All U.S. Public Schools To Receive Hazard Warning Radios

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will provide $5 million to pay for hazard warning radios to be supplied to the nation’s 97,000 public schools.

The National Weather Service operates more than 950 short-range radio stations throughout the United States, covering about 97 percent of the nation. Hazard warning radios operate 24 hours per day and automatically broadcast the signals from these stations when there are hazards, such as severe weather, terrorism or derailed trains carrying toxic cargo. The devices can be programmed to respond only to warnings for a specified area.

Schools should begin to receive the hazard radios in October. District officials who need help in learning how to best deploy the radios should contact their local Weather Service offices. Schools that already have radios will also be included in the program and may receive upgraded versions if the units they currently have are old.

Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and Washington already require their schools to have hazard warning radios.

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