The Duncan Banner

September 3, 2013

State grant to provide school campuses with weather radios

Derrick Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Thanks to a grant received by the State of Oklahoma, area school campuses and various other public places will receive weather radios within the week.

Gary Ball, Stephens County emergency management director, and Jimmy Pryor, assistant director and flood plains manager, said the county received 105 weather radios to distribute throughout the county, including all school campuses.

They said the weather radios will be distributed to stores, day care centers and various other public places to ensure people are informed if the weather changes to severe conditions.

“It’s for all the schools,” Ball said. “It’s each elementary school, middle school, high school, superintendent’s office. We’ll have them at nursing homes. We’ll just go as far as we can with them.”

The state received the grant about 1 1/2 years ago, but it’s only been recently that the county has received the weather radios. Ball said the goal of the grant was to provide more communication for Southwest Oklahoma.

And in light of devastation accrued by a tornado in Moore, Ball and Pryor said the communication has a more important meaning for area schools. In that tornado, which took place in May, two schools (Briarwood Elementary and Plaza Towers Elementary) were hit by the tornado, and several children were killed as a result. Pryor and Ball said the weather radios will help ensure more protection for children in the Stephens County area.

The grant received by the state meant that the county didn’t have to use its funds to get weather radios for the schools and other public places. Each radio costs about $119, which is about $12,495 to purchase every weather radio supplied to the county.

“It’s a 100 percent grant,” Pryor said. “The county didn’t have to pay for it.”

All of the weather radios have been programmed, Ball said. And it won’t be long before every school building in Stephens County and various public locations will have them.

“We’ll have them to all the schools by next week,” Ball said.