Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Early Warning Weather Radios

Residents who live downstream of a leaking dam in Kentucky are eligible to get free radios that would provide them with the earliest possible warning of a dam breach, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports:

Kentucky officials plan to begin distributing weather radios this week to residents downstream from Wolf Creek Dam to warn of any breach in the dam.

People and businesses in areas that would be flooded if the dam fails are eligible for radios provided by the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security.

The dam is leaking, which has caused concern downriver about the potential for a breach and flooding. However, state and federal officials have said it is highly unlikely the dam will fail and, if it does, there probably would be time for warnings and evacuations downstream.

The first alert of a failure or potential breach would be broadcast via weather radio. That's why the state is providing them.
Early warning is critical in any disaster. This is sort of a rural version of the text-messaging alert systems that some cities are adopting (e.g., Washington DC and San Francisco).

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