My emergency weather radio would not ship to my PO box. I had to do what i usually did when that happened which was mail it to my friend and then leave two dollars under her welcome mat when i picked the package up off her porch. When i finally got my hands on the precious package i was beyond thrilled. i knew the importance of what i held in my hands. This little box was going to give us the forewarning that we needed to plan ahead and prepare for weather before it was upon us.
As i took it out of the box and set it on the little tv tray i used as a supper table i was in awe. The thing had a hand crank. If a person cranked the radio by hand for 60 seconds they could listen to 20 minutes of weather broadcasting before it would need cranked again. There was a solar panel strip on the top of the radio and then a battery compartment on the bottom of the thing. As i checked the butter holder in the fridge i realized i had AA, D, C, and specialty batteries, but i had no AAA batteries, which was what the radio called for. I went to the shed thinking there was a blood sugar machine in there somewhere that might require triple a batteries. It was in there but it had a special sized flat battery. I did find a pack of AAA batteries in there. I suddenly remembered i had taken them from my purse to get on an airplane last year, as i didn’t think they would travel well through security. They were covered in battery acid. Obviously, leaving batteries in an un-air-conditioned shed was a very bad idea. I ended up raiding my blood pressure cuff and a shock collar dog training remote for the three triple a batteries needed to power the radio. Finally, the radio was fully functional and complete. I set it on the tv tray table and tuned it to the weather forecast station in my area. The monotone voice came in loud and clear, “your weather synopsis for south central texas…” the forecast played in a loop. First it gave the weather forecast for the day and night in the area the radio was located. Then it gave the current temperature, wind strength and direction, and pressure. Then it ran through the current temperatures in all the surrounding towns in the hill country. Then it gave the weather pattern expected for the following week. It spoke of percentage chance of rain each day, when it would arrive, how long it would stay, which direction it would come from and travel, how fast it would be moving, how strong the wind would be each day, which direction the wind would be coming from, the pressure, the humidity, and it gave the high and low temperatures for each day of the week. If rough weather was expected the monotone voice knew of it a week in advance. I could not believe how much useful information this thing gave. It was delivered in the most lovely monotone loop and i often left it on in the background when i was anxious just to calm my nerves.
The little emergency weather radio became part of my daily routine. I turned it on in the pre-dawn morning when i first woke up and listened to the forecast as i was feeding the dogs and making breakfast. I turned it on again when i arrived home from work and listened to it as i unpacked my work bag and started supper. The weather radio became my most valuable possession very quickly. We would never be caught off guard again. I would become one of those people that informed other homesteaders of upcoming weather days in advance. That little red radio had become the center of our homesteading operation.