IDHS teams up with Indiana counties to distribute all-hazard radios

Spring officially kicks off tomorrow. Along with warmer temperatures comes the threat for severe weather. (WLFI/File Photo)

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Spring officially kicks off Monday, and along with warmer temperatures comes the threat for severe weather.

When storms roll in, many of us flip on the TV or check our cellphones. But not everybody has access to those resources.

There is an alternative though; an all-hazard radio.

Tippecanoe County Emergency Management Director Smokey Anderson said these radios are critical during emergencies.

“If you are notified in advance, you can take some actions to protect you and your family. And that’s what we want everybody to be able to do,” said Anderson.

These units can be programmed to receive severe weather alerts from specific counties.

Thanks to a federal grant, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security is teaming up with all 92 counties to distribute 2,200 radios.

This comes at no cost to residents.

“They largely want those to be distributed to folks who live in mobile homes or prefabricated homes,” Anderson said.

Nadia Rodriguez is the general manager of the Vista Pointe Estates in Lafayette. She knows mobile homes and prefabricated homes are especially vulnerable when severe weather strikes.

“Typically, they’re in very secluded areas, not too much going on around them. And they’re not attached to the ground,” said Rodriguez. “They’re anchored by tie-downs so there’s nothing holding them down like a regular home to prevent them from flying off.”

She said a majority of homes in Vista Pointe are equipped with a radio.

“We’ve had it go off and you look outside and you’re like, “What’s going on with this radio?” But five, 10 minutes later everything starts getting dark, and you do see that they do work and they give people an ample warning,” Rodriguez said.

He said these radios could mean the difference between life or death.

“It’s an essential part of not even just mobile homes, but I think for anyone to have in general,” said Rodriguez. “I think it should be like a carbon monoxide or smoke detector, there should be one in every house.”

Anderson said, “It’s a very valuable piece. We recommend every home have one.”

As of Friday, Anderson says Tippecanoe County has about 60 radios on hand.

If you’re interested in receiving a radio, you can call the Tippecanoe Emergency Management Agency at 765-742-1334.