Pontotoc Co. EM applies for federal grant to install new emergency alert system

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PONTOTOC COUNTY, OK -- Severe weather can arrive in a moment's notice.

That's why Pontotoc County Emergency management wants residents to have as much time as possible to prepare for it.

County commissioners have given Director, Chad Lettelier, approval to apply for FEMA's Hazard Mitigation grant which would be used to put a new emergency alert system in an RV park outside Ada.

"It doesn't act like a normal storm siren that you normally see in a city or something like that," Lettelier said. "What it does is it alerts based on NOAA weather radio when a watch or warning comes out, the siren alerts from that signal."

Letellier says the system can also notify those in a 1200 foot radius about isolated and severe thunderstorms.

The system would cost over $16,000, but he says the grant would cover 75 percent of the cost, leaving the other quarter to the county.

Letellier says putting it in the Hey Daddy RV park on County Road 1590 outside Ada, would improve residents' safety.

"If they can get that warning as it comes out from the weather service, that might gain them 2 or 3 minutes," said Lettelier.

One resident says the more time they have the better.

"Being an RV-er, it's very important because you definitely don't want to go through a storm in an RV," said resident, Karon Smith. "You want to get somewhere safe and having time to do that makes the world of difference."

Another resident says he's all for the new system to be installed in the neighborhood.

"A lot of people that live out here are in units that aren't made for strong winds or high winds, big hail and stuff like that," resident, Roger Sheldon said. "So it would give them the opportunity to go somewhere else, or maybe even move their units."

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