Local News

Weather Radios Tune Listeners into Possible Dangers

Posted July 23, 2000

— Dangerous situations like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and severe storms can threaten your family's safety -- especially in the middle of the night.

Weather radioskeep you informed of severe weather and other hazards with information broadcast by theNational Weather Service, A special radio signal trips an alarm in the radios to alert listeners about dangerous situations.

To keep everyone tuned in to potential weather dangers, the state has purchased nearly 14,000 weather radios, with plans to place them in every school, elder care facility and day care center in North Carolina.

As the director of a Cary day care center, Ann Kaspar is responsible for 280 children every day.

"It's an incredible responsibility trying to make sure that everybody stays safe even on a day-to-day basis -- especially when you've got bad weather coming," she says.

Kaspar's day care and others will soon receive a weather radio.

"We're looking a large segment of our population, several million people," says Tom Ditt of N.C. Emergency Management. "Students from elementary schools, preschools, day care centers may not have had this warning in the past."

Emergency management officials are delivering the radios county-by-county. Once installed, state officials hope for a trickledown effect.

"Hopefully by putting them into schools and day cares, the student will go home and tell momma and daddy, 'Hey, we need this early warning in our home just as well,'" says Ditt.

Federal grants are contributing more than $2 million to the program. Part of that money will be used to purchase the weather radios.

Weather radios can bepurchased on WRAL OnLine. The radio is pre-programmed before shipping with up to five counties of your choice. Reporter/PhotographerJay Jennings

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