Well, my inner geek has come full circle. The other day I was asked to do a quick live inject for the Weather Channel on NDSU’s new weather radios (we purchased 400 for the campus as a part of our new comprehensive emergency planning grant from the U.S. Department of Ed). The piece was done via Skype and our PIO on campus was able to find someone who knew what they were doing to assist me (thank goodness as I can tell you that it looked too complex for me).
It was all over in a couple of minutes and thank goodness it was live and I didn’t see it (I do not need any more confirmation that I could do with getting a little work done on those wrinkles that seem to are homesteading on my face). At any rate, the key to this experience was not that I learned about Skype, or live T.V. or what a great guy Bob the fellow that provided the tech support is (and he has adorable children – their photos are all over his office – I like that – good dad),…no, no, no – the key to this experience was that I was on the Weather Channel. The Weather Channel…not TLC, CNN, QVC or any other major broadcast networks…who would have thunk?
Not me, that’s for sure. Indeed, I recall making fun of my friend Amy for being a Weather Channel geek. Aside from her real job as a state training officer in Indiana and her other job as a photographer on the side, Amy chases tornados as a hobby (do not do this at home – I advise against it). She loves the Weather Channel – indeed I have heard her gush over it. Really…gush.
Understanding the hazardous nature of weather is part of my field, but that is about as far as I take it. I am not even remotely interested in being in any closer contact with the weather – unless of course it is like that old Weather Girls video for the song “It’s Raining Men” ( see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGLZqDXau98) – I like that forecast. You’ll never see me actively seeking out a tornado or covering a hurricane – not that rugged or invested in the severe weather experience.
I have however become quite convinced about the utility of weather radios and I outwardly acknowledge that I have become a real geek about it. I look at weather radios as a valuable tool in our emergency management warning arsenal. The alert weather radios provide alerts for weather and other quick onset events and are proven to save lives. I like that a $30 investment can be a life-saver. It isn’t superman in his tights with his hands on his hips, but it is equally powerful and sexy. It is a braniac kind of powerful and sexy, but still it cannot be denied that it has its own special allure. Information is power and the weather radio links you in with the most direct link to real time information so that you can act to protect yourself and your loved ones – superman like indeed.
I am always encouraging folks to buy alert weather radios for themselves and as gifts for others. I sometimes give them as prizes in my classes. They are nice as they just sit there quietly minding their own business until a notice goes out. They provide the information you need when you need it and then remain quiet the rest of the time (that also sounds like a good model for a spouse as well but that is for another day’s blog). Almost every location in the U.S. currently has access to weather radio signals and more and more folks are realizing that a weather radio is an investment that is worth its weight in gold.
Oddly, I think of the weather radios more in the vein of emergency management generally than weather specifically as they are also used for alerts on chemical spills, amber alerts, and other events that require some immediate notice or action. I did not realize that I was leaning so far into the world of my weather-oriented friends that they would see me as, however fleeting, one of them. But, I must say, wherever the message comes from it is a good one – weather radios save lives and if the Weather Channel is one of the places invested in spreading that message I am there.
I was thinking though, perhaps the Weather Girls would like to remake the video “It’s Raining Men” with alert weather radios being prominently featured. I’d be willing to help with that effort…watch out MTV – here I come with my weather radio and I will happily do a cameo in the video. Weather Girls, have your people call my people.
Day sixty-seven of the new forty – obla di obla da