McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

May 21, 2013

Blackboard alerts — Receive tornado warnings on your phone

By Rachel Petersen
Staff Writer

McALESTER — Did you receive a tornado warning alert on your phone last night? If the answer is "no," you may need to register to receive area-alerts on your phone.

On Monday evening, the National Weather Service sent out a tornado warning via "Blackboard Alerts" for Pittsburg County.

The alert system is utilized by various different organizations to send out needed alerts to area-citizens, said McAlester Police Chief Jim Lyles.

To sign up to receive "Blackboard Alerts," Lyles said to call Cliff Pitner at 918-423-9300 ext. 4951. "He will take you through the process," Lyles said.

The tornado warning alert was the only Blackboard alert that went out to everyone on the alert list. Lyles said some other alerts went out from local volunteer fire departments that were geared specifically for their tornado watchers. Lyles was unsure about how many of those alerts went out.

Contact Rachel Petersen at