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April 04, 2014

Birmingham, Alabama – Midland Radio Corporation is partnering with the Birmingham Barons organization and Academy Sports + Outdoors to donate over $10,000 worth of their most popular weather alert radios to fans at the baseball game on Friday, April 11th, 2014. The two models given away will include the WR120 desktop model and the HH54VP handheld unit.

Academy Sports + Outdoors is donating the batteries needed for the important back-up power option for the radios that are given away at the game. Representatives from Midland will also be on hand at the Barons stadium to help winners program and set up the weather radios so they are ready for immediate use.

“Because severe weather season is just beginning, it is perfect timing for these winners,” said Bruce Thomas, National Spokesperson and Chief Meteorologist at Midland. “We are excited to have this opportunity to help even more families stay safe this year.”

NOAA weather alert radios broadcast detailed information as soon as a watch, warning, or advisory is issued by the National Weather Service. This makes the radios one of the fastest ways to receive up-to-date information and warnings about storms.

At the Barons game on April 11th, Joshua Heichelbech, brother of Christina Heichelbech who died in the January 23, 2012 Birmingham area tornado, will be throwing out the first pitch with his family in her memory. The Heichelbech family is working to raise awareness of the importance of weather alert radios, especially for those living in the Birmingham area.

“I can’t help but think that if we’d owned a weather alert radio, it would have saved our daughter’s life,” said Darrell Heichelbech, Christina’s father. “A weather radio is as important to have in a home as a smoke detector. Every single home should have one,” he added.

Coordinating the events is Renee Crook, a volunteer who helps spread the message about being prepared for severe weather. Crook will oversee a moment of silence for all tornado victims, the demonstration of a storm shelter, and bring together several local, state, and federal agencies who will be on hand to support the event and distribute safety information.

“This important event helps create awareness and promotes how essential it is to be prepared. Wearing a helmet and having a weather radio to receive watches and warnings is absolutely crucial,” said Crook. She will be at the Tornado Helmet Safety Table at the Barons game, where fans can stop by to receive additional information and watch an important video on the benefits of wearing a helmet during severe weather.

Midland is not only the leading manufacturer of weather alert radios in the country, but is also dedicated to helping spread the message about how people can keep their families safe. As the nation’s first Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador, Midland is committed to encouraging every home, school, and business to create a safety kit, have a plan, and take appropriate action when severe weather threatens.

For more information about weather radios and emergency preparedness, visit Midland’s website at

For additional information about the Birmingham Barons, visit

Academy Sports + Outdoors locations, hours, and additional information is at

Learn more about the Heichelbech family story at

Watch this video to learn about the importance of wearing a helmet during tornadoes at and visit the Tornado Helmet Safety Facebook page at

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