to share storm photos with your local Emergency Management officials, notifying them of approaching storms or damage that has occurred.
- Where can I get the Alabama SAF-T-Net app?
You can download it from the iTunes Store or Google Play Store.
- Where do Alabama SAF-T-Net alerts come from?
Alabama SAF-T-Net was developed by Alabama-based Baron Services. We have been providing weather technologies for over 20 years. In fact, you likely have seen our VIPIR storm tracking system on live TV weather coverage. We also manufacture Doppler weather radar systems, and have performed major upgrade work for the U.S. National Weather Service, Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Defense. Our main office is located in Huntsville, Alabama. We have about 100 employees.
- How much does Alabama SAF-T-Net (the app and/or service) cost?
Alabama SAF-T-Net is a free service for residents of Alabama, although message and data rates apply. Message frequency varies with profile. Check with your cellular service provider for more details. For Alabama SAF-T-Net coverage in other areas, sign up at SAF-T-Net.baronservices.com
- Does Alabama SAF-T-Net (Baron Services) sell the contact information of subscribers?
No, we do not sell the contact information of our subscribers.
- Does Alabama SAF-T-Net (Baron Services) share my contact information with its partners?
No, we will not share your contact information with our Alabama SAF-T-Net partners.
- Are you selling private information to recoup the cost of Alabama SAF-T-Net?
No, we do not sell any private information. To help fund development and maintenance of the service, we place small ads in the Alabama SAF-T-Net app.
- Do Alabama SAF-T-Net text messages count towards my text limit?
Yes. Alabama SAF-T-Net messages do count towards carrier texting plan limits. If you would rather not receive text messages from Alabama SAF-T-Net, either select email messages as your delivery option, or download the Alabama SAF-T-Net app and receive alerts through push notifications on your smart phone.
- Do the app alerts count as text messages?
No. Alabama SAF-T-Net alerts over the app push notifications, which rely on data usage rather than text message count. Be sure to check with your service provider for data usage rates.
- I already have an Alabama SAF-T-Net account. How do I prevent getting duplicate alerts from the app?
After you’ve downloaded the Alabama SAF-T-Net app to your smart phone, you will need to disable your current Alabama SAF-T-Net account. Skipping this step means you will receive duplicate alerts on both the app and your existing account. Do not disable your account online before you have set up your app account, as this will cause an interruption in service.
Log onto your current Alabama SAF-T-Net account at https://saftnet2.baronservices.com, and go to the “Your Account” tab. Check the “Disable my Account” checkbox and click “Update”. This will stop all future SMS text messages, emails and voice calls from being sent to you. You will now receive all Alabama SAF-T-Net notifications through the app only.
- How do I setup alerts in the Alabama SAF-T-Net app?
To set up alerts within the Alabama SAF-T-Net app, tap the Alabama SAF-T-Net logo at the top-left of the app screen. Then tap “SAF-T-Net Alerts” in the sidebar menu. From here, you can enable alerts and set up locations for which you’d like to receive them.
- I have an Alabama SAF-T-Net account, and receive messages via SMS text message/email. Can I use the app too?
While it is possible to use both the app and the SMS text messaging/emailing alerting, we recommend you only use one method. All delivery methods send out the same messages at the same time. So if you have text messages, emails and the app activated, you’ll receive every message three times. We encourage using only one method to avoid receiving multiple alerts.
- With which smart phones is the app compatible?
The Alabama SAF-T-Net app is currently compatible with any phone running iOS operating systems 4.3 or higher, and phones using the Android 2.3 or higher.
- How can I submit a storm and/or weather damage photo to Emergency Management officials?
Tap the Alabama SAF-T-Net logo at the top-left of app screen. Then tap “Submit Content” at the bottom. From the menu that appears, you will be able to take a photo or select a photo from your existing library to submit. Local officials view the image through a secure web interface.
- Is any information shared about me when I submit photos?
Only the submitted image and the approximate location from where it was submitted are shown to Emergency Management officials. They will use this information to identify locations where storm damage has occurred.
- Can I temporarily stop Alabama SAF-T-Net messages?
Yes. Log in to your Alabama SAF-T-Net account, click the "Profile" tab and select the “disable my account” box. You won’t receive any messages until the box is unchecked. You can also reply to a Alabama SAF-T-Net text with the word “stop” to disable your account. Your account will remain disabled until you log back in and uncheck the “disable my account” box, or reply "start" to a previous Alabama SAF-T-Net message.
- I’m getting too many alerts – how can I pare them down?
For email and SMS alerts, log in to your Alabama SAF-T-Net account, and click Profile. Then scroll down to the list of alerts available, and select only those you wish to receive.
In the Alabama SAF-T-Net app, select SAF-T-Net Alerts from the menu on the left, and then tap Settings. In the Preferences option at the top of the screen, you can turn the various alert types on and off.
- I haven’t gotten an Alabama SAF-T-Net alert in a while. How do I know I’m still signed up?
You can always check your Alabama SAF-T-Net account by logging in and verifying your profile settings. Alternately, if you are signed up to receive Alabama SAF-T-Net notifications through SMS text message, you can text “who” to 61872. If you are still signed up, you will receive a text message within a minute confirming some of your account details.
- Can I switch back and forth between email and text message delivery?
Yes. Simply log into your Alabama SAF-T-Net account, and click "Profile". Then scroll down to “Your message preferences” and enter either your email address or cell phone number as your method of communication.
- How can I get information about my Alabama SAF-T-Net account without logging onto the website?
If you receive Alabama SAF-T-Net alerts through SMS text messages, you can text “where” to 61872 to receive a link showing your selected alert locations on a map. Text “help” to 61872 for a link to an Alabama SAF-T-Net help page. Text “what” to 61872 to see a list of your monitored alert locations.
- Can I choose the alert types I want to receive?
Yes. Just log into your Alabama SAF-T-Net account, and click on Profile. Scroll down to the “Message filters” section, and select some or all of the alerts you would like to receive.
In the Alabama SAF-T-Net app, you can choose which alerts to receive by tapping the Alabama SAF-T-Net logo in the top-left of the app, then tapping “SAF-T-Net Alerts” in the sidebar menu that appears.
- I don’t have a cell phone. Can I receive a phone call notification over my landline?
Yes. When you first sign up for Alabama SAF-T-Net, check the box labeled “I do not have a cell phone that can receive emails or text messages”. Checking this box allows you to receive Alabama SAF-T-Net messages (NWS Tornado Warnings and Baron “Twisting Storm” alerts only) through a voice call.
- I just received an Alabama SAF-T-Net alert message. How do I know which location it's for?
Alabama SAF-T-Net will typically include the name of the location for which the alert applies. If you have selected your mobile device as a location, then the message will simply say that the alert applies to “your other location”, or simply “your location” if you get alerts through the Alabama SAF-T-Net app.
- What is the difference between National Weather Service watches and warnings? Which is worse?
The National Weather Service defines the difference this way: “a watch means severe weather is possible during the next few hours, while a warning means that severe weather has been observed, or is expected soon”. Because a warning is based on observed weather, it should be considered more urgent than a watch.
- The TV says there is a Tornado Watch (or another type of watch). Why didn’t I get an alert?
Alabama SAF-T-Net is designed to focus on severe weather of immediate concern, so alert messages based on National Weather Service advisories are only transmitted when a storm-based (polygon) warning, not a watch, has been issued.
- What is the difference between storm-based warnings and traditional county warnings?
A storm-based (also called “polygon”) warning is based not on the boundaries of a county, but on the boundaries and direction of an actual storm. Because this type of warning is based on the actual storm area, it is a more accurate and reliable warning for weather activity that might affect your locations.
- I heard sirens. Why didn’t I get an alert?
Tornado sirens are operated by Emergency Management offices in your county, and are sounded based on National Weather Service storm-based warnings. In many areas, sirens are sounded county-wide, even though a relatively small portion of the population is truly under a warning. You will receive a storm-based Tornado Warning message only if your alert location is within the warning polygon. See the previous question for more information on storm-based (polygon) warnings.
- What happens if the Alabama SAF-T-Net main office is hit by severe weather and loses power? Will I still receive SMS/email/phone messages or app alerts?
The servers that power Alabama SAF-T-Net are located in Huntsville, Alabama, and in a back-up location, which means we will always be able to send out SMS, email and app alerts. The calling service that makes the voice calls is located outside of the state, so no matter the weather in Alabama, if you have signed up for them, you will receive voice call notifications.
- How do I know if my cell phone carrier supports Alabama SAF-T-Net text messages?
Alabama SAF-T-Net will work with the following cellular service providers: Alltel, AT&T, Boost, Cricket, Cellcom, Cellular South, Cincinnati Bell, nTelos, T-Mobile®, Verizon Wireless, Virgin, US Cellular, ACS Wireless, Bluegrass Cellular, Centennial Wireless, ECIT – Cell One of East Central IL, EKN/Appalachian Wireless, GCI Communications, Illinois Valley Cellular, Immix Wireless/PC Management, Inland Cellular, Nex-Tech Wireless, RCC/Unicel, Revol, Thumb Cellular, United Wireless and West Central Wireless.
- I want to become a media partner for Alabama SAF-T-Net. How do I get started?
We will be happy to work with you. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- How will Alabama SAF-T-Net benefit my audience?
Alabama SAF-T-Net is a statewide weather alerting service provided at no subscription cost to the residents of Alabama. Designed to notify those in the path of dangerous weather through mobile apps, text messaging, email or voice calls, Alabama SAF-T-Net alerts subscribers for up to four monitored locations. It allows you to provide, at no cost, a branded app, or a branded portal through which Alabama residents can subscribe to the service.
- What will joining the Alabama SAF-T-Net program cost?
Absolutely nothing. You may want to allocate a budget and resources for promoting your involvement with the Alabama SAF-T-Net program, but the service itself will be provided at no cost to you or your audience.