Weather Radios connect you to the NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.) This ties in with the EAS – Emergency Alert System ran by the FCC. This public service is intended to keep citizens abreast of all storms, disasters and emergencies in their area 24 hrs-a-day.
Any expert will tell you that a weather radio / receiver for these alerts should be standard in any home, school, church or public gathering place.
NOAA Weather Radio s a public service ultimately provided by the United States Department of Commerce and can be received by radios that support the "NOAA Band."
Emergency broadcasts are unable to be heard on conventional AM/FM receivers. They operate across 7 VHF frequencies ranging between 162.400 MHz and 162.550 MHz. Weather Radios with location-specific Emergency Alert Support come in a wide-range of models and form factors. You can get standalone devices which only handle the emergency service broadcast or you can get multi-band units which will allow your weather radio to perhaps double as a CB radio, car radio, 2-way radio or shortwave receiver to name a few. They can run between 10’s of dollars to hundreds of dollars depending on your needs and the level of technology / features you desire. You should beware though – the lower-end receivers tend to have reception problems, although all models are required to pass .
Nowadays weather warnings can be filtered down to your specific geographic area based on a code called SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding.) The areas for this system are separated by county and each county will have a numeric value assigned to it which your weather radio can be programmed to scan for.
How Often Are Broadcasts?
The All Hazards broadcasting system is a national network of transmitters that beam out continuous weather information directly from your local National Weather Service offices. These include official Weather Service Warnings & Watches, Local Forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Normal weather messages repeat every 5 minutes and are updated about every 2-3 hours (more frequently if conditions are developing). Regular broadcasts are tailored to weather information needs of people within the service area of the transmitter. For example, stations in coastal areas may receive information of interest to mariners. Other information, such as climate data and hydrological forecasts, may also be broadcast.
NWR works with the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) Emergency Alert System making it your single source for "All Hazard", comprehensive weather and emergency information. In conjunction with Local, State, and Federal public officials and Emergency Managers, NWR also broadcasts warnings, alerts, and post-event information for all types of hazards – including earthquakes, wildfires, flash floods, thunderstorms, tornadoes, winter storms, tsunamis, avalanches, chemical releases, oil spills, and public safety alerts (such as AMBER alerts or 911 Telephone outages).
For the deaf and hard of hearing, there are solutions as well. There are off-the-shelf receivers that possess a function to tie your Emergency Alert broadcasts into the alert system already present in a home.
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