Blytheville firefighters want weather radios

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) – Blytheville firefighters are working to encourage Blytheville residents to add more step to their home safety routines with the purchase of weather radios.

Blytheville Fire Department Fire Chief Mike Carney said the fire department has an ongoing program to provide free smoke detectors to people who need them.

Now, with tornado season approaching, they also want to give away weather radios.

Blytheville resident Joyce Alfred said she likes the idea of adding a weather radio to her home. "It makes you aware of what's going on around you, what's headed your way. (It) makes you get prepared."

Alfred is one of hundreds of people in Blytheville to get a free smoke detector from the Blytheville fire department.  Chief Carney is reaching out to business leaders to help fund the radios. "We've been out visiting various merchants, business owners, industry, insurance agents and they're going to help us with the program to where maybe we can get the weather radio in the hands of people who might not be able to afford one at this time."

Alfred and Chief Carney agree that weather radios are just as much of a necessity as smoke detectors.

"I can't say one is more important the other one because they really both are important," she said.

"Past history has shown that these warning sirens are not foolproof," Chief Carney said.

Chief Carney believes battery-powered radios could make a difference in situations like the one that happened in March 2008. Storms hit Region 8, and a flaw in Blytheville's warning system kept the tornado sirens in the city quiet.

"They've saved lives in the past. It's been proven, and it's just something that the public needs to be aware of to make sure they have one in their household and it's going to be our goal to make sure that every household in our community does have the smoke detector and the weather warning radio."

Contact the Blytheville Fire Department at (870) 762-0468 for more information about getting a weather radio or smoke detector.