NOAA Weather Radio: What is it, and why everyone should have one!

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By Bradley Rotatori on February 19, 2013, 11:40pm Last modified: February 21, 2013, 8:20am

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You may know The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration service, or NOAA, for short,  runs the NWS. But, did you know they also run a radio service? WAIT! Before you go turn on your FM/AM radio, you need to know that those types of radios most likely wont pick it up:

The NOAA All-Hazards radio, a set of stations through out the USA, operate on frequencies 162.4-162.55 MHz. If you pay attention to your radio in your car for example, you notice it can only go up to 108 MHz or a frequency close to it. You require a special radio, easily obtainable at places such as RadioShack or online retailers. If you recall, you may have heard this before, when reading about emergency kits but weren't too sure what they were. well, there are all sorts of weather radios, so the friendly folk in stores will gladly help you find the best one for you.

Now, as the humble individual, you ask, what is it? Why do i need one? Well, why don't you need one! For one, these weather radios allow you to receive instant, 24/7 weather information, watches, warnings, and advisories anywhere a station covers the area you reside or travel in.  (See coverage map) Most of the USA is covered, which makes it great for camping and other outdoor activities! Secondly, certain radios, those you plug in and leave at home, use a  feature called SAME, or Specific Area Message Encoding. This is important, because you may receive a warning or watch via the weather radio, but its not for your area! SAME codes, which can be programmed into your radio, only wake the radio via the alert tone, when the alert is for your area. Now, isn't that convenient?

With all these features, you can keep peace of mind over the weather. A portable weather radio is a great addition to an emergency kit, so be sure to go and get one now!


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Bradley Rotatori

Town: Naugatuck, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since April 2012.

Articles: 5

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