WHAT IS NOAA WEATHER RADIO?
NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day. It is a valuable supplement to the severe weather information provided by the WIS Storm Team.
Severe weather warnings are issued by local National Weather Service offices across the country. If you own a NOAA Weather Radio with an alert feature, an alarm will sound on your radio any time a warning is issued for severe weather threatening your area. Since NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts weather information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it is particularly valuable for times when you're not near a television or when you're sleeping.
NOAA Weather Radio is also a valuable tool when participating in outdoor activities. Mariners can benefit from "Special Marine Warnings" issued to warn boaters of threatening weather on local lakes and waterways. It is also helpful for campers who may not be aware of developing weather.
Since NOAA Weather Radio is broadcast on its own, unique frequency, you can't pick it up on your typical AM/FM radios at home. You need to purchase a radio specifically designed to pick up those frequencies.
There are a couple of important features to look for when shopping for a NOAA Weather Radio. First, make sure it has an alert/alarm feature. This is some sort of audible alarm that should sound when a warning is issued. Most radios come with this feature, but there are still a couple on the market without an alarm. Also, some radios are battery powered while others can be plugged in to an electrical outlet. If you purchase a "plug-in" model, make sure it has a battery backup since electrical power is often lost during severe weather!
One option you may want to consider is buying a radio with S.A.M.E. technology. S.A.M.E. stands for Specific Area Message Encoding. This relatively new technology allows you to program your radio to only alert you to warnings for your specific county. Weather radios without this feature will sound an alarm for any warnings issued within a 5-6 county area surrounding your location. Some see this as a nuisance, especially when an alarm wakes you up in the middle of the night only to tell you about a severe thunderstorm several counties away.
Weather radios vary greatly in their pricing. Some start as cheap as $20 and they can cost as much as $75 or more. Radios with the new S.A.M.E. technology mentioned above will be on the higher end of the pricing scale.
If you're interested in purchasing a NOAA Weather Radio, they are available in many electronics stores.
If you'd like to read more about NOAA Weather Radio and how it works, follow the links below: