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Weather Emergency Radios Alert (NOAA) Monitors and Scanners

    There's an old saying... nothing ever good happens after twelve-midnight. And in the middle of the night is when you and you're family are most vulnerable to disasters like hurricanes, tornados and other local, State and National emergencies. Especially when you're sound asleep and live in tornado alley!

    But with common technology available today you have a chance to be prepared ahead of time with the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Association (NOAA - http://www.noaa.gov/) in watch with radio transmitters http://www.weather.gov/nwr/ capable of not only giving you local daily weather conditions; but alerts capable of triggering specialty radio receivers that are low cost and available on Wilderness Geek.com Storefront. www.wildernessgeek.com

    Any VHF radio or common Police scanner can receive http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/nwrbro.htm these warnings and everyday weather forecast. But in order to have an auto alert warning system in place, you need to have what is known as PUBLIC ALERTTM detectable receiver. This alert system can also include digital readouts displaying specifically what the warning is about on selective radio receiver models. You need to have a receiver capable of using NWR-Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME.) http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/nwrsame.htm Fortunately all these radios are not only available by Wilderness Geek.com Storefront, but also affordable with many models and manufacturers to select from!

    This method of transmitting enables radios capable of this technology to be switched on and alert with audio tones and displays when the NOAA sends out, via their transmitter, a warning signal that meets or exceeds the Emergency Alert Systems criteria (EAS.) History of the EAS. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Broadcast_System

    These transmitters are located nationally all across the United States. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/listcov.htm So every thing from winter storm warnings to tsunami and potential national threats will be activated via this system. And, at minimum, regardless of the type of radio you purchase, it will be able to give an audible alert tone with a vocal message as to the condition of the threat being alerted. Generally a lone tone burst sounds, starting the alert, and then a vocal message follows concerning that threat, and possibly announcing what you should do to keep you and your family safe.

    So with this in place most radio manufacturers have taken on the task of meeting the specification necessary to certify their radios capable of this alert system and receive a stamp of approval. These manufacturers include Cobra, Midland and Uniden and many others.

    But like any piece of equipment you need to maintain it. Keeping fresh batteries on hand is a must. Most receivers are multi-power capable and will run off batteries and house current. Some models even have hand crank capabilities, which in my opinion are priceless over long periods of time if the emergency continues for more then a day or two. One suggestion is to use an uninterrupted power Supply (UPS) inline with the receivers power cord. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uninterruptible_power_supply This way you have double backup in the middle of the night if the power goes dead first, before an alert is issued. UPS's are commonly used on home and business computers. This power supply is battery operated and is continually being charged while plugged into common house current (110VAC.) UPS's will, on power outages, automatically switch on and reproduce the common house current necessary to keep small appliances running, like computers and radios for short periods of time, depending on the size of the UPS used. UPS's can range from several minutes to several hours running time depending on the device it needs to power, and the hour wattage rating of the UPS. I also not only recommend UPS's for radios and computers, but lighting of egress pathways. These UPS's can be found on Wilderness Geek.com Storefront under Alternative Power Category.

    The NOAA will conduct test transmissions from time to time solely to confirm that the ESA system is in full operating condition. So at selective test periods, your receiver will alert with the test only messages being given and any local emergency organization information to be publicly announced. NOAA offers information of programming your radio receiver and their test theology and suggestions on what to do when an alert is released. See http://www.weather.gov/nwr/same.htm#program you'll also find specific frequencies that pertain only to your local area. http://www.weather.gov/nwr/nwrbro.htm

    Other articles are also available concerning national emergency and other concerns on Wilderness Geek.com under Scott Eugene's Articles. Please feel free to contact us if you need assistance in selecting the right radio for your needs. Also online on our storefront you'll find all the models mentioned including emergency powered lighting to build your emergency backup systems to assist you during power outages and emergencies. www.wildernessgeek.com

    I would like to add that there is a whole world of enjoyment in listening to local and State VHF / UHF frequency that enable you to monitor Fire, Ambulance and Police. So when selecting a weather alert monitor, you may consider a Police Scanner that has the ESA and NOAA functions. One recommendation is the Uniden BCS370CRS 300-Channel All Hazard CRS Clock Radio Scanner. This radio combines all the functions and alerts mentioned in this article, plus giving you a one step ahead of a crisis possibility with being able to hear just what's going on in your neighborhood.

You never know when one radio transmission could mean making it to safety. Happy radio listening!


By Scott Hensler 0/12/2013

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