Madison County Schools purchase new radio system

MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - As soon as power was lost from the tornados on April 27th, schools were limited in how they could communicate.

Madison County school system is making sure that doesn't happen again with the purchase of a brand new battery powered radio system.

Cell phones and internet work great until the power goes out.

"We decided we needed a way no matter what the circumstances were that we could communicate with our schools," said Dan Evans, Director of Auxiliary Services.

The battery powered hand held radios will be at each of the county's 28 schools and on all 252 school buses.

Evans said that will allow immediate contact with the central office and the superintendent.

"If we have severe weather outbreak like Harvest and the Sparkman area, he has a channel that when he clicks it and it cuts everybody else off so he can broadcast the message," said Evans.

The school system will have its own digital frequency, and because the device has GPS, they can also monitor buses locations.

The school system already has 75 hand held radios as part of a pilot project, which mostly serve the Buckhorn area.

Madison County schools plan to have the radios installed in all schools and school buses by the time the school year begins in mid-August.

The school system plans to give one of the radio's to local EMA so schools and buses get the latest weather information.

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