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Weather radios available for severe weather season

Every second counts when severe weather is threatening communities. In an effort to provide emergency alerts to citizens that do not have access to warning sirens, Project Community Alert has been implemented.

Project Community Alert is a cooperative effort by the Local Emergency Management Directors and metro area Price Chopper Stores to provide weather radios to Platte County citizens at a reduced price.

Platte County Sheriff Richard Anderson encourages anyone that is not within the hearing range of an emergency siren to use a weather radio. The more weather radios in the community, the more lives that will be saved and injuries prevented.

Weather radios will be available at any Price Chopper store in the eight county metropolitan area. They are on sale at the reduced price of $39.95. The radios normally retail for $60.

The radios can be programmed by the homeowner to receive severe weather alerts for the county they live in. Alerts can also be used by the county emergency management staff for other types of immediate life threatening emergency warnings. Consumers will receive directions advising of the warning and where to get additional information.

Anderson stated everyone should know the difference between a watch and a warning:

• A Tornado Watch is issued by the National Weather Service when weather conditions are favorable for the development of a tornado. People should stay alert for additional changes in weather conditions when a Tornado Watch is issued.

• A Tornado Warning is issued when a tornado has been sighted in the area. Individuals should take shelter immediately in a basement or interior ground floor if available. Stay away from windows and large open areas such as cafeterias or school gymnasiums. If a person is outside, they should lie flat in a ditch or ravine and cover their head with their arms. Since rain usually accompanies a tornado, be aware of flash flooding and be prepared to move to a different location if needed. If a person is driving and encounter a tornado, leave the vehicle immediately and seek shelter away from their vehicle in a ditch or ravine. Persons should never seek shelter in or under a vehicle in a tornado. Persons should never try to outrun a tornado.

Anderson encourages everyone to think about what their family should do when faced with severe weather conditions such as a tornado. Consider developing a family severe weather plan to handle such emergencies.

If anyone has any questions about the program they should contact Lt. Mark Owen of the Platte County Sheriff's Department Emergency Services Division at (816) 858-2424.