BRANDON, Miss– Officials with emergency management say that the NOAA weather radio should be a staple in your household.
“Get them programmed, where they are just picking up the alerts for your area. That’s the best thing to do,” says Bob Wedgeworth, Director of Emergency Operations for Rankin County, “that way when you hear the alerts, you know to take precautionary action.”
Storms over the weekend hit Leake, Neshoba, Madison and Kemper counties, all in the wee hours of the morning, while people slept.
“I have my radio by my bed, turned up,” says Wedgeworth, “that’s the point of it. So we’ll hear it and get moving.”
Wedgeworth says a lot of folks are relying on televisions and cell phones to get them the emergency information they need; but those only work until the signal is knocked out. Wedgeworth says the weather radios are reliable and have back up power in the event that you lose electricity.
“They even have some that hand-crank so you can charge them up,” says Wedgeworth.
Programming a weather radio isn’t too complicated, says Wedgeworth, and instructions are located with the device when you buy it. However, many people have theirs programmed.
“Meteorologists and grocery stores will often host events where you can purchase and program a new weather radio on the spot,” says Wedgeworth.
Wedgeworth says that programming the radio correctly will ensure that you get the updated alerts for your area.
“I remember having a radio that I didn’t program right,” says Wedgeworth, “and it gave me weather alerts for all over. Getting it programmed right makes sure that you get the alerts you need for your area.”
People have often complained to Wedgeworth about the frequency of emergency alerts during bad weather.
“If that sound is inconvenient, I’m sorry,” he says, “but it can save your life.”