LEE CO., GA (WALB) - A NOAA weather radio could help save your life if severe weather strikes.
Monday, We helped a couple of hundred south Georgians make sure they have working radios.
Just a few days after Christmas, an unusual tornado hit a business in Valdosta.
If you look at the buildings at Langdale Forest Products, you wouldn't know that they were nearly destroyed back in December by a tornado.
That tornado came without warning, which is exactly why it's important to always be prepared.
About 150 people bought new weather radios like this one this evening at this Publix. Dozens more people brought in their radios to make sure they're set up to give them the warning they need to stay ahead of the storm.
These Midland Weather Alert Radios didn't stay on the shelves for long.
"A weather radio is a smoke detector for storms," said Bruce Thomas, Midland Radio Corporation
Jerry Davis came from Baker County and waited in line to get his new radio programmed so he can stay ahead of the storm.
" Cause I live way out there in the country and I need one out there because sometimes my tv goes off and I can't get no news so I can know what weather is going on," said Jerry Davis, customer
Volunteers with the Albany Amateur Radio Club, WALB, Lee county EMS and a spokesperson from the Midland Radio Corporation were there to guide customers on how to use their radios properly.
"and we're programming and putting batteries in them and preparing them, and all of the people that come and purchase them today have to do is just go home and plug them in," said Bruce Thomas- Midland Radio Corporation
Thomas said your radio should only be programmed to track weather in a few counties.
" I only recommend two or three counties because you don't want it to go off all of the time. You want to know when it goes off is that it is for where you live," said Bruce Thomas.
Lee County EMS officials say a weather radio is your first line of defense against severe weather.
"If you're sound asleep, the tv and radio is off the weather radio can alert you to an impending disaster," James Howell- Lee County Emergency Management Director
Thomas said purchasing a weather radio is an important life investment.
"Having a weather radio is an insurance policy so that you know when severe weather is coming and then you can turn on WALB and you guys will track the storm," said Bruce Thomas
Midland Radios are on sale at all Publix and Walgreen's stores.
Trained storm trackers also help protect us from severe weather.
Charlie Prochaska is an Advanced Storm Spotter trained by the National Weather Service.
He's tracked storms like Hurricane Katrina and an EF-5 tornado in Texas using this storm tracking vehicle.
It's equipped with a radar computer, weather radio, and mobile weather station.
"Weather dictates our life, you stop and think about it everything that you do in life is dictated by what the weather is doing. So absolutely we need to be educated," said Prochaska, Advanced Storm Spotter.
Prochaska has been tracking storms since 1979.