Press Release

Platte County Sheriff's Office
Mark S. Owen, Sheriff
415 3rd Street Suite 10
Platte City, MO 64079
816-858-2424 (business)
816-858-3053 (fax)

Subject: All hazard radio programming dates
Date: 2009-04-28
Author: Captain Mark Owen
Public Information Officer
Reference Number: 09-008

Platte County Emergency Management & Price Chopper offer all hazard radio programming & disaster plan information

Missouri's annual severe weather season is upon us and remains a constant possibility throughout the remainder of spring & summer.

Platte County Sheriff Richard Anderson encourages you and your family to stay abreast of severe weather conditions during this storm season. Platte County families today have a variety of means to monitor developing severe weather activity. All hazard radios are one of the best ways to keep you and your family informed at the earliest point allowing you to make educated safety decisions for your family.

NOAA all hazard weather radios receive continuous broadcasts of the latest weather information from the National Weather Service. Weather messages are repeated every 4 to 6 minutes and are routinely updated every 1 to 3 hours or more frequently in rapidly changing local weather. Most stations operate 24 hours daily. Under a January 1995 White House policy statement, NOAA Weather Radio was designated the sole Government-operated radio system to provide direct warnings into private homes for both natural disasters and nuclear attack. This concept is being expanded to include warnings for all hazardous conditions that pose a threat to life and safety, both at a local and national level. If local officials determine that emergency storm warning is necessary, warnings will be broadcast via television, radio and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) weather radios. These special radios are available at $29.95 at the Parkville and Platte City Price Chopper Stores.

Platte County Emergency Management personnel along with the City of Parkville will be at McKeever’s Price Chopper in Parkville on the following dates to program your radio and answer your questions: April 29th (Wednesday) from 4pm to 8pm; May 1st, (Friday) 4pm to 8pm and May 2nd (Saturday) 11am to 1pm.

Captain Mark Owen, Deputy Mike O’Neal along with CERT and ARES personnel will be at Bresette’s Price Chopper in Platte City to program your radio and answer your questions on May 5th (Tuesday) 4pm to 8pm; May 8th (Friday) 4pm to 8pm and May 9th (Saturday) 11am to 1pm.

They will also distribute details for the all hazard radio and items that you will need for your family disaster kit that are in stock at the store.

Captain Mark Owen, Emergency Management Coordinator for Platte County answers the following questions about why you need an All Hazard Radio.

Q. I am not sure I want an all hazards radio because I don’t want to hear what is going on all over the Kansas City region.

A. The newer style of all hazard radios can be programmed so it only sounds when watches or warnings are received for the specific areas you have designated to the radio. If you only want to hear watches or warnings for Platte County, they will be programmed so that it will not activate for other areas.

Q. We have tornado sirens in our area, why would I need a radio?

A. Tornado sirens are made and installed for outdoor warning uses. Yes, sometimes they can be heard inside of a building but there have been many times when they have not been heard due to heavy winds, storm damage to the siren or mechanical failure.

Q. Why do I need a weather radio, I get my warnings from the television or a local radio station?

A. About 79% of Platte County residents do normally receive their watch and warning information via the media. The first problem is when the storm occurs at 2:00 a.m. and the television and the radio are not turned on. The second problem is during a local power outage, those media sources are not available.

Q. Why do I need an all hazards radio when I receive my watches and warnings via a text message or page?

A. This is also an excellent way to receive weather information. But there can be times during a storm that the cell sites lose power or are struck by lightning. There have also been recorded instances where a tornado has struck these types of towers rendering them useless. If a second set of storms approach the area causing additional warnings to be issued, you may not get the text or page if the tower has been destroyed.

The goal of the Platte County Emergency Management Unit is for each residence to have several different types of warning modes. Our concern is that if television, cell phone and your internet based phones cannot provide you with the warning due to power outages, the all hazards radio switches to battery back up power and you will still be provided with the needed information.

The all hazards radio can be used by your local emergency management office to provide you with other types of warnings like a chemical spill or instructions for evacuation or shelter information from a hazardous materials incident which could occur on our roadways or local rail line.

Please contact the Platte County Sheriff's Department Emergency Management Office at 816-858-3361 for more information on emergency preparedness.