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Discussion, preparation needed as hurricane season gets started

With June 1 being the start of the hurricane season, now is asgood a time as any for a renewed discussion on the need foremergency preparedness in the city and county.

City fathers mentioned the need for sirens during this past week’sboard meeting, only to be told that grant funds are not currentlyavailable for them.

Plans indicate that 18 sirens, at an estimated $40,000 each, wouldbe needed to provide coverage for the city. It was not known howmany would be needed to cover Lincoln County as a whole, and grantassistance would not be available since it is not a part of theNational Flood Insurance Program.

While acknowledging benefits of sirens, Lincoln County CivilDefense Director Clifford Galey touted potentially more directbenefits of weather radios. Sirens are useful for listenersoutdoors, but weather radios allow for inside-the-home updates onweather conditions and warnings.

Galey said he is looking into the possibility of grant funds forweather radios. At around $50 each, approximately 800 weatherradios could be purchased for the price of one weather siren.

While the merits of weather sirens versus weather radios can bedebated, the bottom line is that citizens need to be prepared foremergencies. Discussion of the importance of preparedness shouldstir citizens and government leaders to action in an effort tominimize damage and loss of life when disasters happen.