Weather radios: There when you need them

October 18, 2007: Nappanee, Indiana was hit by an EF3 tornado. October 24, 2001: A tornado outbreak brought 10 tornadoes to northern Indiana and southwest Michigan. Just within the last 10 years, Michigan has seen its share of destructive weather.

November 6, 2005: That is a night many in Evansville, Indiana will never forget. It was nearly two in the morning, most everyone asleep. But an EF3 tornado was on the doorstep, not limited by the time of day. 23 people lost their lives that night, and over 200 people were injured, because they slept through the warnings.

Tornado sirens are great, but they are meant to warn people while they are outdoors so they can get inside. Not everyone can hear the sirens from inside their home, much less while they are sleeping.

One thing that could have made the difference between life and death that night in Evansville is a weather radio. Night or day, any time of the year, the radio will sound the instant the National Weather Service issues a warning.

"The NOAA weather radio sits there silently, by your bedside, and when a warning is issued, it will automatically turn on," explains Michael Lewis of the National Weather Service. "A siren will go off, lights will flash -- it will display what has been issued. You will get that warning, regardless of where you are, inside, downstairs, upstairs, wherever you live, the warning will come to you," Lewis adds.

WNDU has long recommended that every home have a weather radio. But weather is not the only type of hazard that the radio can provide warnings for. You can program your radio to receive amber alerts, civil emergencies, such as chemical spills, or civil or national defense alerts.

Getting the warning as soon as it as issued can give you extra time to get to safety. And having that wake-up call when a storm threatens in the middle of the night could even save your life.

Now, WNDU is making it a little easier to get a weather radio.

Newscenter 16 is partnering up with Walgreens and Midland Radio to provide NOAA weather radios at a discounted price so that every family can be prepared.

Just look for the display at your local Michiana Walgreens.

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