ARRL

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US Schools Receive Life-Saving NOAA Public Alert Radios

08/25/2008

ARRL and Citizen Corps are teaming up to assist local school districts (if they need the help) to set up and register their NOAA Weather All Hazard Public Alert Radio.

An August 19 news release says: "Federal agencies have begun distributing more than 182,000 Public Alert Radios to preschools, Head Start programs, K-12 nonpublic schools and nonpublic school central offices, K-12 school district offices and post-secondary schools. In two earlier phases, the federal government distributed radios to all 97,000 K-12 public schools across the country, bringing the program to a close this September with a life-saving radio in every school in the nation."

Two years ago, in the fall of 2006, some ARRL members, affiliated clubs and Field Organization appointees were called upon to help when this project was in its pilot phase.

"The radios are distributed by the US Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with funding from the Department of Homeland Security and assistance from the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services," according to the news release.

The radios are designed to signal different types of alerts ranging from weather emergencies to child abductions, and from chemical accidents to acts of terrorism. The radio acts as a sentry, standing guard 24/7, to sound an alarm when danger threatens.

If you, as an individual Amateur Radio operator, as part of an Amateur Radio club or as an ARRL Field Organization appointee, would like to help Citizen Corps in this project, please contact your local Citizen Corps Council to offer assistance. Where there isn't a Council, please contact local emergency management.

Contacts should not be made directly to local schools but, instead, should be made by Citizen Corps and Emergency Management to local school district superintendents' offices to ensure a coordinated plan. Assistance to schools will be provided at the request of, and in coordination with, the school district.

For additional information on the Public Alert Radios for Schools program, see the Web site at public-alert-radio.nws.noaa.gov. The general public can learn about these radios at www.weather.gov/nwr.



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