Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
Governor Doyle has proclaimed this week to be Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin. The idea, of course, is to make people aware of the dangers involved with tornadoes, thunderstorms, flooding and hail.
On March 25, FranklinNOW blogger Greg Kowalski wrote a blog entitled, “Current Aldermen talk safety, but have they acted?” The implication is clear that the aldermen, in Greg’s mind, have failed to act and/or don’t care as he proceeds to quote from a Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel article earlier this year:
“More than 10,000 residents in southwest Milwaukee County would not hear an outdoor warning siren if a tornado swept through the region. The 51 tornado sirens in place do not fully cover all of the county's residents, a Journal Sentinel mapping analysis found. These sirens are sometimes the only warning that a deadly funnel cloud is fast approaching.Residents who cannot hear any sirens live mostly in southern Franklin, where there are no sirens.
Franklin Fire Chief Jim Martins said Wisconsin Emergency Management denied a hazard mitigation grant in 2004 that would have provided the city money for tornado sirens.After the denial, Martins, along with the city engineer and police chief, proposed buying 10 sirens for $157,000. The idea stalled at the city's Common Council.”
Sources at Franklin City Hall tell me the cost for just the installation of a siren system would be $200-thousand. That assumes ideal siting with sirens that can be heard by individuals inside well insulated homes with quality windows.
My sources say the cost of such a system would be 1% of last year’s tax levy.
That’s too expensive.
But what about public safety?
If you oppose such an expenditure, don’t you care about the well-being of the city’s residents?
Well, I do care.
But the issue can be addressed in far less the cost.
The solution is a First Alert WX-17 Weather Radio with AM/FM Radio.
Here’s how the weather radio comes advertised:
First Alert WX17 Emergency Alert Weather radio provides you with early warning in the event of severe weather or hazardous situations - and at a very low price that’s hard to beat!
Featuring AM/FM radio combined with easy portability, this First Alert emergency weather radio operates on both batteries and an AC adapter for use either around the home and office or when you’re out and about!
The very affordable First Alert WX17 weather radio monitors all seven NOAA emergency broadcast channels in addition to the National Weather Service local forecast and bulletins frequency. It also sounds an alert tone when an emergency broadcast is received.
Packaged in an attractive white case with telescoping antenna, the First Alert WX17 emergency alert weather radio is an economical way to keep abreast of storm warnings in your area!
Monitors all seven NOAA emergency alert weather channels.
An economical portable weather radio for the home, office, or when you’re out and about.
Alert tone sounds when emergency broadcast is received.
Carrying handle for easy portable operation.
Receives NOAA warnings of severe weather and environmental dangers.
Monitors local National Weather Service forecast and bulletin channel.
Siren sounds when emergency alert is received.
Telescoping antenna with reception area of 25 to 50 miles depending on conditions.
AM/FM feature allows you to listen to your favorite radio stations.
Band selector switch of AM, FM, Weather or Alert modes.
Using the AC power adapter automatically disconnects batteries.
Battery backup/portable power provided by 4 AA alkaline batteries (not included).
Earphone jack for privacy.
90-day limited warranty from manufacturer.
The cost of a weather alert radio: $21.95
The beauty of this concept is that you decide if you want to (I’ll use the word the liberals always use when they don’t want to say “spend”) invest $21.95 in protection. You don’t need the government to help you.
The Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs even endorses this idea. From their press release:
“Have a NOAA Weather Radio with a warning alarm tone and battery back-up to receive warnings. Listen to local radio and television stations for further information.”
So, don’t ask City Hall to spend $200-grand. Get yourself a weather alert radio instead.
More from the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs:
“Last year, the National Weather Service confirmed 18 tornadoes spun up in Wisconsin, including five in central and northeast Wisconsin on June 7. One of those tornadoes was an EF3 tornado that followed a 40 mile track across Shawano, Menominee, Langlade and Oconto Counties and was the longest tornado track in the U.S. in 2007.
Wisconsin averages 21 tornadoes a year. Already in 2008, southeast Wisconsin experienced rare twisters in January with two tornadoes hitting Kenosha County. Nearly 100 homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed by the January 7 tornadoes.
The statewide tornado drill will be held on Thursday, April 24, 2008.”