Berlin residents will be able to pick up a weather radio, courtesy of the town, on Feb. 27 and March 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Berlin Community Center.
To receive a weather radio, residents are asked to bring their photo ID and their electric bill to show they are paying dues to the Berlin Fire Department.
The town council voted to give residents weather radios rather than replace its damaged tornado siren.
The tornado siren was damaged by a lightning strike and the town received a quote of $14,000-20,000 to replace it. Mayor Patrick Bates said he was told it would cost $9,000 just for parts to repair the system.
Citing the age of the siren and the likelihood of it getting hit by lightning again, along with the outdated technology, the council decided to abandon the siren.
"It's not 1999 when the sirens were put in," said Bates. "And lots of people now have phones that give them more targeted information."
The fire department purchased the Midland WR-20 radio so residents just outside the town limits would also be eligible to receive them. Fire Chief Ralph Laney estimated the number of people inside the tornado siren’s audible range at around 600-800, and the council agreed that it can come back and purchase more if there are any people who want a radio but were unable to receive one after the initial purchase of 500.
The Cullman County Community Development Commission awarded a $6,225 grant to the Berlin Fire Department for the purchase of the radios.