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Senior centers receive free weather radios

By Valerie Baldowski

vbaldowski@henryherald.com

Henry County's senior centers have a new tool to warn of impending weather emergencies.

According to Susan Craig, the county's senior citizen services director, WSB-TV donated five Midland weather radios, for use in both of the county's senior facilities, which include Heritage Senior Center in McDonough, and the Hidden Valley Senior Center in Fairview.

The facilities got the radios on Oct. 15, said Craig, and each unit will help the centers better monitor approaching, bad weather, and prepare for emergencies.

"Senior centers are required to monitor weather alerts, because we often have up to 150 senior adults in a congregate setting," Craig said. "Senior centers have designated 'safe areas' when tornado activity is anticipated. Senior and administrative staff have specific assignments, similar to those in a school environment, in order to keep everyone as safe and calm as possible during an emergency."

According to a press release from the county, the newer models replaced the older ones the centers had been using. The newer models provide specific coverage, reporting local weather for a particular area, whereas the older models reported weather for the entire state.

Craig said she was pleased by the extra degree of protection the new radios may provide.

"We anticipate they'll do fine," she said. "The last time the weather sirens sounded, it was approximately 11 a.m., on a Friday. Everyone was moved to a safe area within minutes. I was proud of our entire staff and volunteers who assisted seniors, some of whom use walkers."

WSB-TV teamed up with Kroger supermarkets to present the new weather radios to aging-service providers located within the Atlanta Regional Commission's (ARC) region, and who are partially funded by the ARC, according to the press release.