Weather radios can save lives - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Weather radios can save lives

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Dozens of people came to the Dalton-Whitfield Library on Monday morning to get a free weather radio and and some peace of mind.

Stacey Talkington, a young mother of one, heard about the giveaway while using the photo lab upstairs.

"Well, I like to keep up with the weather because I have a two-year-old little boy. So, I want him to be safe. I want me and him both to be safe at the same time," Talkington says.

The radios were given out by the Whitfield County Emergency Management Agency (EMA). The radios alert you when severe weather is getting close to your neighborhood, whether it's a tornado, flooding, or a winter storm.

"We're coming up on snow time and winter weather. We just thought it would be a good idea right here at holiday time, Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, it would be a good time to do one of our events," Whitfield EMA Director Claude Craig says.

The events began last year, thanks to a grant from the Georgia Departments of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. So far, around 1,200 radios have been given away. Whitfield EMA does basic set up and programming, and gives people a booklet with additional instructions. It's important to have a radio at all times of the year.

"Christmas Day of 2015, if you remember, we had the flood," Craig recalls. "We've had several tornadoes in December in this area."

This is why Jerry Hall got a radio for his family.

"We seem to have more severe weather here lately than what we've been having," says Hall. "The storms seem like they get pretty rough. So, we just wanted to get a little heads up on what the weather's going to do in our area."

The radios come with a power cord to plug into a wall outlet. However, they also each have a battery compartment. Be sure to have fresh batteries in the radio, so you'll receive alerts even if the electricity goes out during a storm.

There are several different brands and most allow you to program the specific counties you want. Weather radios can be purchased at most Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and Ace Hardware stores. They usually cost $30-$40.

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