Scripps Builds a New Storm Shield

The E.W. Scripps Company has launched the new Storm Shield app, which offers customizable weather alerts for up to five locations. The app, which also includes a 'follow me' option, will then push text alerts along with a voice message from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration to users.

"Most smartphone users keep their devices nearby all the time, including while sleeping, so there is no better platform to take over for this kind of alerting and information," noted said Adam Symson, chief digital officer of The E.W. Scripps Company in a statement. "Storm Shield will wake you if a tornado is bearing down on your neighborhood in the middle of the night, or warn you of flash flooding when your power is out. It's like having a personal meteorologist tap you on the shoulder when severe weather requires your attention."

The app is currently on sale for $4.99 in the Apple app store and will be available next month for Android-powered tablets and smartphones. Scripps is planning to market the app on a national level, but will make a particularly strong promotional push in the 26 U.S. markets where the company operates television stations, newspapers and digital news organizations.

The app was developed in conjunction with Norman, Okla.-based Weather Decision Technologies and the Storm Shield alerting infrastructure is being hosted at a secure center designed to withstand the winds of the most severe (EF-5) tornadoes.