OUR VIEW: Buy a weather radio, don’t rely on cell phones

Published 9:30 am Friday, April 7, 2023

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Earlier this week we published a story about the frequency of tornadoes in Troup County in 2023. Four already in 2023.

As it turns out, there’s not a great scientific reason for the frequency of tornadoes we’re currently seeing. It’s really just bad luck.

Really bad, terrible, rotten luck. 

The meteorology experts we talked to said future tornadoes will eventually take another track. 

Experts like James Spann, who was gracious enough to give us half an hour of his time, tell you about cold fronts, instability and wind shear.  

We’ll keep it simpler by saying the recipe for severe weather has come together all too often right here in Troup County. Hopefully, it won’t happen again in 2023.

However, as we plead for sunnier days ahead, we ultimately know we can’t control the weather. It’s likely another severe storm will hit our area at some point soon, even if it just produces thunder and lightning, and that means it’s important to prepare.

We typically write in this space once or twice a year, urging people to make a plan and be prepared for when severe weather strikes. Unfortunately, now we have first-hand experience.

Based on the cell tower damage in West Point, we think it’s clear that no one should be relying on cell phones for severe weather information, especially overnight. We saw where notifications for tornado warnings came in minutes, even over an hour late, on our personal cell phones. You need the information immediately, as often you only have seconds to react, especially if you were woken up by the warning.

Weather radios work much better in severe weather, as they do not use cell towers to give information. They are also battery-powered and would continue working when the power goes out. They are also relatively inexpensive and well-worth a small investment to protect you from future storms.

We’re right in the middle of severe weather season in Georgia, and after the way things have gone in Troup County so far in 2023, we encourage you and your family to make a plan. 

Hundreds of homes have been damaged. Some are without a permanent residence right now.

Thankfully, no one has died.

We have no idea what Mother Nature might throw at us next, but we certainly can be prepared. 

Buy a weather radio, make a plan and get prepared today.