A critical tool every family and business should have in the home, kits and office are battery (or hand crank) radios so you can receive news and updates during an emergency. But another tool to consider is a weather radio.
NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts National Weather Service (NWS) warnings, watches, forecasts, and other non-weather related hazard information 24 hours a day.
During an emergency, NWS sends a special tone that activates weather radios in the listening area. Weather radios equipped with a special alarm tone feature can sound an alert and give you immediate information about a life-threatening situation.
NOAA Weather Radios are found in most electronics stores and departments and cost about $25 – $100. Some features to consider are alarm tone, battery backup, and “Specific Area Message Encoding” (SAME) programming.
NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) broadcasts warnings and post-event information for all types of hazards – weather (blizzards, thunderstorms, etc.), natural (floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes), technological (chemical or oil spills, nuclear power plant emergencies, etc.), and national emergencies.
NOAA collaborates with other Federal agencies and the FCC’s Emergency Alert System (EAS) to issue non-weather related emergency messages including the issuance of “AmberAlerts”.
Options for those with Special Needs
NOAA Weather Radio offers nonverbal information imbedded in its broadcasts to provide timely, critical warnings of life threatening events to the hearing impaired. Some receivers are equipped with special output connectors that activate alerting devices such as vibrators, bed shakers, pillow vibrators, strobe lights and other alerting systems. Visit www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/info/shhh.html for more information.
Programming Your NOAA Weather Radio
If you purchase a Weather Radio receiver with “Specific Area Message Encoding”, you should program it with coding for your area. By doing so, you can limit the alerts which will trigger your weather radio to only those affecting your warning area.
Follow the manufacturer’s directions to program your receiver using the six-digit SAME code(s) for the warning areas of interest to you.
For more about NOAA Weather Radios visit www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/