Local News

Wilson Proposes Tuning in Residents to Weather Alerts

Posted July 7, 1998

— Weather radios are becoming a popular tool to warn people of dangerous storms. In fact, one North Carolina county has proposed using federal grant money to buy early warnings systems for elderly and low-income residents.

Most residents have witnessed the amount of damage that storms can cause in our state. Even small storms have destroyed life and property, and with the recent severe weather, Wilson County's emergency management coordinator said that it is time to discuss a warning system that anyone can use.

"I think people are realizing it can happen," emergency coordinator Gordon Deno said. "They're also realizing that they're not as prepared as they should be, and that's what we're trying to capitalize on at this point."

Deno's proposal is still in the planning stages, but the idea is simple. Use federal grant money to buy compact weather radios for Wilson County's elderly and low-income residents.

The small units sound an alarm for any severe weather in the area. The radios only pick up weather reports, and can stay on 24-hours a day without disturbing the owner, until there is an emergency.

"It won't make a peep until after there's an actual storm, that's when the alert comes in handy," store manager Frankie Reynolds said. "It doesn't give off any false warnings. It lets them know when there's a storm in their area."

If the idea works, the $80 radios would be available to thousands of people countywide, which includes small towns like Saratoga, where talk of a warning system has popped up recently at council meetings.

"Wilson County is staying on top of it as I understand and we'd just like to be a part of them as they start to work on it, and let them know we're interested to help anyway we can," Saratoga Councilman Tommy Hawkins said.

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