Within 24 hours of a Banner article announcing the program, officials had allotted virtually all radios they had in stock to local residents.
CBEMA and the Local Emergency Planning Committee's distribution of free weather alert radios to the residents of Bradley County was enormously successful, according to Matthew Cason, administrative officer with CBEMA.
“Within 24 hours of the May 9 Banner article about the availability of the radios, all 119 units had been handed out or reserved through the flood of telephone calls which the EMA received,” said Cason.
“First priority was given to elderly, disabled, and homebound residents in our county, where they often need more time to move to a safe location, or have limited access to conventional radio or TV broadcasts.”
Cason stressed the same radio, a Midland WR-100, can be purchased at any Walgreens drugstore.
They require no programming and offer battery backup to maintain weather alerts even during power outages.
“Mindful of the increased severe weather patterns which this summer seems to be bringing to our state, and particularly after the flooding seen in Nashville and other areas west of the Tennessee Valley two weeks ago, the EMA considers advance warning of any weather-related emergency bearing down on Bradley County to be an absolute priority,” EMA Director Troy Spence said.
Weather alert radios, providing weather advisories, watches, and warnings as soon as they are issued by the National Weather Service in Morristown can make the difference between saving and losing a life.
“We want to do more to extend early warning systems to the residents of Bradley County. The sooner residents are alerted to emergencies, the more quickly and effectively they can take the actions necessary to protect themselves and their loved ones,” said Spence.
Spence expressed his hope that other companies and industries would make similar donations to the LEPC, which can be contacted via the Emergency Management Agency at 728-7289.