Tuesday, in the studio of Lubbock's First News on KFYO, Lubbock County Emergency Management Coordinator Clinton Thetford discussed with us a useful device that could save your life. In addition, Thetford shared information on Lubbock's drought as well as some tips on lighting safety.

In an emergency, you can't always rely on your phone to contact emergency services or your loved ones. HAM radios are different, and even if land lines and cell towers are down, HAM radios still allow you to communicate with those you need to. Thetford informed us that the cost of a GMRS license required to operate mobile HAM radios is $85 dollars. Only one license is needed per family, and "covers anyone that that person is related to by blood or marriage," Thetford said.

For those interested in HAM radios and emergency communications, the Annual Field Day HAM Radio Conference will be taking place this weekend. Set to begin at noon Saturday, the 28th, in front of the Channel 1328 studio on South University. There will be a Get on the Air Station, "so, even if you don't have a HAM radio license, you can come over there and work with those guys and they can get you on the radio and you can talk to somebody in Europe or Japan, or anywhere in the United States." This is only one of the events going on at the Field Day.

As for the drought index for Lubbock, we are at a 71. On May 22nd, we were above 600, and we had received less rain than Death Valley, California. Because of the recent rains, we will be able to have fire works in Lubbock for the 4th of July. However, as always, it is important to remember that fireworks can not be bought or used in the city limits.

This week is lighting awareness week, and Thetford was sure to advise listeners "if you can hear it, you are in danger of being struck. Lightning can strike up to 10 miles outside of a thunderstorm." Lighting strikes roughly 400 people in the U.S. per year.

For more information on HAM radios, lightning, the drought, or any other questions or concerns, Clinton Thetford can be contacted via cellphone at (806) 775-1911.

To listen to the full interview, click the play button below:

To listen on a mobile device, click the following link: KFYO LFN Clinton Thetford June 24 2014