The program will reimburse Jackson County residents 75% of the cost of a weather radio, according to Lloyd Colston, Altus Emergency Management director. "In other words, a $30 radio will cost $7.50, after the rebate is paid."
"It could save your life and your family's life," said Jerry Gibson, director of Jackson County Emergency Management, speaking to the benefit of the weather radio. "It's like a smoke detector for weather."
Funds are limited. Citizens are encouraged to act quickly. Local vendors such as Radio Shack, Walgreens, and Walmart have radios in stock. The rebate program only pays for radios with Specific Area Messaging Encoder technology such as described at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/nwrsame.htm, explained Gibson.
Inside the home, it is difficult, if not impossible to hear the sirens. Emergency managers encourage multiple means of getting warnings. Weather radios, cell phone, pagers, email, and sirens are just some of the tools available.
In order to participate in the rebate program, Jackson County and City of Altus residents must first buy the radio, obtain the reimbursement form, complete the form, and submit it, with the receipt, for payment by the City.
The form is available at the American Red Cross office, the Salvation Army church building, Jerry Gibson's office at the Jackson County Courthouse, at City of Altus City Hall, or online at http://ow.ly/pYgX
Once the form is received, it will be submitted to State emergency management officials for payment. This is a pass-through grant, explained Colston. The money will come back to the City of Altus, which will then approve the claim for payment to the resident.
Those who need help with programming their new radio can get that help from the Altus Skywarn Association, the local weather watch group. Those who need help can leave their radio with the Red Cross, Salvation Army, or the local emergency management officials who will have the radio returned after programming is completed.
For more information, visit http://altusem.us or call 580.482.8333 for Colston or 580.482.0229 for Gibson.