WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

I watch your forecast everyday and yesterday it was mentioned several times or suggested that it would be beneficial to purchase a weatherradio that would give us a weather alert, i.e. tornadoes if this would occur during the night when most people are sleeping. I did find that Radio Shack carries these, but there are so many. My question is there a particular one you recommend?

Posted March 4, 2007

Several related questions on this one, from

Rev Skip Whitmore,  "Where can I purchase a noaa weather radio with alert system?"

Gary Jurkiewicz,   "What was the name of the weather scanner you were talking about this evening. It sets off a loud alarm if a warning is issued you said.

Gordon,    "I realize you are not in the business of product endorsement but can you reccomend or give some insight as to what type or weather radio you should have in your home. Features, local / regional / national, etc."

MIKE MOSS SAYS:      The references that were made in the run-up to the Tornado watch in our area were to weather alert radios that are available from a number of reputable manufacturers and from both local and national merchants, especially those that carry home and outdoor electronics.

The main feature of the radio that we stress is that it should have something called SAME technology. This stands for Specific Area Message Encoding, and means the radio can be set to sound an alarm only for the counties that you program it for. Older alert technologies would go off in the middle of the night, for example, in Lee County, for an alert that covered Nash County, and people got in the habit of turning them off to avoid the inconvenience.

The SAME technology can narrow this down to a single county, and there are even plans to subdivide counties into smaller alert zones. As for features beyond the SAME alert itself, I would look for a clear and easily readable screen that displays the type of alert in effect, reasonably good sounding speakers, an alert tone that is loud enough to wake you, reasonably simple instructions for operating the radio and especially for programming which counties to alert for, and the ability to filter the alerts so that , for example, you can choose to have the radio wake you up if there is a tornado or severe thunderstorm warning for your region, but not have it go off for a flash flood warning, for example, if you live in an area that is not subject to flooding in heavy rains. It's also a good idea to have a battery backup so the unit operates for a good while if the power fails.

There are some other personal considerations such as whether you need something portable or mobile, would like it to include an alarm clock, AM/FM radio, etc, but those listed above would be my main suggestions.

For more info on the local NOAA weather radio program, see

http://www.erh.noaa.gov/rah/nwr/
Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all