A weather radio can save your life


Last weekend's deadly tornadoes touched down around 3 a.m. while most people were sleeping.

"I remember the trailer slamming to the side," survivor Darryl McNair said. "But I don't remember even it breaking loose. So a tornado is sneaky. It's so quick and fast. It's like you're aware but you're not aware."

McNair is a lucky survivor of the killer tornado that struck the town of Rieglewood two years ago.

Eight people died and 100 were injured when a twister turned the tiny Columbus County town upside down. His description is all too familiar -- the sound of a freight train and then silence.

A weather alert radio can give you precious seconds to get to safety when threatening storms approach.

"Even if it's only a minute or two, that still gives you time if you've got an adequate plan in place to get your family together and get to a secure place in your residence," Scottie Harris of Cumberland County Emergency Services said.

Weather alert radios cost between $30 and $70. They are easy to use -- just plug it in, insert batteries for backup and tune to the local Nation Weather Service station.

Clay Johnson is a scout master for Troop 747. His weather alert radio came in handy during a camping trip when severe thunderstorms were approaching.

"We knew exactly where they were headed and it really kept us at ease with the boys, and we were able to give them some peace of mind that we weren't going to get slammed by a thunderstorm," Johnson said.

The radio can be used as a portable device because it takes batteries.

The most important thing to remember is to turn the radio on when severe weather is approaching.

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