Archive for Thursday, February 26, 2009

NOAA radiosshould be in every Kansas home

February 26, 2009

To the right of this column, three De Soto residents report one of the preparations they make for the coming of the severe storm season, which begins in March in Kansas, is the use of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration radio. We would suggest the NOAA or weather radios should be as much of every Kansas home as a smoke alarms or fire extinguishes.

The radios can be tuned so that they provide immediate broadcasts of all manner of potential local emergencies. But in the Midlands, it is the alert they provide of tornados and severe thunderstorms that make them indispensible.

The radios are valuable at all times, but they provide a much-need defense to the most deadly of tornadoes, those that blow up at night when many of us are already in bed.

The only other warning to stir us from sleep is the warning sirens. Those might not be heard through walls or over air conditioning units or fans, and indeed sirens are meant to be for outdoor warning only as De Soto Fire Chief Kevin Ritter cautioned last year.

Cost should not be a concern. A number of area merchants provide the radios and a search of the Internet finds any number of options for as little as $20, making them affordable to all. The radios have battery backups that ensure their effectiveness when power is lost, which often happens during severe thunderstorms. They are also available with cranks to provide manual power for extended power outages.

We live in an era requiring constant technological upgrades. But the radios have a simple task and there is no reason to think the basic, cheap NOAA radio won’t provide comfort for many years to come. Those who haven’t invested in the security they provide should do so before this year’s severe weather season in upon us.

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