The radios will be given away at the EMA office on Highway 69, behind the McCollum Fire Department, starting at 8 a.m. There will also be a cookout at the EMA that day for the families.
To qualify, residents must bring proof of income and a utility bill to prove residence.
The weather radios normally retail for $40 to $60 and will come programmed by the EMA officials. This model also features:
• Receives all National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, weather channels with alerts
• Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) technology with 10 memory locations
• User selectable alert, voice, 90db siren or flashing LED
• Alarm clock with snooze
• Battery back up
For years, state and federal officials have stressed the importance of having a NOAA weather radio in each home to safeguard residents by ensuring they know when they are in the path of severe weather.
The National Weather Service broadcasts forecasts, severe weather warnings and watches 24 hours a day over the NOAA radio network.
According to the FEMA website, in addition to broadcasting watches and warnings covering natural incidents such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, thunderstorms and winter storms. The network also provides information on topics such as oil spills, 911 telephone outages, AMBER alerts and terrorist attacks. Broadcasts also are translated into Spanish.
According to Burnette, funding for the radios came from two $10,000 grants. One grant from the Department of Homeland Security and the other from Bruce Hamrick of the Walker County Commission.
There are approximately 900 radios to be given away on a first-come, first-serve basis for those who qualify.