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How to Get iPhone Tornado Warnings and Notifications



This guide will show you how to get iPhone tornado warnings and notifications when severe weather is headed for your current location and how to get an iPhone tornado alert when there is a watch or a warning at specific places like your home, parent’s home or where your kids live in another state.

With this collection of free iPhone tornado apps you can be ready for severe weather and tornadoes as soon as the National Weather Service issues a warning or watch. Some of these apps will also alert you when it is safe and include information on what to do if there is a tornado.

With tornado season reaching a peak in May through late summer it is essential to prepare for a Tornado and be aware of the weather before you travel or sometimes before you go to sleep for the night. Tornado sirens and other emergency alerts are good, but for users that want to see the details, these iPhone tornado apps and alerts are essential.

This is a sample iPhone Tornado Warning from the National Weather Service.

This is a sample iPhone Tornado Warning from the National Weather Service.

The easiest way to get iPhone Tornado warnings is built-in to the iPhone software and is normally on by default. This alerts you based on your current location, so it is perfect for traveling. We’ll also how you several apps that will help you track the status of the tornado or severe weather and an iPhone tornado app that can help you track bad weather for friends and family so you can call and let them know that a tornado is coming, even if they don’t own an iPhone or smartphone.

A Tornado Watch means that weather conditions are conducive to a tornado forming. The built-in iPhone tornado alerts will not show this type of notification. A Tornado Warning means that a tornado is spotted in that area or radar indicates a tornado is imminent or in progress and you should immediately seek safety.

iPhone Tornado Warning Alerts

The iPhone includes a built in emergency notification alert that sends NOAA alerts directly to the iPhone so that users will know when there is a tornado warning, extreme wind warning or a flash flood warning. The best part about this type of iPhone tornado alert is that it will go off even if you are asleep with Do Not Disturb on. Clearly a tornado warning is one alert you don’t want to be silent.

Many times the iPhone tornado warning will arrive before the tornado sirens are activated and when possible will come before the bad weather. A iPhone tornado alert will include the location and the time until the warning ends. The alert does not contain a lot of additional information because it is sent in a text message.

In order to make sure you get any iPhone tornado alerts you need to go to Settings -> Notification Center -> Scroll to the bottom -> Turn Emergency Alerts On.

This is how to get iPhone Tornado Warnings even when the iPhone is in Do Not Disturb.

This is how to get iPhone Tornado Warnings even when the iPhone is in Do Not Disturb.

Once this is set up you should start to get iPhone emergency alerts when bad weather approaches. These are free alerts, and you will not see any text message alerts on your bill for these messages. This is separate from iPhone Amber Alerts, so if you turn those off you will still receive updates on weather.

The iPhone tornado warnings will sound a loud notification similar to the warning tone you hear on TV when an alert is issued. The video at the top of this section shows a sample iPhone tornado warning and the sound it plays.

iPhone Tornado Warning App

There are many paid iPhone apps that alert users to sever weather and tornadoes, but you don’t need to pay to get iPhone tornado alerts for important locations. The free Red Cross Tornado app lets users set up alerts for specific locations. This means the iPhone will still send you alerts based on your location, but you can also get iPhone tornado warnings for areas you select. This is how I keep track of alerts for my parents, sister and friends.

This iPhone Tornado app is free and can notify you for multiple locations.

This iPhone Tornado app is free and can notify you for multiple locations.

After you install the Red Cross Tornado app make sure you give it permission to use your location and to send notifications. To add locations for iPhone tornado tracking tap on Tornado in the bar a the bottom of the app. Tap on Locations monitored. If you want alerts based on your current location toggle this switch to green.

Now, tap on Add location in the middle of the screen. Enter the zip code or city, state for the area you want to track. Tap on Search in the upper right. If the location it finds is correct tap on the city name it to see the area on a map. If the red area cover the location you need to know about tap on Accept location in the upper right.


Use this app to get iPhone tornado warnings at multiple locations you pick.

Use this app to get iPhone tornado warnings at multiple locations you pick.

Form now on you will get iPhone tornado warnings for this area even if you are not in that area. You can enter multiple areas inside the U.S. and U.S. territories. The app also sends a notification when the warning is over.

The Red Cross Tornado app also includes what to do right before a tornado and during one, as well as other information about planning ahead. If your area is affected the app will show current shelters near you. There is also a test to check your knowledge.

For more detailed information about weather and severe weather check out Gotta Be Mobile’s top 5 iPhone Weather Apps.



  1. Larry

    04/30/2014 at 9:16 am

    I’m in Cali I’ll trade tornados for earthquakes at least tornados has a warning and you know wen they are coming earthquakes your screwed

  2. Larry

    04/30/2014 at 9:22 am

    Sorry if my post was bad to some?? But god be with all whom are affected by this years tornados, I’m from Iowa as a kid so I’ve seen the disaster also my first year in Los Angeles in 1994 I was dug from a collapsed building from the northrige quake so I’ve seen the bad of both at 46 it’s a life experience you DONT want!!! God bless all in tornado alley!!!

  3. Carrie

    07/01/2014 at 7:45 pm

    My notification “Emergency Alerts” is on in settings, but my husband received an alert last night for a tornado and I didn’t. Does anyone know why?

  4. Sami Guindi

    12/27/2015 at 1:54 pm

    We’ve set up an Apple app in Canada presently at the Apple Store called iis2iis (eyes to eyes) We have many communities including a tornado app group that share what they see on the ground with others.

    If you see an impending tornado approaching, take a picture with the App and it is automatically time stamped and geo-located. Then send a “ping”, others with the app will receive a warning based on their distance preferences on their app… simple.

    Si vous voyez une tornade imminente approchant, prendre une photo avec l’application et il est automatiquement horodatées et géolocalisées. D’autres avec l’application recevront un avertissement fonction de leurs préférences à distance sur leur application.

  5. Angely

    03/26/2016 at 5:01 pm

    I don’t have the government alerts button what do I do?

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