Using its outdoor electronic signs, Walgreens now providing storm tracking

DEERFIELD, Ill. Everybody talks about the weather. Walgreens, taking its cue from an increasingly intense hurricane season, is trying to do a little something about it.

The chain said today it has begun offering its electronic outdoor signs at Walgreens stores across the country to provide weather updates. The company is partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s [NOAA] National Weather Service to alert customers and passersby of impending severe weather.

Under the agreement, Walgreens can tap into NOAA’s live data feed about approaching storms, then post updates to any of its 3,300 electronic outdoor signs in affected areas. The chain will link to NOAA’s data source every five minutes to provide details as severe weather draws near.

Walgreens locations with electronic signs represent more than half of the company’s 6,443 stores nationwide.

Walgreens director of community affairs John Gremer said the chain’s “highly visible corner locations give us a unique opportunity to provide this valuable service to communities.

“Severe weather warnings are potential lifesavers, and what better place to make this information available than a source that captures the attention of millions of people everyday?” Gremer added.

Walgreens has used its electronic signs before for community alerts. In 2005, it launched an Amber Alert initiative that posts regional bulletins on recent child abductions.

Gremer said the company “will continue to seek other opportunities to provide this type of service.”

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