Hurricane season 2012 officially begins

Meteorologists recommend having weather cellphone app

Headline Goes Here

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Friday is the official start of hurricane season.

Northeast Florida experienced some hurricane-type weather this week with Tropical Storm Beryl, and that could be the first of many storms the area could encounter this season.

One thing that can better prepare people is a weather app for their cellphone.

These apps are extremely important and can be very beneficial during hurricane season.

Mayor Alvin Brown recently told the city in a news conference about a new app aimed specifically at helping Jacksonville better prepare for stormy weather in the area.

"I am proud to announce the mobile device application that is going to help tremendously the next time our city faces a serious storm," Brown said.

The JaxReady free weather alert app is a lighter, mobile version of, an emergency preparedness and awareness website.

It will provide up-to-date information regarding all things storm-related.

Channel 4 meteorologist Rebecca Barry said an app like this is crucial to protecting oneself in the case of severe weather.

"If you have an app that will show the most currently updated statistics with that storm and let you get a look at that track because you have to make important decision," Barry said. "Whether you're going to evacuate, whether you're going to stay, what supplies you need to get."

Barry said there are a few components that an efficient weather app needs to have.

It needs to be from an official source, such as the city or an agency. It needs to be local to your area. Finally, it needs to have updated radar. She said that is especially important for Florida because of rapidly changing conditions.

The JaxReady app has all of these elements, and Brown and the city say they're excited about how big of a positive impact this app will have on the area -- just in time for hurricane season.

"Storm threat levels, weather patterns, road and bridge closures," Brown said. "All the things that affect people when they are out and have no other line of communication, but a mobile device like a smartphone or an iPad."

Copyright 2012 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.