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ALERT Activation


Did you know, that if you are a SKYWARN spotter, that even if you aren’t a ham radio operator, you can report information through a chat room?

When the National Weather Service calls on ALERT, we also monitor a chat room, commonly called “BMXSPOTTERCHAT,” and pass that information to the National Weather Service. This is just one of the many ways that you can get your report directly to the National Weather Service. This is also useful for ham radio operators  on the outer fringes of repeater coverage area.

You do NOT have to be an ALERT member to participate in this chat. However, we ask that participants take at least one of the basic SKYWARN storm spotter training’s, for your safety and report quality reasons.

Click here to view the information, how-to videos, and guidance for the chat room.

Also, feel free to contact ALERT by sending a message through our Facebook page ( if you are interested in becoming an amateur radio operator, for an open line for your storm reports that will work when everything else fails. 

For years, ALERT has had a newsletter, and for ALERT Operational Members a callout text message/email list. This month, and into April, we will be making calls to phone numbers on the callout list, to make sure that we have up-to-date information on our members who respond when called to the National Weather Service.

 In 2012, we lost some information in a server upgrade, and as recently as 2016, we realized that if a message ever bounced, the server was removing people from the list, without us knowing it. Today, Microsoft has donated us email server services, through Office365, which fixes those issues. 

If you were previously on our newsletter list, and found yourself removed, or you wish to subscribe, please send an email message to admin {aT} OR to our Facebook page (, and include the following information.

  • Your Full Name (and/or callsign if a ham radio operator)
  • Your email address

If you are an Operational Member, and you wish to be on the callout list for email or phone, send an email message or Facebook message with:

  • Your Full Name (and/or callsign)
  • Your email address
  • For text messages, your phone number and cell phone carrier
  • You will also receive an invite to access the members-only area, in Office365 Sharepoint.

ALERT does not share your information outside of the NWS/ALERT, and will not sell your information to commercial interests.

This is an ALERT Operational Members Only event, hosted by the National Weather Service in Birmingham.

Starting Time: Friday, December 2, 2016 @ 6:00PM 
We will operate a station until Saturday, December 3, at 1:00PM, when we begin the ALERT Christmas Party

We will be on all bands/radios in the forecast station: (144, 220, 440, D-Star)
We will be setting up an expeditionary HF station in the conference room, with portable antennas in the yard.

The Christmas Party this year will feature ham, instead of BBQ

The K4NWS – Amateur Radio Station at the Birmingham Weather Service was physically being relocated due to renovations within the Weather Service. As a result the responding team had to set up an expeditionary station in order to communicate.

As a part of SET and to test the ALERT Team’s response capability they were not told everything until the call-out was issued on Thursday afternoon and the actual plans were not discussed until a special teleconference that occurred at 1400 Friday afternoon.

Ronnie King was tasked with being the Supervising Leader and he had the others put the plan together on the phone. The pictures below are the results.

The responding Team was:
Ronnie King – WX4RON
Justin Glass – N0ZO
Casey Benefield – NZ2O
Michael Lamb – KK4OHW


Roger Parsons









ALERT / National Weather Service Birmingham Coverage Area

  • ALERT covers the BMX county warning area. Presently, this includes: Autauga, Barbour, Bibb, Blount, Bullock, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Coosa, Dallas, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Jefferson, Lamar, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Marion, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Randolph, Russell, Shelby, St Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker, Winston
  • What does ALERT do?

  • ALERT provides the National Weather Service in Birmingham, and the community, on-call 24/7/365 emergency communication services.
  • ALERT responds when called upon, for severe storms, tornadoes, flooding, snow, or ice events. ALERT collects ground-truth storm spotter data from amateur radio for the NWS.
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    ALERT Zello Channel