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September 16, 2022

September marks National Preparedness Month.

It's important for families across the country to have multiple redundant ways of receiving alerts. While cellphones are great, you should also consider having a NOAA Weather Alert Radio in case of emergencies.

Midland Radio's Meteorologist, Bruce Jones asks the question of, "Will you fail when your cellphone fails?"

 

PAST FAILURES

2012’s Superstorm Sandy was an East Coast disaster, 2018’s Camp Fire was a West Coast disaster.  Sandy was wet. The Camp Fire, which destroyed the town of Paradise, was not. And yet these two deadly disasters have something in common: each situation was made far, far worse by a collapse and failure of the cell phone system.

HURRICANE SANDY 

Hurricane Sandy was an enormously wide hurricane and its winds pushed a gargantuan wall of water ahead of it. 

Long Island recorded a gust of 95 mph, but the damage would be done by Sandy’s storm surge, up to 14 feet above sea level. Some of Manhattan’s underground subway tunnels flooded.

Terrestrial cell towers were inundated and ceased to operate, especially on Long Island and the Jersey shoreline. Millions of people could no longer get a signal to place a cellphone call, even to call 9-1-1 for emergency assistance.  The devastation was so widespread that weeks after the storm, cell coverage still had not been restored. For millions, 1970’s-era coin operated pay phones were the only way to call relatives.

THE CAMP FIRE 

In the fast-moving Camp Fire, drought-shriveled trees exploded in flames so hot that nearby cellphone towers also ignited. 

Dozens of cell towers that serve the people of Butte County were destroyed, leaving most Paradise residents with no way to call neighbors or family. There was also no access to evacuation maps, GPS, or any cell-based alerting service. 

More than 80% of the fire’s fatalities occurred inside or immediately outside the victim’s home, indicating they did not receive alerts and warnings in time to evacuate.

AN OVERWHELMED CELLPHONE NETWORK

If you have ever been in a large crowd at a sporting event, concert, parade, or festival, have you noticed it’s very hard to get a cell signal? 

Perhaps you have hit the “send” button on a picture, only to find that it never left your phone. Or you’re separated from friends, but you’re not connecting with them because text messages are going nowhere. Been there? 

Those same problems are experienced before, during and after big disasters. 

That’s why, as a meteorologist, I recommend everyone have multiple, redundant ways to receive warnings, including NOAA Weather Radio, the official “Voice of the National Weather Service”. (Weatheradio Canada is the official voice of Environment & Climate Change Canada.)

NOAA WEATHER RADIOS

Weather radios automatically deliver watches and warnings direct from the official source, the moment they are issued.  There is no faster way to receive life-saving bulletins from your official weather authorities, or your local Emergency Manager.

Every family should plan for and prepare for disasters, and a weather radio is the best “first step” you can take.  Inexpensive and reliable, a weather radio is the smartest investment you can make for your family’s safety and security.

WR120 NOAA WEATHER ALERT RADIO

This is the gold standard of NOAA Weather Radios.

Midland's WR120 NOAA Weather Radio features S.A.M.E. EZ localized programming so you'll only get alerts for your area.

The WR120 NOAA Weather Alert Radio will alert you to over 60 different kinds of weather hazards and emergencies. It's not just weather alerts you need to keep your household safe. 

With alerts coming in straight from the National Weather Service and emergency officials, this life-saving device gives you as much time as possible to seek shelter.

 

EMERGENCY RADIOS

In any emergency, you'll want to make sure you're receiving the latest alerts and information. The quickest way to receive alerts issued by the National Weather Service and emergency officials is through NOAA Weather Radio. Each of Midland's emergency radios are equipped with this feature. 

Every emergency go kit should have multiple chargers for your household's cellphones, but disasters can wipe out or destroy cellphone towers, making it difficult or impossible for everyone to receive emergency alerts on their phones. With an emergency radio in tow, you won't have to worry about getting important, life-saving alerts. 

Midland's ER40 Emergency Radio has multiple power sources to keep your radio charged no matter what the state of electricity is. This includes a lithium rechargeable battery, solar panel, hand crank, and a USB charging chord. 

Not to mention, emergency radios have a flashlight with SOS strobe, checking off multiple items on your emergency go kit checklist.

Pack an emergency radio in your go kit, in your car, hiking back, etc. These radios are meant to go with you wherever your adventure or life takes you.

The ER40 is available this month.

 

 


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