SALEM, Ore. -- How many times have you heard a storm survivor's quavering voice saying: "I woke up... the windows were rattling... then the roof was gone." or: "All I felt was my wife shake me to wake me up, then a roar"?
Instead of waking with three seconds warning, a shrieking, warbling alarm from a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio could have given warning to move family and pets into a secure location before the wind or waters threaten lives and property.
As essential as a smoke detector for fires, a special NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards can alert you and your loved ones to approaching severe weather.
"Families should always remain alert," said Glen R. Sachtleben, federal coordinating officer for recovery from the Oregon storms. ?"Preparedness is the first defense against a disaster; a NOAA weather radio or a disaster kit would make a fine holiday gift for any family or business owner."
A weather radio provides instant access to the same weather reports and emergency information that meteorologists and emergency personnel use. This information can save your life, or the life of someone you love.
People with special speech or hearing needs can get weather radio warnings by connecting the radios with alarm tones to strobe lights, pagers, bed-shakers, personal computers and text printers.
When heading out this cold season a battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio provides the latest weather conditions and forecasts.
Weather radios are available, starting around $30.00, at most mass-market retailers and on the Internet.
More information is available through the Weather Service's NOAA Weather Radio Web Site: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr.
In addition to food, water and other staples in your disaster kit for use in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, it is also important to have medications a family member might need, as well as important documents such as a driver's license, Social Security card, proof of residence, etc., in a waterproof case or bag ready to take along. FEMA says each family should have a Family Disaster Plan.?
Detailed advice about preparing your family to deal with a disaster, including putting together a disaster kit, may be found on the Internet at: www.fema.gov/areyouready
The disaster kit should be stored in an easy-to-carry container such as a duffel bag, camping backpack or large covered trash container.
It is also prudent to have a disaster kit in your vehicle.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.