Frequently Asked Questions
Storm Shield 2.x
**NOTE** We are aware that the forecast audio is not working. This will be corrected in a future update.
1. Why am I asked for a partner code, and where can I get one?
If you were provided with a partner code by a participating Storm Shield client, you may enter this here. Otherwise, select "NO" and proceed to enter your zip code to determine if there are any participating clients in your area.
2. How do I add, remove, or manage my locations? Add or remove locations by tapping on the “Settings,” then on “Locations”.
First tap on "Settings" then, "Locations", then tap on “Add Location” in order to add additional locations to your list. You will be taken to a search screen where you can click “Find Me”, or enter a city, state, or zip code. You may then tap on the green pin to move it to a more accurate location (iOS only). You can remove a location by clicking on the “Edit” button at the top and then tapping the red minus icon to the left of any locations you wish to remove. On Android devices, press and hold on a location to delete it.
Why did my pin move? (iOS Only)
The app uses "tiles" to save your location to our servers. When you add a new location and place the pin, you'll notice a purple box. This purple box is the tile, and when an alert is issued, our servers check to see if that tile is within the watch/warning/advisory. If said tile is in the alert, we send your phone an alert. When you go back to your location, the pin is placed in the center of the tile that your saved location was in. Rest assured that while the pin may not be in the same place as where you saved it, you will still be alerted should an alert be placed for your immediate area.
3. I think I’m not getting alerts. What do I do?
You must open the application at least once after it’s installed. You must set up the application before you will receive any alerts.
You will only receive alerts for your “Current Location" if location tracking is enabled. To enable this feature tap “Settings in the sidebar, then tap “Background Tracking”, then set “Location Tracking to “ON”.
Check your alert settings. In the sidebar, tap “Settings”, tap “Alerts”, and review the alerts currently selected. From here, you can specify the types of alerts you receive by turning them on or off.
The Storm Shield application is very precise. This means you will only receive alerts if your current location or a saved location falls inside a watch/warning box. Most other alerting services are county-based and sometimes you will receive alerts that do not actually affect you. If you are alerted from another service but do not get an alert from iMapWeather Radio, please check the alert type overlay on the interactive map in order to see if your location is actually effected.
If you are using an iOS device that doesn’t include a GPS or a cellular connection, it’s ability to determine your current location is limited. This includes all current iPod touch models and some iPad models. Those devices rely on WiFi signals to determine your location.
If you are still concerened, you may send an email from the "Support" portion of the application and our 24/7 support team will be glad to help further troubleshoot.
4. I heard sirens but this app didn't go off!
My other app sent me an alert, why didn't this one?
Here is an example why users should check the interactive map in Storm Shield if they think they may be missing alerts or if legacy alert systems say they are under an alert and Storm Shield does not. Storm Shield alerts you when you or a saved location falls inside a watch or warning box. Other alerting systems may alert you even if you are outside of the watch or warning box because they are less precise. For example, the National Weather Service issued a thunderstorm warning outside of the Duluth, MN area. Most legacy systems alert people based on the city and county references in the NWS alert, even though thiswarning box was well outside of the city of Duluth and did not cover the county completely. As result, many people may have received false alarms. With Storm Shield ONLY people INSIDE, or with saved locations inside, the orange warning box were alerted to this Severe Thunderstorm Warning. Conclusion: Always check to see if you or your saved locations are inside the watch and warning box using the iMap in Storm Shield.
Our support team is available 24/7 to answer your questions and can double check if your location fell within a watch or warning area.
5. How do I change my media partner selection?
In order to change the media partner, you must delete and reinstall the application. You will NOT be charged by Apple for a re-install. In order to delete the application, click on the Storm Shield application icon on your phone and hold it until an X appears. Click the X. Then, go to the iTunes store, search for “Storm Shield” and re-install the application. For Android users, you can simply choose the "Clear Data" option from within the Application Management in your device settings.
6. Why am I not seeing pop up alerts for watches/warnings?
From the settings app, go to Notifications, click on the Storm Shield app, and make sure that alerts are turned on. On Android devices, be sure that background data is enabled.
7. Why don't I see any data? Why does the app display an error message?
Your device likely does not have a reliable internet connection, so the app is unable to receive data. The app will automatically receive data again once your device has reestablished a WiFi or cellular internet connection.
8. Why does the application want to know my current location?
Storm Shield can display your current location on the map. It can also track your current location in order to send you alerts for that location. To enable or disable location tracking in the app, tap “Settings” in the sidebar, then tap “Background Tracking”, then set “Location Tracking” to ON or OFF as desired. You can control the app’s ability to access your location for any purpose through the iOS Settings app.
9. Why can’t the app find my location? Why does it display an error message when trying to locate me?
Check the Settings app to see if Location Services are enabled for Storm Shield. On iOS 5, open the Settings app and tap “Location Services”. Scroll through the list of apps, locate Storm Shield, and make sure its switch is set to ON. Location Services rely on a combination of GPS, cellular, and WiFi signals to determine your location. If you’re in area where these signals are weak or unavailable, the app may not be able to locate you even if Location Services are enabled.
10. How do I animate or loop the iMap radar?
Click the play button, which is the second button from the right in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen.
11. How do I know the radar or satellite data are current?
Look at the timestamp at the top of the map. Radar data is updated every 5 minutes and the satellite data is updated every 15 minutes. Both will update automatically without restarting the app.
12. Can I change the radar or satellite so that I can see the map better?
Tap the info button, labeled "i", in the far right corner of the screen and then drag the “Weather Opacity” slider to the left to make the data more transparent or drag to the right to make the data less transparent.
13. Can I have the “satellite" view of the background map?
Tap the “i” in the lower right corner of the screen to reveal the iMap settings. You may choose "Standard", “Satellite” or "Hybrid".
14. How do I get a forecast?
To listen to an audio forecast, click on the location of interest, then press the play button next to “Forecast”. The application will play an audio forecast and any alerts for the location you have chosen. To read the forecast text, tap the Forecast item. The forecast text will be displayed in the lower half of the screen. You can scroll this view to read all of the text.
15. Can I switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit?
Note at this time.
16. The application seems slow on my iPhone 3 or 3GS. Why?
Storm Shield will work on devices running iOS 4.2 or higher. The older iPhone 3 is not as powerful as the 3GS or iPhone 4. It struggles to run iOS 4.0 or higher and will often be slow. As a result, this application will run better on newer devices. Also, be aware that the iPhone 3 does not fully support Apple’s Location Services and as a result if you use “Follow me” on the iPhone 3 it will potentially drain your battery. You should not see this issue with the 3GS or iPhone 4 or 4S.
17. I’m receiving alerts that I don’t want. How do I stop them? Click on the “Settings” tab, and then choose “Alerts”.
You can toggle the alerts to on or off by tapping on alerts you wish to receive. Checkmarks indicate the alerts that are turned on for your device.
18. I used the Find Me functionality, but I don’t think the location is accurate. Why is this?
iPod, and Wifi iPad devices cannot use cell towers to fix a location and so they will be less accurate. Also, if Location Based Services (LBS) is off, your location fix will not be as accurate. If the location is inaccurate, you can always change the boxed location by tapping on the green pin and moving it to the correct location. The location box will then be repositioned to better reflect your current location.
19. Why are there different colors and numbers next to my stored locations?
The colors and numbers next to your stored locations indicate the type of alert issued and how many alerts are currently in effect. Red alerts indicate your location is under a warning, orange indicates a watch, and yellow an advisory.
20. I appear to get duplicate alerts, or sometimes I don’t get every alert. Why?
Based on how Apple Push Notification Service (APNS) works, if the same alert is issued for multiple locations at the same exact time, the end user receives one alert. If the same alert is issued for multiple locations at different times, the end user will receive multiple alerts.
21. Why doesn't Apple Push Notification Service (APNS) work?
There are a couple of things that could prevent you from receiving APNS alerts.
Please check and make sure you have notifications turned on inside the application. In order to do this, tap on Settings >> Notifications >> Storm Shield >> and make sure Alerts are set to “On”. If you find alerts is turned off. Please delete and reinstall the application with alerts turned on. You should not be charged by iTunes.
Another reason you may not get APNS alerts is due to WiFi security settings. iPhones typically prioritize WiFi over the wireless carrier network for speed and to save you money on your data plan. Some companies block the delivery of APNS alerts. Turn off WiFi or check with the firewall administrator to see if this is the case.
If you are using WiFi it is possible you are connected to the router, but the router is not connected to the Internet. You can check to see if your router is connected to the Internet by opening a browser on your device and visiting a Web site.
22. Does the location tracking feature affect battery life? Why is the location icon always displayed in the status bar?
This application should not excessively drain your battery. We took special precautions to prevent this from happening. See more below:
GPS: The Storm Shield application never actually uses GPS, which will drain your battery significantly. This application only uses Apple’s Location Services (LBS), which can be turned on/off under device settings. Apple’s LS feature runs very efficiently and we are very discriminating about how we use the service.
Privacy: The only reason the application uses Apple’s Location Services (LBS) is so that users can be alerted if they move into an area that falls under an alert. We are not recording user movement.
Arrow: An arrow will appear on your phone if the application requests your location within the last 24 hours. The arrow is telling you Apple’s Location Services has been engaged by the application in the past 24 hours, but it does not mean it is actively seeking your location at that moment. This service can run in the background and it is only used to detect significant changes to your location. This helps to ensure you receive alerts for your current location when on the move or while traveling.
Battery Life: This application is designed to only make a negligible impact on your battery. Our tests have shown a typical iPhone running iMapWeather Radio using this service will see the application consume no more than 5% of the battery over four hours. There is one known exception -- The iPhone 3 when running iOS 4.0+ does not honor the use of Apple’s Location Services and so it will use GPS. This could result in significant battery drain. Users on iPhone 3G running iOS4.0+ should turn off LS in the settings panel when it is not needed.
23. I see alerts but I don’t hear the alert sound or voice.
Make sure that NOTIFICATIONS (located in your General Settings) are “ON” (look for the Storm Shield application and turn sounds and alerts ON).
Please make sure that the audio button on the side of the phone is not in the mute position. If that button is set to mute, you will still be able to listen to the forecast but you will not hear the beeps from alerts or hear the voice announce them to you.
24. Why am I receiving alerts from my local media provider?
Participating media providers have the ability to send custom alerts through Storm Shield. These alerts are controlled by the media partner and are sent at their discretion. Custom alerts can be enabled or disabled through the app’s Alert settings screen.