CHATTANOOGA (AP) - Radios, emergency response equipment and training paid for with homeland security money have turned out to be a big help for agencies responding to devastating storms.

The legacy of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks showed up when emergency workers in tornado-ravaged communities in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia responded to deadly tornadoes in late April.

Bradley County Emergency Management Agency director Troy Spence that the biggest investment in homeland security has been a radio system that allows agencies to communicate on a single network.

Alabama homeland security office spokesman John Schermser told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that federal funds bought most equipment used in the state's tornado response.

The funding has also made available extrication tools, backboards and bandages and protective gear for the emergency responders.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)