STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. - Our second Weather Radio Campaign Day of the season is Wednesday at the Meijer store on Van Dyke in Sterling Heights, and you really should consider coming out and buying a Midland weather radio at the special discounted campaign price.
Since our program began, well over 40,000 radios have been purchased, but we don’t want to stop there. If you haven’t bought one yet, here are some things you may want to consider:
1. Even though Local 4 is the weather leader here in Detroit, we can’t do you much good if you’re sleeping. My good friend Bruce Jones from Midland Radio has the best analogy: “Weather radios are like smoke detectors for weather. They sit silently in the corner, and only sound the alarm if there’s something happening that you really need to know about.” Don’t think tornadoes hit at night? Think again. Two of our biggest tornado outbreaks since 2000 have occurred at night. Just ask the people in Dundee…that tornado roared through town between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m.
2. The weather radio has a battery backup. So if the power goes out while you’re sleeping, your weather radio will still be alive and well to wake you up with a tornado warning.
3. Don’t want to be bothered by warnings for other counties? No problem…you can program your weather radio to only warn you for the county / counties you care about…anywhere in the nation. So you can also program it for your place up north, and take it with you whenever you’re up there. Or your parents’ winter or summer home to keep tabs on them. And you can also program it to sound the alarm for whatever watch / warning /advisory you care about. So, if you also want to know anytime a Winter Storm Warning is issued, you can have that. If you are technologically challenged and don’t want to program your radio, then just swing by the store Wednesday – we’ll do it for you.
4. Do you think you don’t need a weather radio because you’ll just head to the basement when you hear the sirens, or your phone sounds the alarm? Bad idea. First of all, the sirens are an outdoor warning system. They aren’t designed to warn you inside your house. Lots of people indoors don’t hear the sirens because they are distracted by the TV or music on their phone. Second, your phone won’t do you much good if the cell system is compromised. Don’t think that’ll ever happen? It did a few years ago on the day of the deadly Joplin tornado…many people there didn’t have cell service when that tornado approached. Imagine your power going out, and your cellphone not working. How will you get that warning? From the weather radio, of course.
5. You won’t see any warning on TV if you’re watching Netflix, HBO or playing a video game. Remember the deadly tornado this spring down in Mississippi? One person who barely escaped with his life had no idea a warning had been issued and a tornado was heading right toward him because he was on a video game talking to other gamers. But he would have heard the piercing siren of a weather radio if he had one.
6. Finally, you need to remember that the strongest, most violent tornadoes – those EF3s, EF4s and EF5s -- account for most of the people hurt and killed by twisters. However, those tornadoes also develop the largest, strongest rotations in their parent supercell thunderstorms, and are detected well ahead of time. So the initial warning for these monster tornadoes is normally issued many minutes before the tornado even touches down. If there’s any reason to own a weather radio, this is probably the most important one. Violent tornadoes have occurred throughout history here in Michigan, and they will in the future. The one time one is headed your way is the time you’ll REALLY wish you had that weather radio.
Keep in mind that, if you can’t make it out to the Sterling Heights Meijer Wednesday, you can still buy the radio at the discounted price at ANY Meijer store. But if you come to Sterling Heights, you can also get the radio programmed for you.
I’ve been out at many of our campaign locations over the years, and I’ve seen a lot of people not just buying radios for themselves, but also for their kids, grandkids, workplaces, kids’ schools, their place up north, and for the camper or car to take with them on vacations. It may sound corny, but a weather radio would be the perfect gift for the father who has everything, Father’s Day is just a few weeks away.
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