The objective of the IDHS weather radio program is to place the radios in manufactured homes as well as those of homebound residents.
"This is your best resource, even though you have sirens," Putnam County Emergency Management director Kim Hyten said. "Those sirens are supposed to be early warning to those outside, not necessarily inside. With these radios, you place the resource inside the people's homes."
The idea is for the radios to be dispersed throughout the county to give a sort of network around the county for weather alerts. Once radios are placed in certain homes, they can establish some sort of call system to friends and neighbors.
"It does provide a quicker method of alert for families," Hyten said.
The radios are designed to notify residents of a plethora of natural and civil emergencies, ranging from severe storms to child abductions.
Qualified residents interested in receiving one of the free radios may contact Sandy Amers at the Putnam County EMA/Planning department at 653-5727 to make an appointment. The process will include determining eligibility as well as taking name and address information as part of a roster for the state.
Hyten said the roster will serve only to help the state know that the radios are being distributed and if more are needed. It could help Putnam County in qualifying for more in the future and broadening the scope of those who qualify.