Springfield, MO -- Searching for a Father's Day gift for the dad who has everything? Consider a weather radio.
The tornadoes and storms that pummeled much of Missouri last month underscored the value of weather radios, battery-operated radios that broadcast National Weather Service warnings and watches 24 hours a day.
Weather radios transmit signals from the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio network, which has more than 480 stations in the 50 states and in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and U.S. Pacific Territories.
National Weather Service forecasters provide routine weather programming at all times. During life-threatening weather conditions, the radios send out a special alarm tone. This is critical, as last month's disaster proved, because weather can turn deadly very fast. The best example is a tornado, which can occur when people are sleeping or unaware of the forecast. Tornadoes can be deadly if people cannot seek an appropriate shelter, such as a basement or a safe room.
With a NOAA Weather Radio, you will be alerted to dangerous weather and have time to take shelter. NOAA Weather Radios also broadcast warnings and information regarding technological disasters, such as chemical releases or oil spills.
Every home should have a NOAA Weather Radio, just as all homes should have one or more smoke detectors. They can be purchased at most stores that sell electronic devices. Most run on batteries or have battery back-up. You might want to pick up an extra radio for the summer cabin or boat.