HERMISTON, Ore. -- Certain Umatilla and Morrow county residents have a matter of days to make arrangements to receive a free Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program Tone Alert Radio before the distribution contract ends.
Since May Radio Service Company of Kennewick has been going door-to-door and business-to-business in areas closest to the Umatilla Chemical Depot delivering the special radios designed to warn folks in the unlikely event of a chemical weapons accident at the Depot.
Residents in and near the cities of Umatilla, Irrigon, Boardman, Hermiston, Stanfiield, and Echo have received radios, and Radio Service Company is now looking to complete delivery to locations in CSEPP response sectors A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, T and N that didn't get a radio for whatever reason. Where nobody was available for delivery on first and second attempts, a pink English and Spanish "Sorry We Missed You" tag was left on doors requesting occupants to call 800-307-7708 to schedule a return visit by installation crews.
The TAR is designed to alert people indoors in the unlikely event of a chemical release from the Depot. It is designed to work with emergency sirens and highway reader boards throughout the area and the Emergency Alert System that airs on local radio and TV to warn people.
Installers wear special reflective vests and company identification badges. If a Radio Services Company identification badge is not readily apparent, people should ask to inspect the badge before admitting the individual. The Federal Emergency Management Agency strongly recommends citizens NOT allow unidentified strangers into homes or businesses.
Complete geographical descriptions of each sector can be found in the CSEPP 2000 Public Awareness Calendar mailed last December. Recipients will be asked to sign for the radio. Each is programmed for a specific "sector" and must remain where it's installed for it to operate properly. A strobe light will be available for people requiring a visual means of notification.
Technicians will inquire about a convenient place to install the radio. Self-installation of this radio, by the resident, is also an option. They should be installed near an electrical outlet and close to a window if possible. Before departing the premises, installers will cover radio operation and provide an informational pamphlet about the TAR printed in both English and Spanish. Linguists are available to assist if Spanish is the primary language spoken. The entire process takes about 10-12 minutes.
For questions regarding emergency preparedness or the CSEP Program, please call your county emergency management office (541) 922-4437 in Morrow County, or toll free in Umatilla County at (877) 367-2737.