May 2011| Alabama Living
As the chances for thunderstorms and severe weather increase through the spring and summer months, Clarke-Washington EMC wants to encourage all of our members to consider purchasing a weather radio for your home so you will be alerted when a storm or tornado warning has been posted.
The National Weather Service (NWS) offers a 24-hour stream of weather information customized for our service area. The NWS is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio service (NOAA).
The primary benefit of a weather radio is the early warning capability for severe weather. These radios are designed to sound an alarm whenever the National Weather Service issues a warning for extreme conditions. The warning gives you time to react and respond. Even a few minutes of early warning can make the difference in preventing property damage, and possibly save your life.
Living in rural areas presents a challenge since we do not have access to the networks of outdoor warning sirens that some urban residents may have. It becomes a personal responsibility to remain informed of potential weather hazards, and a weather radio receiver is a key component of a good plan.
Until the late ‘90’s, most weather radio alert transmitters beamed their signals only to urban areas. That all changed more than a decade ago as a result of the Palm Sunday tornado at Goshen United Methodist Church near Piedmont, killing more than 20 people who were attending the morning worship service.
Clarke-Washington EMC and the National Weather Service formed a partnership to transmit weather alerts to the CWEMC service area by installing transmitters on the CWEMC radio tower.
The 410 foot tall tower is located on Highway 43 between Jackson and Grove Hill, covering a radius of about 40 miles. Since 1996, Clarke-Washington EMC has donated weather radios to schools, nursing homes, and hospitals, and has given them as door prizes at our annual meetings.
NOAA presented CWEMC with a special award for the project and also awarded CWEMC the Mark Trail Award. The Mark Trail Award recognizes an outstanding contribution to public weather notification.
Radios can be purchased at several retail stores throughout the Clarke-Washington EMC service area. We have included a list on page 35 of several stores located through out the service area which plan to stock the radios for this hurricane season.