BILOXI, Miss. -- As Mississippi heads into the height of the 2008 hurricane season, federal and state officials encourage people to stay tuned to their weather radio. Buying a National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio now could be a wise and affordable investment in a family's safety if severe weather threatens. A few extra dollars could buy a few extra minutes for a family to get out of harm's way.
During life-threatening weather conditions, NOAA Weather Radios send out a special alarm tone to signal a watch or warning alerting listeners to take appropriate safety measures. The signal transmits anytime day or night, even if a family is not listening to the broadcast. Early warning is critical because weather can quickly turn deadly.
NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office. NWR broadcasts official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, seven days a week providing comprehensive weather and emergency information.
In conjunction with federal, state, and local emergency managers and other public officials, NWR also broadcasts warnings and post-event information for all types of hazards - including natural events, such as earthquakes or avalanches; environmental events, such as chemical releases or oil spills; and public safety warnings, such as AMBER alerts or 911 telephone outages.
"A weather radio should be part of a well-stocked disaster kit," said Alec Watson, Acting Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Mississippi Transitional Recovery Office. "They are a valuable resource not just during hurricane season but throughout the year."
As evidence of the importance of weather radios, approximately 4,600 Midland model WR-100B weather radios have been distributed to federal temporary housing occupants. FEMA Housing Advisors are delivering the radios to families currently occupying FEMA travel trailers and mobile homes.
FEMA Housing Advisor Bobby Russell recently delivered a radio to an occupant in Pascagoula, Miss. He and a fellow Housing Advisor thoroughly read the instructions and trained themselves to use the radio to give a quick "how-to" to occupants. "It's a positive thing we're able to do," said Russell. "The radios are for occupant protection especially during this storm season."
These all-hazards radios are equipped with various features including a choice of voice, siren or tone alert, full alarm clock display, emergency power back-up, seven NOAA channels, and Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) localized reception. With SAME technology, a radio can be programmed to sound an alert for specific counties.
"What some many residents don't realize is that this is a simple, life-saving device which should be in every home. We feel a NOAA Weather Radio is just as important as having a smoke detector to keep you and your family safe," said Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Director Mike Womack.
Families currently occupying a FEMA travel trailer or mobile home and have not received a radio but did receive a notice from FEMA posted on their unit, can call the Mississippi Maintenance Applicant Support Call Center at 866-877-6075 to schedule a delivery time. The radios will not be distributed to hotel/motel occupants or families living in Mississippi Cottages but are readily available for sale at most electronic retailers or outdoor stores.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering ...