OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
April 29, 2011
Weather Radios Available for Atoka County Residents Impacted by April 14th Tornado
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management is providing NOAA All Hazards Weather Radios to Atoka County residents affected by the tornado and severe storms that hit the state on April 14. Atoka County residents may pick up a radio at the Disaster Recovery Center at Tushka Town Hall beginning Saturday, April 30.
A weather radio is an essential tool to keep Oklahomans safe during severe weather season. From flood watches to tornado warnings, NOAA weather radios broadcast emergency weather information direct from the National Weather Service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Weather radios are a first line of defense. They provide an initial warning message which allows people to take immediate action to protect lives and property. Moreover, because weather radios include a battery back-up system, continuous notification is guaranteed during power outages.
“It’s critical that you have multiple ways to get life-saving weather warnings no matter where you are or what time it is,” said OEM Director Albert Ashwood. “Tornadoes can strike at any time of the day or night in Oklahoma and NOAA weather radios broadcast severe weather warning and watch information 24 hours a day.”
Weather radios, with their ability to provide severe weather warnings as well as Emergency Alert System notifications, including hazardous materials releases or evacuation notices, mark a first line of defense, explained Rick Smith, warning coordination meteorologist with the NWS Office in Norman. “They provide that initial warning message which lets us know to take immediate action to protect lives and property. When the warning alarm sounds on the weather radio, that’s your cue to go find additional information,” Smith said.
Volunteers with Coal County and Durant/Bryan County emergency management departments will be on-hand at the Disaster Recovery Center to program the weather radios as Atoka County residents pick them up. The DRC is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
The DRC provides a one-stop shop to gain information regarding assistance available for those impacted by the April 14th tornado. Representatives from OEM, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Small Business Administration, along with many other partner organizations are available at the center.