N.W.A. convention seeks answers in tornado warnings, deaths

There are over 700 weather professionals at this year's National Weather Service convention in Hoover. But it's not about them, it's about the people.

"It doesn't matter what I think or what the weather service thinks or what the emergency managers think in this warning process," ABC 33/40 Chief Meteorologist, James Spann, said. "It matters what the public thinks."

Spann still can't believe 252 people died in Alabama April 27th. The goal of the convention is trying to figure out why that number was so{} high.

"Unfortunately we had way too many deaths that occurred on April 27 and across the entire United States this past year," National Weather Service Meteorologist, Jim Stefkovich said.

"I think it's been a wake-up call," Joplin, MO Meteorologist John Gagan said.

On May 22, more than 150 people died in Joplin when an E-F 5 tornado struck the town of just over 50,000. He wants to know how people receive information and what they do with it.

"I think it's allowed us to get a new framework to discuss new ways to better communicate," he said. "New ways to get to the people."

Spann is a firm believer in social media.

"The truth is it's mainstream," he said. "It clearly, without doubt, saved peoples lives April 27."

Ultimately, though, he says it's up to the people to make the best decision.

"I do believe there's some folks that unless a government employee comes and beats on the door and drags you out of the house and puts you in an underground bunker, you'll say that you got no warning," Spann said. "We all have an important roll in this warning process, so personal responsibility's a big thing and you've got to be aware of what's going on."