ATLANTA, Ga. -- As too many disaster survivors know, tornadoes are terrifying in their suddenness, speed and fury. Every second counts when people and families in the erratic path of a quickly forming tornado try to escape its pure destructive power.
As essential as a smoke detector for fires, a special National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio can alert you and your loved ones to approaching severe weather. Recovery officials estimate a (NOAA) all hazards weather radio may provide as much as eight minutes to move family and pets to a specially constructed safe room or at least a secure location in their home.
During an emergency, NOAA will broadcast a special shrieking, warbling tone that automatically activates weather radios. NOAA then broadcasts warning and post-event information for all types of hazards. The radios are especially valuable in places that are prone to tornadoes.
NOAA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) agree every home should have a NOAA receiver as standard equipment.
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. A weather radio also broadcasts around-the-clock weather reports and information to help prepare for the day ahead.
GEMA, working in partnership with the National Weather Service has expanded NOAA Weather Radio Network coverage in Georgia. The Georgia network, comprising more than two dozen transmitters from near the Florida border to the northernmost Georgia mountains, provides coverage to more than?98 percent of the state.
The hearing and visually impaired can get these warnings by connecting weather radios with alarm tones to strobe lights, pagers, bed-shakers, personal computers and text printers. A battery-operated weather radio will also advise you of emergency conditions at home, work, while traveling, on vacation or at play.
Make sure the radio you buy has seven channels, an audible or visual warning alert feature and battery backup. An important feature available on many NOAA weather radio models is Specific Area Message
Encoding (SAME) technology that lets users pre-select the alerts they want to receive based upon the area where they live, allowing residents to tailor their weather radio alerts to their specific area.
NOAA's radio network is an all-hazards system. It provides watches and warnings for natural incidents such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, thunderstorms and winter storms, oil spills, 911 telephone outages, AMBER alerts and terrorist attacks.? Weather radios are available, starting around $20.00, at ?mass-market retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy etc., and at various consumer sites on the Internet.
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.