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The Scoop

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Indiana to give away 5,500 hazard-alert radios

Statement issued Tuesday:

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) is again partnering with local emergency management agencies to give away more than 5,500 all hazards alert radios to at-risk Hoosiers throughout the state.

“The advanced knowledge all hazards alert radios provide about coming thunderstorms, floods, tornadoes and other dangerous weather conditions give residents warning to seek shelter before a storm,” said IDHS Executive Director Joe Wainscott. “We are pleased at the opportunity to again make this valuable early warning tool available to more Hoosiers who might not otherwise be able to afford it.”

The radios have been divided among all 92 counties and delivered to each county emergency management agency for distribution. Economically disadvantaged Hoosiers, including residents of mobile homes, are again being targeted to receive these radios.

Mobile homes and similar structures offer only minimal protection against severe weather and other life-threatening natural and man-made disasters, so frequently the best course of action is evacuation to a stronger, safer building such as a community center or other public facility.

Federal grant sources funded the purchase and distribution of these radios.

Last year, IDHS distributed more than 8,000 radios through a similar grant program.

IDHS encourages everyone who is able to purchase an all hazards alert radio, to do so. They can be purchased for about $30 or $40 online and at many retail outlets.

All-hazards alert radios disseminate more than 60 emergency alerts such as hazardous weather and other local area warnings, including up to date weather information broadcast directly from the National Weather Service. In the event of a power outage or an evacuation, backup battery power allows the radios to remain operational.

Most all hazard radios require a Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) code number in order to limit the receipt of emergency messages to a specific geographic area. The list of Indiana counties and their corresponding SAME codes are available at http://www.weather.gov/nwr/CntyCov/nwrIN.htm.

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