Do You Have a Public Alert Radio?

I am stepping up on my soapbox today. So, be prepared to listen!

Yesterday was a scary day here in Raleigh. We were hit by a large storm that had intense winds, hail and TORNADOES! North Carolina is not prone to tornadoes, but yesterday was a day that proved that twisters can hit anywhere and at anytime. The graph below shows the path of all the tornadoes yesterday.

Sadly, there were several fatalities and lots of damage.

I do have one very valuable contraption to thank for an advanced warning. This is it:

It is a Public Alert Radio with weather and emergency alerts! And it cost under $40. Whenever there is a severe storm or hazard in our immediate area, an alarm will sound. Then it is followed by a message from the National Weather Service. Pretty Handsome Guy programmed our weather radio to only go off for severe watches and warnings and only for our county. This really helps eliminate any false alarms for other counties.

Had I not had our Public Alert Radio, I would not have known how much danger we were in. But because the alarm went off, well ahead of time, I had time to call my in-laws to alert them and gather some pillows, Buddy, some munchies and most importantly my cell phone (complete with twitter app, camera, and accuweather app.) Then we crawled into the closet and waited out the storm. (I think Buddy liked laying in my lap for 20 minutes.)

My youngest was at my in-laws and they had fun sipping “pinkalicious” smoothies while hiding in their bathroom. Pretty Handsome Guy and my oldest son were away at camp and they weathered the storm in “hurricane-rated” cabins near the coast.

Thankfully we made it through the storm without any damage or injuries. I am saddened for those that were not as lucky.

After the experience I want to urge you to purchase a good Weather Alert Radio. Don’t buy one that can’t be programmed to eliminate other counties and certain warnings that might not pertain to you (i.e. flash floods.) We have several friends who turned their alert radios off because “it is too annoying when it goes off all the time.”

Another way to be prepared in case of severe weather or an emergency is to have a Disaster Preparedness Kit. Several years ago, I took a disaster preparedness class from the Red Cross. It was just an afternoon, but I came away with loads of information about how and what you need to be prepared for any disaster. Most of the information from the class can be found on the Red Cross Website, HERE.

We now have a kit that I keep in the same closet we were hiding in. As a mother of two young ones, having this kit makes me feel a little better knowing that we are prepared.

I urge you to look into a Public Alert Radio and put together a Preparedness Kit. It might save your life!

20 replies
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  1. sandi
    sandi says:

    my sister and her family live in wake forest, but her husband works in raleigh. they had branches down and some minor things. on the way to church sunday morning they were shocked to find the destruction so closeby. since they did not have power they were unaware of the damage that happened until the following day. glad you and your family are accounted for; you probably wished to all be together instead of three different places!

    as a new reader of your blog you may have answered this previously but what is one tool that is a must have for you? not talking screwdrivers and manual types of items but those in the power category.

    • Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl)
      Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl) says:


      I’m so glad your family was okay, and no problem about the tool question. I was going to say a cordless drill is #1! Then perhaps a jigsaw since it can handle cuts (maybe not precisely like a miter saw or table saw.) Those were my first power tools.

      Good luck!


  2. cassie walker
    cassie walker says:

    Omg. Never realized you were from NC. I’m from Alamance county and we were lucky that it passed over us with just some heavy showers and flickering lights. Glad to hear you’re safe.

  3. Rose C.
    Rose C. says:

    Yes with the crazy weather going across this nation a public alert radio is wonderful to have. My son lives in Fayetteville and his sub was hit hard.

  4. kathie
    kathie says:

    I just want to say thanks. Because of your post, I logged onto Amazon and ordered a radio like yours. We live in Missouri and face the spring/summer thunderstorms, tornadoes and such every year. Now, I will be better prepared thanks to you!

  5. ColleenwithMurals&More
    ColleenwithMurals&More says:

    I thought about you, Brittany, when I saw the weather. So glad you are safe!

    Yes, we have a radio and disaster kit – not for tornadoes (I’m in northern Calif.) but for snow outtages. Many times the radio has been our only communication for a few days.

    Thanks for getting on the soap box. I think people ‘listen’ better when it’s from a blogger, imho.

  6. Monique
    Monique says:

    I’m glad you and your family are safe. It’s pretty scary listening to the reports on TV during a storm and still not sure of what’s going on. I’ve noticed we’ve been having more high winds and storms than we have had in past years. Thanks for letting us know about the public alert radio.

  7. Pattie @ On Hollyhock Farm
    Pattie @ On Hollyhock Farm says:

    I am so glad your family is safe! I just can not fathom the destruction tornadoes can do. Thanks for this post, I did not know there was such a radio. We rarely have tornadoes but we do have strait line winds which can do just as much damage. And in the last couple of years we have had one or two tornadoes in our area.
    Stay safe and thanks for sharing. 8>)

  8. photojenic
    photojenic says:

    I have that same radio and I *love* it! I had tried a $80 model from Radio Shack that wouldn’t pick up anything. The First Alert one is amazing, and picks up NOAA from almost any room of the house. Very important if you’re hiding in the closet or bathroom.

  9. Alida L.
    Alida L. says:

    We live in Greenville NC and had a tornado touch down less than 5 miles from our house. We were huddled in the hallway with a mattress, scared to death the roof was going to fly off or something. Thank the Lord we had no damage. My brother was not so lucky. His apartment complex (in Fayetteville) was torn to pieces, he is alive but scared to death Thanks for stepping up on to the soap box to get the word out! Hubby ordered one of those radio doohickies this morning.


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