NOAA Weather Radios

We only need to look at the devastation that severe weather can bring to know we must be prepared to react when severe weather threatens. Tornadoes can strike in a moments notice and we must react quickly to protect ourselves and our families from harm. Radio and television are the most familiar ways we are alerted to severe weather situations, but they are not the best method.

24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you can be alerted to severe weather by NOAA Weather Alert Radio. Weather Alert Radios are your best protection against Tornadoes and other weather events. Local weather reports and warnings are broadcast directly to these radio receivers around the clock by the National Weather Service (NWS). Weather Radios advise people of severe weather watches and warnings, buying extra time for people to react before dangerous storms hit their areas. When you’re in the path of something like a tornado, minutes and seconds can mean the difference between life and death.

The goal of the NOAA Weather Radio initiative is to someday have NOAA Weather Radios in every home, and in all schools, hospitals and other public gathering places, to give people the kind of information they need to safeguard themselves and their homes during a disaster.

NOAA Weather Radios can be purchased at many retail stores that sell electronic merchandise, including stand-alone electronic retail outlets, electronics departments within department stores, and some drug stores. Prices vary from $20 to $200 depending on the model. The Madison County Emergency Management Agency recommends you purchase a model with a tone alert feature. It automatically alerts you of the approach of severe weather. The newest models of radios allow you to select the counties to receive alerts from. Look for Radios that have the SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding), this feature allows you to program only the counties you would want alerts from. Other than a weekly test, the radio will only alert when your programmed counties are concerned.

We will also be able to receive other alerts over the Alert radios including Hazardous Material Spills, Amber Alerts and evacuation notices, or shelter in place notices. These will also increase the preparedness of your school and homes.

The Emergency Management Agency cannot stress enough the importance of a Weather Alert Radio. Weather radios save lives, and the minimal cost is well less than what could be lost.