Vandalia hands out free weather radios

VANDALIA, Ohio (WDTN) – Nearly eight months after a tornado hit Vandalia, the city is working to make sure residents are prepared the next time severe storms hit.

Tornado warnings can occur any time of day or year and having several ways to having to get life saving warnings is important. The Vandalia Fire Chief is making sure his city is prepared for the next warning.

Just before midnight on Halloween an EF one tornado with winds near one hundred miles an hour made its mark on Vandalia. Eight people were injured while it was on the ground for a half mile.

The fire chief hasn’t forgotten those affected.

Chief Chad Follick Vandalia Fire Department says, “We’ve attempted to target an area of town that was struck by the tornado in October.”

Follick had been working on a grant to purchase weather radios when a local company who wanted to remain anonymous, donated 250 of them.

Now he has boxes of radios ready to go to Vandalia residents.  Almost half of them have been claimed.

“The radio itself is a weather alert radio so you can set it to alert when there’s impending weather coming it also has the option to be portable if you have to take shelter you can take it with you because it has batteries,” says Follick.

Weather radios are just another layer of protection and can alert you like smoke detector does in the middle of the night. While sirens can sometimes be heard indoors they are used primarily to warn those who are outside.

Follick explains “It’s not meant to be heard inside your house it’s an outdoor warning system. we encourage folks to invest in a storm radio if you lost power the storm radio would still be able to go off.”

The weather radios are for Vandalia residents ONLY. If you are interested, you can email your name, address and phone number to and you will be added to a delivery list.  It’s a first come first serve basis.

A weather radio will always go off when there’s a warning for your area and can alert you even if your smart phone battery is dead.  As always Storm Team 2 will alert you the moment severe weather is occurring. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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