Ready Rowan advice: Get a NOAA weather radio

  • Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 9:45 a.m.

During Severe Weather Awareness Week, Frank Thomason and Ready Rowan remind residents that NOAA weather radio remains one of the best ways to receive weather warnings, especially at night.

NOAA weather radio is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office. NOAA weather radio broadcasts official weather service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In Rowan County, several regional NOAA weather radio broadcast stations provide weather forecasts and warning information.


NOAA weather radio will alert you 24 hours a day to the following weather hazards in your county: tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flash floods, river floods and winter storms. For Rowan County, broadcasts are found in the VHF public service band on the frequency of 162.525 MHz (Channel 6 on your NOAA Weather Radio).

These special receivers range in price from $20 to $65, though most radios cost less than $40. The weather radios around-the-clock protection can be a life-saving investment and they can be found in most electronic stores and on many popular websites. When purchasing a NOAA weather radio, consumers are recommended to buy a radio with Specific Area Message Encoded technology, otherwise known as S.A.M.E. This technology allows the user to program specific counties into the radio such that it only receives alerts for the desired county or counties. This greatly reduces the number of alerts received.

For more information on NOAA weather radio please visit the following website: http://weather.gov/nwr.

In addition to NOAA weather radio, there are many other ways you can receive real-time weather warnings and alerts. Local television stations still remain the primary method of dissemination of National Weather Service warnings. Today’s advancing technology also allows you to receive weather alerts over wireless devices and cell phones. With the expansion of text messaging and smartphones, many warning services and weather feeds are available from a number of companies in the public and private sector at little to no cost.

Finally, to enhance public safety, a free Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) service was introduced nationwide late in June 2012. WEA messages are text-like alert messages received by your mobile device during an emergency in your area. The purpose of WEA is to provide an increasingly mobile American public with a free and fast way to receive critically important information, including extreme weather alerts, and other threatening emergencies in your area such as AMBER Alerts and Presidential Alerts during a national emergency.

For more information about WEA and other alerting methods, please visit the following web site: http://www.ready.gov/alerts.

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