NOAA Weather Radios needed on the edge of the county –John S. Quarterman

So I’ll give you my opinion, like I gave it to the County Commission, and at the end of this post there’s a chronological list of links to all the NOAA Weather Radio posts so far.

But first, what do these radios do? According to NOAA:

NWR is an “All Hazards” radio network, making it your single source for comprehensive weather and emergency information. In conjunction with Federal, State, and Local Emergency Managers and other public officials, NWR also broadcasts warning and post-event information for all types of hazards – including natural (such as earthquakes or avalanches), environmental (such as chemical releases or oil spills), and public safety (such as AMBER alerts or 911 Telephone outages).
So these radios provide all the types of information J.L. Clark referred to. There’s more information in that NOAA web page.

I spoke after J.L. Clark on 22 Feb 2011. There is no video, because LAKE had only one camera at that meeting. From memory, here is the gist of what I said.

I live out on the edge of the county. I remember when Ashley Paulk moved in next door.
I was sitting on the couch with my shoes off, like we like to do out there on the edge of the county, when Ashley came by and asked me and my father to help him walk the partition line between our properties. So we did. And Ashley Paulk has always been a good neighbor. But this isn’t about him.

My father had one of those NOAA weather radios, and he used it all the time. It was quite useful out on the edge of the county, where the phone often goes out.

I live in a clearing that was cleared by a tornado. So I have some concern about severe weather.

I have an Internet connection and use it for weather, but that comes through the same phone line that is often out during storms. Lots of other people around the county are in a similar position, so I wonder if the Commission is concerned about the safety of people in outlying parts of the county.

I’d like an explanation of the reasoning behind turning down this grant, which would have benefitted the safety of people like me.

Chairman Paulk said this was Citizens Wishing to be Heard, not a dialogue session, but he would answer me after the meeting. I said I looked forward to that.

After the meeting, Chairman Paulk asked Commissioner Raines to respond. Raines said we didn’t live in tornado alley. I reminded him that the my clearing was cleared by a tornado, and added that there had been another one there within the past century. He reiterated more or less what he said at the 8 Feb meeting where he made the motion to not accept the grant. He added that “if you can’t afford $21 for a radio….” I pointed out that many people couldn’t afford $21 for a radio. I think he also said the radios just do weather. As you can see by NOAA’s own description they do more than that.

I also mentioned to Commissioner Raines that Nolen Cox had said he thought global warming was a hoax, and that Commissioner Raines had said much the same thing after that meeting. Plus there was a movement in Congress to defund the NOAA program that collects data relevant to climate change. Raines made clear that he didn’t think climate change was real, but also said he knew nothing about any such movement in Congress, and for Congress I should contact Jack Kingston. I thanked Raines for saying his beliefs on climate change did not affect his decision on the NOAA Weather Radios. We shook hands on that part.

Obviously I don’t agree with Commissioner Raines on his vote about the NOAA Weather Radios, and I’ve already spelled out that climate change is not a matter of belief, it’s a matter of settled science. However, I do applaud Commissioner Raines for being willing to have a forthright discussion with a citizen even on matters where there is not agreement.

Here are the LAKE blog posts on this subject, in chronological order of what happened:

That’s the story so far.