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Weather Alert Radio

Updated on November 24, 2014
Our Weather Alert Radio
Our Weather Alert Radio | Source

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

MIDLAND WR300 Weather Radio
MIDLAND WR300 Weather Radio

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?

See results
NOAA-Weather-Radio | Source

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

Flooding from Tropical Storm Fay
Flooding from Tropical Storm Fay | Source

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

Lucky Strike by gust_front
Lucky Strike by gust_front | Source

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!

The Guestbook is: OPEN

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    Post Comment

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      This is a great idea. I live in Arizona where I wish we had weather! The closest we come is the haboobs that blow up dust.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Don't think that just because you can listen to the reports on TV that you will know everything. There are many stories about people who had tornado warnings issued while they were sleeping and they slept through the tornado that passed right over them. The radios can function even when the TV is off.

    • patinkc profile image


      6 years ago from Midwest

      Living in tornado alley, I have the NOAA Radio.

    • CruiseReady profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from East Central Florida

      @AlleyCatLane: hmmm ... I have never had any experience with one from Sony. Wish I had a suggestion for you.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I bought a Sony weather alert radio several years ago and have never been able to get it to work! Even stayed on the phone with customer service for several hours. No one could figure out why it wouldn't pick up the weather alert stations.

    • traveller27 profile image


      6 years ago

      Great info!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      A crank radio is a life line if we need it. With natural disasters, one never knows what will happen.

    • SquidooPower profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm a little stunned that I have never heard of this thing before. I'm a sailor so you would have thought this would come up in conversation! Excellent lens. More like this one please.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great tip! You have motivated me to get one. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • dotpattern profile image

      Pat Moire 

      7 years ago from West Village, New York City

      It's so inexpensive, why not? This will be a good holiday gift for the family down at the shore house.

    • EdTecher profile image

      Heidi Reina 

      7 years ago from USA

      A weather alert radio is on my holiday gift list for family members who've been caught unaware of storms in the past. Thanks for reviewing some excellent options.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This radio has been highly rated by consumers through Amazon and Cabela's and is also available through the Red Cross and Grundig. If you subscribe to text alerts for local weather warnings on your cell phone, it may well be the only radio you will need in an emergency.

      Caribbean Radio

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Weather radios are most appropriate for people living in regions where extremes of weather can and do occur on quite an ordinary basis. If the region where you live is subject to hurricanes, tornadoes and flash floods or even severe storms, you are a likely candidate for a dedicated weather radio. Especially if you have to travel away from home when an extreme weather event might take place. Trinidad Radio

    • LinkCollection profile image


      7 years ago

      we need one to let us know about the hurricane...

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Great idea. I think everyone should have this radio.

    • traveller27 profile image


      7 years ago

      Sounds like a lot of people could use this.

    • fireblazzer profile image


      7 years ago

      this seems like a really good thing to have...

      esspcialy for some one who likes out doors.

    • Krafick profile image


      7 years ago

      They are very good at the Met office here. We don't have NOAA radio but when there are cyclones the national radio broadcasts weather news continuously. Rafick

    • dani3l lm profile image

      dani3l lm 

      7 years ago

      i need to get one of these living in the south we see our share of tornadoes...

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Its sounding more and more like a weather alert radio is an essential safety item about every place in this world.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This should be a hot topic right now. Well done. Our local weather channel sells one.

    • kjscreations profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens. I bought my Weather Radio a couple years ago since we go camping in eastern Colorado & there are no sirens if a tornado was on it's way.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      An important device for everyone


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