Weather Alert Radio
Weather Band Radio - An Essential for Many Americans
Floods, severe thunder storms, tropical storms, hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes. Some disasters strike with little warning, while with others, you may know they are approaching for hours or even days.
For example, with a hurricane, you'll probably know a couple of days in advance that it may approach your area, giving you time to prepare your home, and evacuate to higher ground if necessary. The effects of a hurricane can linger for days and weeks... a battery operated emergency radio can be a valuable link to vital information during that time
But, with something like a tornado, you may have only a few minutes of warning. Those minutes can be crucial in saving your life by giving you precious seconds to take cover. A NOAA Weather Alert Radio can provide you with those few precious moments that could mean the difference between life and death.
If there's one emergency item that should be in every household, it's a Weather Band Radio. It's not a luxury... it's a necessity.
We Use a Midland Weather Radio With an Alert Feature
Although there is now a newer model out from Midland, we have been using a Midland WE100 All Hazards Alert radio for several years now, and it has NEVER let us down!
The most important feature of this radio is its alert feature. Most of the time, it sits quietly, appearing to do nothing. Then, when it receives a special signal from the weather service, It comes to life, activating itself automatically. It produces an alarm sound, plus a verbal and visible message telling us a weather emergency is imminent. This means, that even if we are sleeping, we'll receive a warning that could turn out to be crucial!
Midland Weather Radios are Dependable
If I had to advise someone just setting up housekeeping in an area where there could be hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, or other natural disasters how to begin their disaster preparedness kit, I would tell them to begin with a NOAA Weather Radio, I would recommend they get one like ours, from Midland.
We like the fact that it has a variety of features, yet is simple to set up and use. Best of all, it's dependable.
If you don't have an emergency weather radio yet, please get one... it could save your life!
TIP: Make sure the brand and model you buy not only works an AC power as well as batteries, but comes WITH an AC power adapter. This one does.
(I once bought an 'off brand' on sale as a gift for a family member, only to find out afterwards that there was no power cord included.)
Do You Have One? - (weigh in, please)
Do you have a NOAA Radio?
What is a Weather Band Radio?
It Gets a SPECIAL Signal that Ordinary Radios Do Not
An Emergency Band Radio is a one that receives special broadcasts from the National Weather Service for all potential hazards. The service broadcasts 24 hours a day with weather watches, warnings, urgent public information, and national security alerts. Many also have a digital display that allows you to scroll back through recent messages.
The network of transmitters that send out these special signals (in the 162 MHz range) now cover almost 95% of the United States, including the US possessions of Guam, the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and Saipan. Normal radios usually do NOT pick up these signals.
I think all weather alert radios made today have S.A.M.E. (Specific Area Message Encoding) capability, that lets you program the device to activate only when the message is for your specific county. You can also choose a flashing alert or audible tone. (I recommend the latter, in case you're sleeping, or in another room.)
Flooding from Tropical Storm Fay
Learning An Expensive Lesson - A Personal Story
In 2008, Tropical Storm Fay did a number on Florida. Many of us didn't take her seriously enough. After all, she was "only" a Tropical Storm ... not even a Cat 1. (The above picture was taken not terribly far from our house!)
The projected path had her exiting the coast well below us, and just passing by out at sea. We weren't too worried, and we weren't alone. Only ONE homeowner on our entire street even bothered to put up hurricane shutters. It wasn't us. The power was out, but our little Midland radio was alerting regularly, like a champ. It was even giving us special marine warnings, since we live right at the coast.
We went to bed early, and TURNED OFF our Weather Radio, and so it was, that we didn't hear the alerts that the path of the storm had changed.
Well, SOMETHING awakened us in the middle of the night, and that something was FAY. She had, indeed, come our way ... and she was stalled right over us!
Our brand spanking new pergo floors in the large guest bedroom were under a good inch of water, as was the guest bath, and the shallow tide was threatening the hallway. Too late for hurricane shutters now, we had our work cut out for us, battling the water in the bedroom. We spent the rest of the night on our hands and knees keeping the water at bay until we could shutter the breached window during the daylight.
LESSON LEARNED: Never take a forecast for granted if you are anywhere near the cone... even just outside the edge. And NEVER, EVER turn off your weather alert radio. It was an expensive lesson. (Floor and baseboards had to be replaced, and new hurricane resistant windows were needed... big bucks!)
Some Emergency Radios Even Have Hand Cranks for 'Human Power'
We also keep a hand-crank emergency radio on hand, just in case. Remember - in the aftermath of a natural disaster, you may be without power for an extended period - not just hours, but days, or even weeks. When that happens, batteries become a precious commodity.
Having something on hand that does not require batteries can be a big comfort.
Here is an option from Midland that gives you all three power options - household current, battery, and crank. There's also a built in flashlight. Looks like a great buy to me.
Severe Weather Can Strike Anywhere, Any Time
Weather Station and Radio Combined
Weather Station with Portable Weather Alert Radio
I want one of these! No, I don't want to replace the one I have, I just want this one, too. I am intrigued by the fact that it is a combination weather station and alert radio. It's not a fancy or advanced weather station. It has no anemometer, for example. But it does show the time, temperature, and humidity, along with a simple forecast icon.
Most importantly, though, it DOES have the alarm feature. I can't imagine not wanting that!
There are fairly extensive reviews of this unit and for the most part, they are quite positive. Be sure to read them if you are considering buying this one.
Unique Gift Idea
Give a NOAA Weather Alert Radio to someone you care about. It could be a life saver one day!