FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Nothing shows love more than protecting your family from danger.
Emergency officials in Kentucky are suggesting carbon monoxide (CO) detectors and weather radios would make great Valentine's Day presents.
"Weather radios and CO detectors save lives," said Buddy Rogers, public information officer for the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM). "In an emergency, this kind of gift will mean more than chocolate and flowers."
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
In the ice storms, officials say several deaths have been directly attributed to CO poisoning.
A CO detector could alert a family to a deadly CO concentration from running a generator, an open fire or other source.
Carbon monoxide is produced from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, such as wood, coal, gas, gasoline, kerosene and propane. Since CO is colorless, tasteless and odorless, unlike smoke from a fire, detection in a home environment is impossible without such a warning device.
Battery powered CO detectors are widely available. Some battery powered detectors now advertise a battery lifetime of more than six years. All CO detectors have "test" buttons like smoke detectors.
NOAA Weather Radios
Instead of facing a storm with no warning, a warbling alarm from a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio could give folks as much as eight minutes to get loved ones and pets to safety in severe weather.
A weather radio provides instant access to the same weather reports and emergency information meteorologists and emergency personnel use.
Instant weather alerts are especially important when high winds threaten, because straight line winds can form quickly then move fast through an area with as much destructive force as a hurricane.
During an emergency, NOAA will broadcast a special tone that automatically activates weather radios. NOAA then broadcasts warning and post-event information for all types of hazards. They are especially valuable in places prone to severe storms.
NOAA, KYEM and FEMA agree every residence or business should have a NOAA weather alert radio as standard equipment.
KYEM and the Governor's Office of Homeland Security have worked to place weather radios in schools throughout Kentucky.
A weather radio also broadcasts around-the-clock weather reports and information to help prepare for the day ahead. The hearing-and-visually impaired can get these warnings by connecting weather radios to alarms or strobe lights, pagers, bed-shakers, personal computers and text printers.
NOAA's radio network is an all-hazards system providing 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.
More information on weather radios is available through the National Weather Service's NOAA Weather Radio Web site: www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr, or kyem.ky.gov. For information on CO detectors a good source online is: www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/coftsht.html.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism and man-made disasters.