When severe weather strikes, seconds count and weather radios are priceless when it comes to keeping you and your family safe. Corinne Lawson lives in mobile home and says a weather radio would come in handy. "To me terrorist is worse than a tornado. That'd be great. That would give us some time to head for the hills," says Lawson.
That is why Ken Olsen Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Lubbock says a weather radio's job is so important. "There may be a little bit of a misconception when we call it NOAA weather radio but that's it's primary use but as the emergency management coordinator I have the opportunity to use it for any type of emergency message that I would want the national weather service to broadcast," says Olsen.
In case of a chemical or biological attack ken relays information from the emergency operations center to the National Weather Service here in Lubbock. It all starts with just a simple phone call. "This is the way we would do that. If I had an energency message that I wanted to get out to go out to our public I would come over here press the button for National Weather Service and I would give them the message that I want to go out over NOAA weather radio," says Olsen.
The National Weather Service broadcasts that information over NOAA weather radio within seconds making it one of the most effective devices to alert the public about any kind of civil emergency. "So there's really almost no time delay there once we get the message from an emergency management official we can get that info on the weather radio," says Larry Vannozzi of NWS.
"We think that it's one of the best warning mediums that we have available to us. The reason is because it's there it's personal you have control over the information that you want to receive and it will wake you in the middle of the night," says Olsen.
Some radios remain on standby, but when disaster strikes, these devices may be the only means of making sure you and your family are first to know.
"It can just sit there in the corner not really on all night long yet at midnight or 1 o' clock in the morning if you're not watching TV you don't know what's happening that weather radio will wake you up and alert you to a weather emergency and now these cases non-weather emergencies as well," says Vannozzi.
You can buy weather radios at most electronics stores. They range in price from around $30-$100 depending on their features.