A weather alert radio provides timely information broadcast by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio about severe weather and other dangerous conditions and forecasts for our area.
The National Weather Service broadcasts weather forecasts and severe weather watches and warnings 24 hours a day over this specialized radio network. A watch means that potentially life-threatening weather is heading toward our area. A warning means that potentially life-threatening weather is imminent or is already occurring.
NOAA Weather Radio is an all-hazards system, providing watches and warnings for such incidents as floods, tornadoes, oil spills, 911 telephone outages, and terrorist and AMBER alerts, as well as post-event information. FCEM&HS and FEMA recommend that every home and business have a NOAA Weather Radio receiver – or weather alert radio – as standard equipment for around-the-clock reports.
Weather alert radios are available at most electronics stores and many major retailers at prices ranging from $20 to $200. Below are features to look for when purchasing one:
- Alarm tone - This allows the radio to be set on silent but produces a special tone to alert you to severe weather.
- Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) - This feature provides area and alert-type specific information by filtering out non-applicable alerts.
- Hand crank or battery operated - A radio should be able to operate on batteries or be hand-cranked to produce operating power.
- Tunable to all NWS frequencies - Visit www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr for frequencies.
- For hearing or visual impairment - A feature that allows radios to connect the alarms to other attention-getting devices such as personal computers and text printers.