Columbiana seniors get weather radios
By JAN GRIFFEY/Editor
COLUMBIANA — About 40 Columbiana senior citizens now have an additional safeguard in making sure they know when severe weather could put them in harm’s way.
Eric Peterson of ServPro of Birmingham with help from members of the Church at Chelsea-Westover, purchased the Midland weather radios and distributed them to seniors at the Columbiana Recreation Building on Wednesday morning.
ServPro is a sponsor of the first South Shelby Weather and Safety Expo on July 12 from 1 to 8 p.m. at the Shelby County Exhibition Center in Columbiana.
The event is free and will feature vendors who will provide information on weather and other safety issues throughout the event and speakers beginning at about 3 p.m.
Other sponsors of the Weather and Safety Expo are the City of Columbiana, Rux Carter Insurance, the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce and the Shelby County Reporter.
Columbiana Mayor Allan Lowe secured the donation of the weather radios for the community’s senior citizens.
Peterson said his company wants to help seniors and others prepare for potential disasters.
“People typically aren’t prepared when disaster strikes,” he said, “They ask, ‘What do we do now?’ We want to get that conversation started before disaster does happen.”
Lowe said seniors and others should bring their weather radios to the July 12 event, where officials will be available to help program them properly.
He said Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry and others from the sheriff’s office will be at the Weather and Safety Expo to provide information and advice on emergency preparedness.
The American Red Cross will host a blood mobile at the event and Alabama Power will have officials there educating residents on how to stay safe around downed power lines and other electrical hazards.
Lowe urged seniors to bring their grandchildren to the event to be fitted with a safety helmet, courtesy of Children’s Hospital of Alabama. He said a number of children who were wearing bicycle or other types of safety helmets during the April 2011 tornadoes were saved from potential tragedy because of those helmets.
“They will be there with the helmets and will fit them on the kids, and any that are not given out that day will be brought to city hall and we will give them out and help fit them on other kids in the community,” Lowe said.