Tulsa Company Donates Weather Radios To Every Public School In Oklahoma

Tuesday, April 7th 2015, 7:39 pm
By: Emory Bryan

A Tulsa company has donated weather radios to every public school in the state, almost 1,800 of them, including some that didn't have them before.

One school official compared weather radios to smoke alarms saying it's something every building, especially in Oklahoma, should have.

At Northeast Academy in Oklahoma City, science students got a lesson in preparing for a disaster.

It's part of Red Cross training, with help from Tulsa's Williams Company, which donated weather alert radios to the school and every other public school in the state.

“This is just one more resource for them if there is severe weather, to alert them ahead of time, and so we were happy to do it,” said Stephanie Timmermeyer, with Williams Companies.

The little radios cost less than $30, and for some schools it's the only notification system they have.

The focus in recent years has been more on school security against criminals, but weather alerts systems are becoming another priority - and not every school is near an outdoor siren.

At Northeast, staff members would monitor radar and spread the word if they saw something.

"We're a pretty close community, so if we heard something was coming we'd call each other, text each other," said science teacher, Carole Thompson.

When a storm is brewing even a plan like that might not be fast enough to let everyone know, according to TPS Emergency Manager, Bob Roberts.

“That's your smoke detector for storms; so yes, I think it's really important,” Roberts said.

He constantly monitors weather but wants schools to have radios to get direct notice of a warning.

"Getting something out from my office to all 77 campuses in a timely manner can be challenging when you're talking about a few minutes," said Roberts.

The weather alert radios go off during any weather warning, but also sound alarms for other emergencies, and now every school has one.

Through the donation, every school has one for the first time, but it still depends on someone hearing it and spreading the word throughout the building.