Monday, March 3, 2008

Stuck Between a Rock and Tornado Bait

(I'm feeling a bit ornery today...if you couldn't tell.)

The Libertarian in me screams about this legislation while the realist in me thinks this is probably a good idea.

From the Indy Star:

Bayh's bill calls for weather-alert radios
Star and AP reports
March 3, 2008

U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh will hold a press conference call today discuss “C.J.’s Law,” federal legislation that would require the installation of weather radios in many new manufactured homes to warn families of imminent severe weather events.
Bayh, D-Indiana, will hold a 3 p.m. news conference to announce the filing of a bill.

He will be joined on the call by Kathryn Martin, who lost her son C.J. and two other family members in an F3 tornado that struck Southwest Indiana on Nov. 6, 2005.

A version of the bill that passed the House in November would require manufacturers to install National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radios capable of receiving broadcasts from the National Weather Service.

Martin has crusaded for safety and lobbied legislators to endorse state and federal versions of a bill to make weather radios mandatory for residents who live in areas that see a disproportionate number of tornadoes.
The federal bill mirrors a state law passed by the Indiana General Assembly with overwhelming support. That legislation was dubbed "C.J.'s Law" in honor of Martin's son.

The 2005 tornado hit in the pre-dawn hours, killing the boy and 19 others in Eastbrook Mobile Home Park on the outskirts of Evansville, where emergency officials said few had weather radios or nearby shelters where they could have gone as the storm neared. Five other people were killed in neighboring Warrick County.

The weather radios, which cost about $30, operate on frequencies dedicated exclusively to the weather service. Officials say they often broadcast warnings before regular radio and television stations break in with a warning.

Bayh’s legislation comes as Indiana observes Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 2-8.

Pardon my cynicism, where's the money going to come from to pay for these? Like the cigarette smokers who wanted state health insurance for their self induced health problems, are those who choose to live in a trailer park going to have the cost past on to them in the form of a tax? Oh, no wait. This will be a government hand out that we all pay for (see...I couldn't keep that Libertarian in me tucked away).

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