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Alert radios to benefit Lawrence groups

Sep. 26, 2013 @ 08:03 AM

IRONTON — About 60 Lawrence County schools, daycares, nursing homes, government buildings and other structures will be getting weather alert radios as part of a program sponsored by the county’s Local Emergency Planning Committee.

“We’re doing this as part of National Preparedness Month,” said Mike Boster, committee chair and director of the county’s Emergency Management Agency. “We have them ready for distribution. We should have it done in a couple of weeks.

“The emergency alert radios have an automatic alert feature sounding a 90-decibel alert siren,” Boster said. It will indicate whether the alert is a watch, a warning or statement, he said. “These particular models also are equipped with battery back-up so the device will stay on even during a power outage.”

In just about every emergency, advanced warning can mean the difference between safety and peril or life or death, he said.

During the past decade, early warning capability has been a proven lifesaver in emergency events across the country.

The committee is providing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration emergency alert radios that will allow schools and daycares to receive early warning in case of a hazardous chemical spill, severe weather event, AMBER Alert, civil emergency or other threats to pubic safety, Boster said.

“We’re very appreciative of the radios,” said Ironton City Schools Superintendent Dean Nance. “It helps us keep our kids as safe as possible. It’s nice when agencies can work together.”

The Department of Homeland Security and the National Weather Service recommend that all homes, schools and businesses be equipped with an emergency alert radio as part of an emergency preparedness plan, according to a news release.

“It’s important to remember that severe weather and other types of emergencies can occur at any time of the day or night,” Boster said.

“With this in mind, the Local Emergency Planning Committee wanted to complete a project that would have a positive safety impact on our most vulnerable populations such as nursing homes, schools, special needs facilities and other places that serve larger groups of the public,” Boster said.