11 March 2008

NOAA Radio Bill Stuck in Senate

Posted by Dan Satterfield

You may recall the editorial we aired after the February tornadoes about NOAA weather radio’s. I wrote that editorial because I felt strongly that the money being spent on weather sirens by governments could be much better spent in getting NOAA radios in all homes. We called for Congress to pass legislation that would make it mandatory for all manufactured homes sold to be equipped with a working weather radio. This has already been done in Indiana.

There is good reason for this. Sirens cannot be heard indoors, and most people live in areas that are not covered by them in any event.

The house passed the bill known as CJ’s law, and it is now apparently stuck in the Senate Banking Committee.

According to a source I have in Washington, the bill is stuck because of the lobby for the manufactured home industry. Their website has a statement on it today that clearly opposes the bill. Instead they are calling for money to be spent on warning sirens. You can ready my previous blogs to get an idea of what I think of weather sirens (not much).

Only about 10% of American families live in mobile homes but the tornado death statistics are unmistakably clear.

This year alone the tornado deaths break down this way:

37 dead in Mobile Homes
29 in homes, cars and elsewhere.

This year is no different than most years by the way. Even though only a small percentage of the population lives in a mobile home, most tornado deaths happen there. Now you know why I implore people to go to a safer place during tornado warnings!

Alabama congressman Spencer Bachus tried to pass a bill that would GIVE federal grants for tornado shelters in mobile home parks in 1991. He was surprised to find that the manufactured housing industry fought the bill!

Read this AP story :

We said in our editorial that we would keep our viewers informed about this issue. That’s what this update is about. More soon!

In case you did not know, our Alabama U.S. Senator Shelby is the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee.


Category: Opinion, Severe Weather, Weather Safety,