WASHINGTON, D.C. -- On Monday, Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh announced the introduction of Senate legislation ("C.J.'s Law") requiring manufactured homes not affixed to a permanent foundation to be equipped with weather radios to warn families of the threat of tornados and other severe weather.
"Weather radios can provide a crucial warning to families, giving them time to seek shelter in the event of severe weather," Bayh said. "When a tornado strikes, minutes can save lives. This legislation will mean more families are able to receive these urgent alerts, so they can take steps to protect themselves."
Bayh was joined on a conference call by Evansville resident Kathryn Martin, who lost her 2-year-old son, C.J., and two other family members when an F3 tornado hit Southwest Indiana at 1:58 a.m., Nov. 6, 2005.
Martin, who lived in East Brook Mobile Home Park at the time, did not have a weather radio in her home. Since the tragedy, Martin has advocated for equipping manufactured homes with weather radios and also created "C.J.'s Bus," a rapid-response mobile unit that is dispatched to disaster locations to serve as a safe haven for children.
Congressman Brad Ellsworth (D-Evansville), who is supporting Bayh's Senate legislation, introduced a similar bill last year that passed the House unanimously.
"I am very grateful to (Bayh and Ellsworth) for their dedication to this bill," Martin said. "Their efforts will result in many lives being saved once this legislation becomes law."
Senators Richard Lugar (R-Indianapolis) and Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) will co-sponsor Bayh's legislation in the Senate.