All-hazards alert radios are here and being delivered to 17 county municipalities for public distribution under a pilot program Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk says will improve the county’s comprehensive warning system.
Under terms of the pilot program approved last month by Falk and the Dane County Board of Supervisors, the municipalities will sell at cost the alert radios to Dane County residents.
“This pilot program is important because our county population expands by 6,000 each year, which means the county must continually review service to a continually changing county,” Falk said. “We have a comprehensive warning system. But with the changes in population, it makes sense to test these radios as a viable warning alternative when siren coverage is not available.
“These radios also are equipped to be a warning enhancement for all,” Falk said of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration All-Hazards Weather Radios.
The county made a bulk purchase of the radios and is working with 17 local governments to resell them at cost to the public.
The 17 municipalities where radios will be sold are: towns of Middleton, Blue Mounds, Perry, Primrose, Springdale, Vermont, Deerfield, Dunn, Springfield, Sun Prairie, Christiana and Pleasant Springs; the villages of Blue Mounds, Mount Horeb, Maple Bluff, Belleville; and, the city of Stoughton. To purchase a radio, please contact your local municipality in this list.
All of these municipalities have portions of their residents living beyond the reaches of the outdoor warning sirens, already have been affected by a tornado or previously included the distribution of the NOAA radios in their municipal hazard mitigation plans.
The public will be asked to pay $20.30 plus tax for a radio, which at cost is a significant reduction in price. Each radio will come with four AA batteries to provide back-up power should power to the home be lost.
The radios receive broadcasts exclusively the National Weather Service. The radios provide direct warning for hazardous conditions that post a threat to life. The emergency information conveyed is based upon natural hazards (such as severe weather), manmade hazards, AMBER alerts and terrorist attacks.
Dane County operates a comprehensive warning system consisting of multiple components to provide warning information to the public. These various components include the public broadcast media, Internet and e-mail notifications, telephone and TTY contacts, Reverse 911, specific radio bands such as the NOAA Weather Radio and the outdoor warning sirens. Dane County owns and maintains 92 sirens of the 114 total sirens on the county siren network. Local governments own the other sirens.
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