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Weather radios are an excellent investment

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 Commonwealth residents can help better protect themselves and their loved ones from tornadoes and storms by having weather radios in their home.

Weather radios broadcast warnings whenever potentially life-threatening weather events are occurring or imminent. The National Weather Service broadcasts these warnings 24 hours a day.

According to Buddy Rogers, Kentucky Emergency Management Public Information Officer and chairman of Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee, “Every home, every public building and every business should have a battery backed up weather alert radio; these are like having a smoke detector for the weather.” Rogers continued, “The bottom line is; possessing and monitoring weather alert radios saves lives.”

Weather radios are available at electronics stores at prices ranging from $20 to $200. Here are some features you should look for when purchasing one:

• Alarm tone – This allows the radio to be set on silent but produce a special tone to alert you to severe weather.

• Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) – This feature provides area specific information by filtering out alerts that do not affect your immediate area.

• Hand crank or battery operated – A radio should be able to operate on batteries or hand-cranked to produce operating power.

• Tunable to all NWS frequencies – Visit www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr for frequencies.

• For the hearing and visually impaired – a feature that allows radios to connect the alarms to other attention-getting devices like personal computers and text printers.

More information is available online at www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr.