By MJ Brickey
McALESTER — The McAlester/Pittsburg County Office of Emergency Management now has NOAA weather radios free for Pittsburg County homes.
There are 900 radios to be given out all together. Three hundred will be issued at a time, in three different locations, on three different dates, around Pittsburg County, OEM Assistant Director Lois Lupardus said.
Beginning Saturday, at the Highway 9 Volunteer Fire Department, Pittsburg County residents can bring proof of residency and obtain the free weather radio for their home at 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., she said.
Lupardus said OEM will give them out again on Sept. 21 at Kiowa Fire Department at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and then on Oct. 5 at Atwood’s in McAlester from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Proof of residency can be in the form of a drivers license, state ID or a utility bill. Radios are limited so they will be given out one per household.
The McAlester/Pittsburg County Office of the Emergency management secured $14,400 dollars in funding to buy NOAA weather radios and the batteries to distribute to Pittsburg County residents, Lupardus said.
“Although there are out-door severe weather warning sirens throughout the county not everyone can hear them,” OEM director Trent Myers said. “And, out-door warning sirens are just that ‘out-door’ warning sirens — they are only expected to be heard from the outside of a home, shelter or structure.”
He said in some parts of the county the sirens cannot be heard and there are some who just can’t hear them.
Myers said he — and his team — want everyone to be as safe and informed as possible during severe weather.