For Immediate Release

March 30, 2000


First Radios in Warning Project
Delivered to Cumberland County

North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety Secretary David Kelly will visit Cape Fear High Schoolís Natural Science Academy Friday afternoon to present the first of 400 tone alert radios to be distributed to Cumberland County. Secretary Kelly is scheduled to make the special presentation at 2:30 and be available to answer questions about the importance of the project.

The North Carolina Emergency Management Division and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded North Carolina a $2.8 million grant to expand the warning reception coverage of the NOAA weather radio, enhance communications between critical agencies and broadcasters, and heighten public awareness about early warning and family preparedness. Cumberland County was one of 3 initial counties chosen for the project.

The radios will be placed in all local schools, hospitals, state licensed child care centers, nursing homes as well as the 9-1-1 centers that do not currently have alert activated radio warning reception capability.

The N.C. Emergency Management Division, which is part of the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, will oversee the three phases of the project, which is taking place concurrently over 27 months.

In phase one, a study was done of the existing NOAA weather radio system to find gaps and work directly to either repair or relocate those transmitters to improve coverage. A second phase will place satellite telephone base units at county warning points, at 20 key commercial radio stations that form the back-bone of North Carolinaís Emergency Alert System (EAS) and at supporting National Weather Service Offices.

Additionally, all county emergency management offices will be provided direct weather information to ensure uninterrupted reception of satellite and radar graphics for use when responding to weather related disasters.

The projectís third phase will focus on improving the general publicís knowledge of severe weather, such as tornadoes, flash floods and high winds. Specifically, it focuses on what precautions to take in response to weather warning and what protective actions to take at home and in the work place when severe weather strikes.

For more information on this news release, contact Cumberland County Emergency Management Director Harold Beverage at (910) 321-6736 or Public Information Director Tonya Harris-Council at (910) 437-1921.

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