Friday, February 02, 2007

Money Well Spent

Our hearts go out to the victims of today's deadly tornado in Central Florida. The twister was part of a storm system that moved through the area around three a.m. At least fourteen people were killed by the storms, and scores of houses were destroyed. The NWS in Melbourne, FL (which handles storm advisories for the area) says tornado watches were posted hours in advance, and tornado warnings were issued 8-15 minutes before the storm struck.

The problem, of course, is that most people are asleep at three a.m., and never hear those warnings. Making matters worse, many of the communities affected by last night's storm don't have warning sirens.

That's why one of these is a very good investment, especially if you live in an area affected by tornadoes. Thirty bucks is pretty cheap for something that could save your life. But, then again, there's that pesky issue of individual responsibility. I've already heard one Florida resident tell the press that someone should "donate" new homes to persons left homeless by today's storms. Call it a hunch, but something tells me that lady doesn't have a NOAA weather radio on her nightstand.


jjm said...

Wrong model. You need one with SAME (specific area message encoding)capability. That way you only hear alerts for your area. You also need to keep it on. I bought some for family in Seminole county (north of Orlando where I am). I didn't call them when I heard the alerts figuring they would be taking shelter. They had the radios off and slept trough the whole thing.

Unknown said...

Your points are well taken; I just wanted to show a "generic" weather radio. Obviously, if you're going to invest in one, it makes sense to get a SAME model. And, as you point out, you need to keep it switched on, with a fresh set of batteries inside. There's plenty of annecdotal evidence that NOAA weather radios save lives--and that people who die in tornadoes usually don't have one, or (if they do) it was turned off at the time storm struck.

I'll also get back on my soap box about individual responsibility. Beyond the weather radios, there are plenty of ways to get severe wx info. Most TV stations will send alerts to your cell phone, PDA or desk top. The Weather Channel has a similar service, for about $30-40 a year. But many people won't even take rudimentary precautions to protect themselves and their families from a known threat. They expect the government to "do it all" for them.