Preferences


While in the alerts list, tap the Menu button, and choose Preferences.  That opens a screen where numerous user-customizable options are available.  Here is a description of what can be changed.

preferences

General Preferences

  Status Bar Action: Choose this to select what action to take when you tap an alert notification in the status bar.
Note:  If an alert expires before you have a chance to tap it in the status bar, then tapping it will take you to the active alerts list, regardless of this setting.

Remind Me: When this is selected, then notifications actions (lights/sound/vibrate) will periodically repeat until you either tap the notification in the status bar (read the alert), or hit Clear.  If this is cleared, then the notification sound/lights/vibrate will only occur one time.  The alert notification itself will remain in the status bar until you hit Clear or read the alert.

Notify While in Alerts List:  When selected, you will receive full notification actions (lights/sound/vibrate) when a new alert is received, even if you are currently viewing the alerts list.  If not selected, then you will not have notification actions while in the alerts list, though the alert itself will still appear in text on the status bar.

Exclude Events: Select any events that you do not want to receive any notification from.  This list overrides all other lists, so selecting it here and also selecting it in the "emergency events" list means it still will not notify.  USE THIS LIST CAREFULLY, as you will not receive any notification of these alerts, even if they have Extreme severity.  Please note, however, that the events WILL still appear in the alerts list if that event is received.

Default Sort Order

Choose what sort order you want the alerts list to use.  This is the same option as is available by using the Alerts List context Menu.
(Note: Simple Weather Alert does not have this option)

Emergency and Urgent Notification

(Note: Simple Weather Alert does not have an Urgent Notification section, it only has Emergency and Default)
Emergency notification is a user-customizable level of response for a given set of alerts.  This allows you to customize how the app notifies you when specific alerts come in, or alerts of a specific severity.  If you want a more aggressive notification for the worst alerts, you would set that up here.  Urgent notification is just another "level" of response you can set that it somewhere between Emergency and Default.  Though this section only mentions Emergency Notification, all settings apply the same to Urgent Notification.

Enable Emergency Notification: This is a master enable/disable for emergency notification.  If this is unchecked, then any weather events that match the "emergency notification" criteria, through severity or the events list, will *NOT* cause a notification.  The event will still appear in the alerts list.  It is recommended that you leave this enabled. 
If you ONLY care about certain weather events or types (such as Tornado Warnings, Tornado Watches), then you would select those events for emergency notification, make sure this is enabled, and then disable all other notification types (Urgent and Default).  You would then receive notification ONLY for those selected events.

Notification Actions: Choose what actions to take when an alert comes in that you designate as requiring emergency notification.  This would usually be your most aggressive means of getting your attention.
Note that if you de-select all actions, the alert will still be displayed as text in the status bar.

Notification Sound: Choose a ringtone to play when the alert matches emergency notification.

Override Silent Phone: Check this box if you want the app to override any silent phone settings in order to notify you.  In other words, if you normally turn your phone volume all the way down at night, then enable this if you want the app to turn the volume up when notifying you.  Note that the app will not turn the volume back down after notification, it will be up to you to silence the phone again if you desire it.

Repeat Alerts Notification: The NWS often issues updated, amended alerts for the same weather event (Severe Thunderstorm Warning, Flood Warning, etc).  They also often issue several different versions of the same weather event, pertinent to different parts of the same county.  During active weather, this can cause the same alert event to cause repeated notification.  If you find yourself thinking "Why am I getting Flood Warnings every 10 minutes??", this is what is going on.  To minimize this over-notification of repeated alerts, you have several options:

NWS Severity: The Severity of a particular weather event is decided by the NWS, and is usually the best indicator of how bad the event might be.  There is no direct correlation between severity and if an event is an Advisory, Watch, or Warning.  For example, usually only Tornado Warnings have Extreme Severity.  Examples of Severe weather events include Severe Thunderstorm Warnings and Tornado Watches.  Choose what NWS severity levels that emergency notification will be applied to.  All NWS alerts that match this severity criteria will use the emergency notification actions when posted to the status bar.
Specific Weather Events: Choose specific weather events that you want to use emergency notification actions, no matter what their severity is.  Scroll through the list and select all alerts that will always use emergency notification when received.  (Note: Simple Weather Alert does not have this option)

Keep Alerts Quiet Before: Select a time.  Any alerts that match the emergency notification criteria received before this time each day will not make any sound or vibrate.  The alert will still appear in the status bar and the alerts list.  Use this setting if you do not want emergency alerts to wake you up early.  Note: The time you select is from midnight.  So if you select 8 PM, then alerts will be kept quiet from midnight until 8 PM.  Most people will choose a time in the AM for this option (8 AM so alerts are kept quiet from midnight until 8 AM).

Keep Alerts Quiet After: Select a time.  Any alerts that match the emergency notification criteria received after this time each day will not make any sound or vibrate.  The alert will still appear in the status bar and the alerts list.  Use this setting if you do not want emergency alerts to wake you up after you've gone to bed.  Note: The time you select is until midnight.  So if you select 10 AM, then alerts will be kept quiet from 10 AM until midnight.  Most people will choose a time in the PM for this option (10 PM so alerts are kept quiet from 10PM until midnight).

Testing your Notification Settings

Once you have finished setting up your preferences for Emergency and Urgent notification, you can do a quick test to make sure that it does what you expect.  Tap Menu, and then Test Emergency Notification.  That will immediately send you a notification just as if an alert had come in.  Make sure the sound, vibrate, light, and other actions are as you expect.  To clear the notification, pull down the status bar and either tap Clear, or tap the notification to remove it.


Default Notification

Default notification is what will happen to all other alerts.  Any alerts that do not match the emergency or urgent criteria will have the default notification actions.

Enable Default Notification: This is a master enable/disable for default notification.  If this is unchecked, then any weather events that do not match emergency or urgent notification will *NOT* cause a notification.  The event will still appear in the alerts list. 

Notification Actions: Choose what actions to take when an alert comes in that you designate as requiring emergency notification.  This would usually be your most aggressive means of getting your attention.
Note that if you de-select all actions, the alert will still be displayed as text in the status bar.

Notification Sound: Choose a ringtone to play when the alert matches emergency notification.

Override Silent Phone: Check this box if you want the app to override any silent phone settings in order to notify you.  In other words, if you normally turn your phone volume all the way down at night, then enable this if you want the app to turn the volume up when notifying you.  Note that the app will not turn the volume back down after notification, it will be up to you to silence the phone again if you desire it.

Repeat Alerts Notification: The NWS often issues updated, amended alerts for the same weather event (Severe Thunderstorm Warning, Flood Warning, etc).  They also often issue several different versions of the same weather event, pertinent to different parts of the same county.  During active weather, this can cause the same alert event to cause repeated notification.  If you find yourself thinking "Why am I getting Flood Warnings every 10 minutes??", this is what is going on.  To minimize this over-notification of repeated alerts, you have several options:
Keep Alerts Quiet Before: Select a time.  Any alerts that match the emergency notification criteria received before this time each day will not make any sound or vibrate.  The alert will still appear in the status bar and the alerts list.  Use this setting if you do not want emergency alerts to wake you up early.  Note: The time you select is from midnight.  So if you select 8 PM, then alerts will be kept quiet from midnight until 8 PM.  Most people will choose a time in the AM for this option (8 AM so alerts are kept quiet from midnight until 8 AM).

Keep Alerts Quiet After: Select a time.  Any alerts that match the emergency notification criteria received after this time each day will not make any sound or vibrate.  The alert will still appear in the status bar and the alerts list.  Use this setting if you do not want emergency alerts to wake you up after you've gone to bed.  Note: The time you select is until midnight.  So if you select 10 AM, then alerts will be kept quiet from 10 AM until midnight.  Most people will choose a time in the PM for this option (10 PM so alerts are kept quiet from 10 PM until midnight).

Testing your Notification Settings

Once you have finished setting up your preferences for Emergency and Urgent notification, you can do a quick test to make sure that it does what you expect.  Tap Menu, and then Test Emergency Notification.  That will immediately send you a notification just as if an alert had come in.  Make sure the sound, vibrate, light, and other actions are as you expect.  To clear the notification, pull down the status bar and either tap Clear, or tap the notification to remove it.

Polling Times

The app checks for alerts at specific intervals.  You can increase the intervals so that the app does not run as often, thus conserving battery.  However, that will delay how quickly new alerts are received.  Decreasing the intervals makes the app more responsive to changing weather conditions, but will use more battery.  Since severe weather seldom arrives without some kind of preceeding alert, it is usually ok to set a longer time between polls when no alerts are active.

When Alerts Are Active:  Set how often to check for new alerts when there are already active alerts active.  This lets you set a faster response time when weather is active and changing.

When No Alerts: Set how often to check for new alerts when there are no alerts currently active for your locations.  This lets you conserve some battery by not checking as often when weather is not active.

Note:  The NWS does not allow its alerts service to be polled faster than every 2 minutes, so you will not be able to select a time lower than that.

Keywords and Phrases

You can create a list of words or phrases that might be present in an incoming alert.  For instance, alerts frequently mention when a storm will be near certain towns or smaller cities.  For the most effective word or phrases, read some incoming alerts to understand how the NWS might reference an area of interest to you.

To access the list, tap Menu:Keywords when in the alerts list.  You can then add key words or phrases by entering them in the text box and tapping Add Keyword.  You can delete a keyword or phrase by tap and holding on it for 2 seconds, then selecting Delete Keyword.

adding keywords

When you are finished, tap the Back button on your android phone to return to the alerts list.  Any alerts that contain your keywords will be marked with the keywords icon. keyword icon  When you view the details of that alert, the matching phrases will be highlighted.