In today's more volatile weather situation, more people are being put at risk by severe storms. Gary Crawford reports on one way to cut the risk.
I’ve seen two dead bodies…just rubble, trees down, and cars, just people’s belongings every where…just a collection of victims and first-hand witnesses of tornados from around the country some of them alive today because of warnings from the National Weather Service. Some around them may not have been so lucky as the storms may have hit at night, or may have hit after power went out in a thunderstorm.
However, death losses from thunderstorms and hurricanes are down from just 10 years ago…”I do believe that’s the case.” That’s National Weather Service Meteorologist John Simenesky he was here at the US Department of Agriculture building the other showing folks how the Weather Service is helping provide warnings that are more timely and accurate. Satellite, Doppler radar, the Weather Service’s own aircraft all contributing to better warnings. But, he says that all the warnings in the world won’t help them if people can’t get them. And many times these tornados hit in the middle of the night when TV’s and computers are off, and so what does John recommend? “NOAA weather radio…all weather radio.” NOAA weather radio. “it’s like having a smoke detector in your house, I call it a weather detector.” And they work like that, too. Radios today aren’t like those old ones, those old weather service radios these are high-tech devices…”if a tornado warning comes out, and you’re asleep, the radio can alert you…” “and that in and of itself, is invaluable.”
These will give you general warnings in your wide area…”and you can also use these newer devices that are out there, that are called the Specific Area Encoders, where you can program the device to pick up warnings for a specified area, either your county, or counties surrounding that.” So, the newer radios can be zeroed in on your location, and they run on batteries, no problem with power outages. That’s the unique thing about weather radios, you can still count on it.” And John Simenesky says don’t think you don’t need a weather radio because you don’t live in Tornado Alley…”a tornado has occurred in every state. And to dispel a few myths…you live in a valley and a tornado can’t affect you. Doesn’t matter where you live, a tornado can affect you, it’s all about atmospheric conditions. Geography isn’t’ part of the equation.”
So, the folks at the Weather Service, at Homeland Security, and at your local emergency preparedness offices want everyone to have one of the NOAA radios. The cost…”from $40 to $100 maybe a little bit more than that.” And maybe wit one of those in your home or office you can feel a little more safe and secure knowing that you’re not going to be one of the unfortunate ones that did not get the warning of a killer storm on the way.