Weather radio giveaway is April 13
by By GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Mar 24, 2013 | 788 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
OFFICIALS ARE gearing up for another Weather Radio giveaway as the anniversary of the deadly tornadoes which struck in Spring 2011.
OFFICIALS ARE gearing up for another Weather Radio giveaway as the anniversary of the deadly tornadoes which struck in Spring 2011.

Once again the community is expected to come together for safety’s sake.

Last year, Ace Hardware of Cleveland hosted a weather radio giveaway along with other business and government members of the community, referencing the April 2011 and March 2012, tornadoes.

On April 13, Ace, McIntire and Associates and Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency and others will repeat the giveaway to qualified individuals or families.

Scott Williamson of WCLE, Mix 104.1 and Talk 103.1 is aiding in coordinating the event.

“We will giveaway more than 100 weather radios courtesy of McIntire & Associates, Safeco Insurance & Ace Hardware. We will have bouncy toys for kids, and hot dogs courtesy of Cooke's Food Store,” Williamson said.

CBCEMA officials will be onsite to help program the radios which can be obtained through prequalification for the giveaway, or for those who don’t qualify and still need to purchase the possible life-saving tool.

Williamson said an opening ceremony is planned by the area color guards and the National Anthem will be performed.

According to Williamson, area law enforcement, city and county fire personnel, utilities representatives from Cleveland Utilities and Volunteer Energy, the Hiwassee Chapter of the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and other agencies will be present as well.

Others commitments are also still possible.

At the end of March, the Long Term Recovery Organization is expected to hibernate from two years of repair and rebuilding homes and lives affected by the deadly storm in 2011 and the smaller event in 2012.

This past week, a National Weather Spotters class drew more than 70 people.

Anthony Cavallucci of the Morristown office said Bradley County is in a “Hot Zone” for tornadic activity.

“Bradley County is a Storm-Ready community,” said CBCEMA Director Troy Spence.

Storm-Ready means certain criteria has been formed into the warning systems and response to weather related events such as tornadoes.

Social media, Nixle and other warning systems have been instituted.

After the tornadoes, federal emergency managers praised the efforts in rescue and recovery in the days following the events.

LTRO was established to help clean up, repair, rebuild and even provide resources to those affected.

Nine people died locally in the 2011 storms. Five tornadoes were reported and tracked, but those five tornadoes spun off at least five more destructive twisters making them what is called “multiple-vortices” tornadoes.

“Every safety tool we can help provide hopefully means more lives will be saved,” Spence said.

Times for the event have not been established.

To qualify for a free weather radio, contact Curtis Cline, administrative officer for CBCEMA at 728-7289.