Grant Provides Weather Radios

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After recent storms in Alabama and Missouri, an announcement today in Hopkinsville, Ky., will hopefully add peace of mind to Kentuckians. John Segree, the pastor at Sinking Fork Baptist Church, knows first hand the importance of being prepared when severe weather strikes.

"Part of the building was still standing, but it was so torn up, it was un-useable. You could not save any of it, so it all got torn down," Segree said.

Segree's congregation has been meeting in a school down the street. A press conference was held this morning at the church's former site to publicize a grant that will help make students safer during severe weather. The Kentucky weather preparedness committee announced a grant from FEMA that will provide weather radios for every school in the Commonwealth.

"Basically it's a follow-up to a grant that was secured a couple years ago to provide a weather radio to all the public schools in Kentucky," said Rick Shanklin of the National Weather Service.

The grant also includes private schools, and the announcement comes just one day after a tornado took the lives of several students in an Alabama school.

"Any place you have a gathering of people, there really needs to be some redundancy at a minimum one back-up of getting the warnings," Shanklin said.

As Christian County residents listen to this mornings announcement it's a bittersweet feeling, as they remember the devastation of April 2006.

"I was thinking someone was pulling my leg, about 10 p.m. when they called and said the building had been destroyed, but sure enough it was real," Segree said.

Officials at today's announcement said two important pieces of equipment every home should have are a smoke detector and a weather radio. Governor Fletcher has also declared this March as, severe weather awareness month.