In an effort to increase public awareness of weather alert radios,
local and state emergency management officials launched a statewide
contest this week. The Illinois Emergency Services Management
Association and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency are
sponsoring the "Weather Alert Radios Save Lives" contest, in which
participants will take an online quiz for a chance to win one of 100
weather alert radios to be awarded.
The contest will be
highlighted throughout March, which is Severe Weather Preparedness
Month in Illinois.
"Having a weather alert radio in your home can be a real
lifesaver, much like a smoke detector or a carbon monoxide
detector," said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. "Each of these
devices can alert you to hazards, even while you're sleeping, and
give you time to get to a safe place."
The contest is available on the
Ready Illinois website, the
IESMA website and on
many county and municipal emergency management agency websites. A
total of 100 weather alert radios will be awarded to participants
who register after reading information about the radios and
successfully completing a five-question quiz.
The contest runs through March 31. Winners will be announced in
"Every home and business should have a weather alert radio," said
Russ Thomas, president of the Illinois Emergency Services Management
IESMA purchased the weather alert radios as part of a program to
increase emergency preparedness in local schools, hospitals, nursing
homes, extended-care facilities and government buildings throughout
Illinois. During 2013 and 2014, the association plans to place 800
weather alert radios in local facilities.
The National Weather Service and state and local emergency
management officials strongly encourage people to have a National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio All Hazards
with battery backup, a tone-alert feature and Specific Area Message
Encoding technology, known as SAME, which allows the radio to be
programmed to receive alerts for specified counties. When an alert
is issued for the programmed area, the device will sound a warning
alarm tone followed by the broadcast message.
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Besides weather information, the National Weather Service also
broadcasts warnings and post-event information for all types of
hazards, including natural, environmental and public safety hazards,
such as earthquakes, chemical spills and Amber Alerts.
"Despite the drought last year, Illinois still had dozens of
tornadoes and hundreds of severe thunderstorms that damaged
property, injured 125 and tragically killed nine people," said Chris
Miller, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather
Service in Lincoln. "This underscores how important it is for people
to be prepared at all times. You should identify a place at home and
work to take shelter from tornadoes and severe thunderstorms, and
have multiple ways to receive hazardous weather information, such as
apps for electronic devices or a weather alert radio."
To help with preparedness, the Illinois Emergency Management
Agency and the National Weather Service have developed a Severe
Weather Preparedness Guide, which provides information about
tornadoes, severe storms, lightning and flooding, along with
recommended actions to take before, during and after each of these
weather events. The guide also includes definitions of important
weather terms, including watches, warnings and advisories, and a
list of items needed for a family emergency supply kit. The guide is
available on the Ready
Illinois website or by calling 217-785-9925.
Emergency Management Agency file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]