Sunday, June 17, 2012

Emergency Alert System Codes

Operated by the National Weather Service, an agency of the NOAA (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration), continuous weather information is broadcast directly from local Weather Service Offices within the United States 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The broadcasts give forecasts, weather warnings and other hazard information via weather alert radios tuned to the VHF public service band that is found at certain frequencies (MHz). These broadcasts cannot be picked up on a normal AM/FM radio receiver. You therefore need a special receiver, a weather alert radio, every home should have one in areas where there is always a likelihood of severe weather.

There are some important things that you should know about emergency alert radios. Obviously it is of utmost importance that once you have your weather alert radio you quickly become familiar with the codes that are used in the broadcasts.

W - Warnings - This is an event that poses a profound threat to public safety and property. There is a high probability of an occurrence in that location and the threat will have a fairly short period of onset.

A - Watches - A watch meets the classifications of a warning. Only with a watch one of the following is undetermined: onset time, location, or likelihood of occurrence.

E - Emergencies - When there is an emergency the event itself is unlikely to kill, injure, or inflict property damage. However, the event may indirectly cause another occurrence that could cause a hazard. An example of this is the telephone or power in a large city is out. The event alone isn't a hazard. It could however cause a disruption in other critical services that could result in conditions that pose a direct threat to safety.

S - Statements - This is a further message being a follow up to an emergency, watch, or warning broadcast already made.

Other important codes include: TOR / tornado, SVR / severe thunderstorm warning, EVI / evacuation immediate.

There are also important features that you should try to have included in the model that you purchase. A feature that is recommended by the experts is the Specific Area Message Encoding, also known as SAME. The Products that comply with the Public Alert Standards will have this included. Looking for the Public Alert logo is an easy way to determine if the product supports SAME. This feature enables you to programme the weather alert radio for specific geographical concern or interest rather than the entire regional broadcast area ensuring that you receive alerts that are appropriate for your area.

The radio automatically turns on when it receives this code. First you will hear the alarm and then the broadcasted message. One of the greatest benefits that SAME offers to the consumer is that you minimize the amount of false alarms that you receive. Some models allow you to program what type of alerts that you don't want to receive.Those who live in high lying areas for instance may not want to be bothered with a flood watch.

This may be a feature that you want to ensure is available before purchase so that you aren't being awakened in the middle of the night for an alert that doesn't really have to much effect on you or those you love. Before purchasing an emergency weather radio, do your research. You need to make sure that you get one with any features that are the most important to you.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Weather Alert Radios - Why Every Home, Business or Farm Should Own One

One of the most important factors in survival of a weather related disaster is early awareness of severe weather conditions, their current location, and expected path of travel. Although weather alert radios have been available for quite some time, the technologies and tower locations have been much improved in recent years. Most of population of the United States can receive these transmissions using a weather alert radio.

A weather alert radio is a receiving device that monitors radio transmissions from The National Weather Service. When a weather alert is broadcast for a particular area or region, the weather alert radio will automatically announce the alert so that listeners are aware of and can prepare for the event.

In the event of tornadoes and flash floods, a few minutes of early warning from a weather alert radio can minimize both serious injuries and loss of lives. Even hurricanes that are tracked for days or weeks can contain tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, damaging hail, and rapid flooding.
In fact, most loss of life during hurricanes historically has been from flooding, not the wind event.

Weather alert radios are available in many styles, shapes and sizes to accommodate the different needs associated with severe weather. There are desktop models, hand held models that are built into 2 way radios, and even portable, crank powered models. Most are modestly priced, and anyone should be able to find one that they can afford. Some models will receive additional alerts such as Amber Alerts, chemical spills, emergency action notifications, 911/local system outages and even terrorist attacks. Many newer models have SAME (Specific Area Messaging Encoding) system specifications and can be programmed to announce only in specific areas related to their location.

Every home and business should have a predetermined plan for natural disasters, and should review and practice their plan often. Employing a weather alert radio is an integral part of the plan that will allow the additional time needed in order to enact the plan for an otherwise unannounced major weather event.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Emergency Weather Alert Radio

Emergency Weather Alert Radio

Kaito Voyager Pro KA600 Digital Solar/Dynamo

  • AM/FM/LW Shortwave & NOAA weather radio with back-lit digital display, NOAA all hazards alert & RDS
  • 4 tuning methods including manual, direct digit entry, ATS & memory tuning with 335 memories for easy access to favorite stations
  • Calendar, alarm clock with dual settings, sleep timer, thermometer & humidity meter
  • 180-degree adjustable solar panel with 5-LED reading lamp
  • Auxiliary input jack available for external audio devices
I am quite impressed with the quality and performance of this radio for the price. There is a whole lot of radio here for the money. Many other radios in this price class are much less suitable. I researched this radio and similar radios very carefully before purchasing and I am delighted with the features, construction and performance of this radio having been able to use it for many months. Should something catastrophic happen to the radio (lost, damaged, etc.), I would replace it immediately.

The engineering Kaito used to design this radio is first class; this radio meets all my expectations for an emergency and off-grid radio. I rate this radio an easy 5 stars for the purpose intended, there are way too many great things about this radio to give it anything less. Hopefully, you found this review helpful.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Weather Alert Clock Radio

Weather Alert Clock Radio

Midland WR11 AM/FM Clock Radio with NOAA All Hazard Weather Alert

  • Receives NOAA Weather Broadcasts
  • AM/FM Clock Radio with Snooze
  • Auto Override switches from Radio to Alerts
  • Over 60 Emergency Alerts
  • Battery Back up during Power Outage
Radio is just what I wanted. It was smaller than I had expected but that has proven to be a benefit as I don't have much room on my nightstand. This unit replaces a older clock weather radio which was having trouble with drift or staying on the station. This unit has all the weather bands preprogrammed so there is no drift.

The sound it good and there are different alert modes for weather bulletins. Believe me the "siren" mode can wake even the heaviest sleeper! Fortunately, there are other, quieter modes (voice, LED light) to alert you when severe weather threatens your area.

Monday, June 11, 2012

NOAA Weather Alert Radio

Kaito Voyager KA500 Solar/Crank Emergency AM/FM/SW NOAA Weather Alert Radio

  • When the Unexpected happens You Better be ready - 11 Bands + NOAA Westher Alerts + Shortwave
  • 11 Bands - AM/FM, Shortwave SW1 & SW2 plus 7 weather bands
  • Durable Construction: Manufactured to be water resistant & has a rubberized body
  • 4 Way Power: Solar, hand crank, 3 "AA" (not incld), AC Adapter (not included) USB port for charging
  • 5 LED Reading lamp for Camping & Emergency, Includes power Tips for most Cell Phones
The good:
  • The radio itself does the job
  • Accessory shortwave antenna available for additional purchase.
  • Obviously, the multiple charging methods - solar/crank/AC/DC
  • Lightweight enough
  • It comes in CAMO!
The bad:
  • Product is bigger than expected
  • Cheap plastic crap feel
  • Was not holding much of a charge after sitting in full sun for 6hrs then hand cranked for 30 minutes - ended up having to buy the 6V charger separate.
  • You have to buy the 6V charger separate
  • Sound quality is pretty bad, as expected though.
Bottom-line: This Noaa Weather Alert Radio Worth the money so far.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Weather Alert Radio SAME

Sangean CL-100 Table Top Public Alert Certified S.A.M.E. Weather Hazard Alert Radio

  • DeLuxe Table Top, AM/M Clock Radio
  • All Hazards SAME Weather Radio
  • Receives all NOAA Weather Channels & Reports
  • Certified Public Alert Radio
  • LCD Dimmer & Contrast Control
Midland seems to be the standard to which all other weather radios are compared. Sangean's latest entry into the market really proves who is on top.

Midland radios are ubiquitous. Every store that sells weather radios displays them prominently. Unfortunately their build quality and feature set have taken steps backward in recent years. The last one I bought had a faulty antenna. Almost all the "top" receivers use the same, blocky, 16-character alphanumeric display they used 10 years ago.

Sangean's CL-100 greatly improves on readability with a nice pixel LCD display. The best features are EOM (End of Message) muting, the ability to switch off the alert siren for unwanted alerts (like thunderstorm watch). It also comes with a nice external antenna. The radio can set its own clock via a local FM station's RDS signal. The controls and user interface are leaps and bounds above any competitor's offerings. It could work perfectly as a combination weather and clock radio for the bedside, even offering stereo output for nicer speakers, although the internal mono speaker isn't a slouch.

The only cons I can think of have to do with the display itself. Although it's great, its lowest backlight setting is still too bright for my bedside. Also, there is no way to adjust the display's angle, making it hard to read unless the radio is at a level well below the bed, whatever the contrast setting. If not used as a clock radio in the bedroom, it's perfect.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

NOAA Weather Radio With Tone Alert

NOAA Weather Radio With Tone Alert

Midland WR-100C Weather/All Hazards/Civil Emergency Alert Monitor

  • Receives All NOAA Weather Channels
  • S.A.M.E. Technology
  • Memory System for 25 Counties
  • Clock with Alarm
  • User Selectable Warning , Siren, Voice or Flashing LED
Stay alert to the conditions that affect you with Midland's WR-100 weather/all-hazard radio. The unit offers S.A.M.E. technology (Specific Area Message Encoding), which preprograms the device to receive only those warnings that apply to your local area--you can choose state, county, and/or nearby counties. The single-speaker radio offers 25 programmable county codes, access to 7 NOAA weather channels, time/date and alarm functions, and a choice of voice, siren, or tone alert.

In the event of special warning broadcasts, the monitor is automatically activated along with a loud tone, an LED light and an alert message on its 8-character LCD. Emergency weather bulletins include alerts about tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, ice/snow storms, and other severe weather. Other emergencies might include Amber alerts, explosions, fires, or hazardous chemical spills.

The radio uses the supplied AC power adapter or 3 AA backup batteries (not included). Batteries should give you approximately 24 hours of continuous operation; the clock will run for at least 10 days on batteries when the monitor is turned off (using the monitor on/off control). This product works perfect and was a great price especially with the rebate.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Portable Weather Alert Radio

Portable Weather Alert Radio

  • NOAA Public AlertTM certified radio Monitors U.S. Emergency All Hazards, and Emergency Alert System (EAS) weather bulletins, warnings, & forecasts
  • Flexible programming - select Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) broadcasts in up to 9 different locations
  • 3 levels of messages: Statement, Watch, Warning, and Test in English, French, or Spanish
  • Clock with alarm
  • Includes rechargeable Ni-MH battery pack, belt clip, and charging dock
This portable weather alert radio is easy to program, just don't put too many codes into it, I had put family's codes into it so I could call them to alert them. But after my radio went off at 2AM about a flash flood warning in an area 50 miles away, I got that relative her own radio and deleted her code from my radio.

The alarm is loud, unless my TV is too loud, I can hear it anywhere in the condo. actually, my area is under a severe storm watch now, I was not home when the alarm went off, but the message scrolls across the screen until the alert is over or it is replaced with another alert. Again, this is essential for all. If a tornado is in my area at 3AM, I want to know, by the way, as I was proofing this, my alarm went off for severe storm for my area.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Best Weather Alert Radio

Best Weather Alert Radio

Rear controls/ports, left to right: external antenna, cleaning port, external alert, power button.

Midland Radio WR-120B Features:
  • Public-alert certified monitor receives 7 NOAA channels with flood, tornado, thunderstorm, and other warnings
  • SAME alert programming sounds an alert only when specific counties are threatened
  • 25-county memory system; 90 dB siren, voice alert, and flashing LED warning systems
  • Uses three AA alkaline batteries for emergency power back-up in the event of power outage
  • Built-in clock with alarm and snooze; measures 6.0 x 1.5 x 5.0 inches (W x H x D); 1-year warranty
  • Receives 7 NOAA channels with flood, tornado, thunderstorm, and other warnings
  • SAME programming sounds an alert only when specific counties are threatened
  • Trilingual (English Spanish French) Compact alert monitor for weather, civil emergency, and other hazards.
This is a really nice radio, with a great deal at! My home's household current glitches the radio on a 6-plug extender, but I fixed that by unplugging my iPad charger and the radio's power adapter, and plugging those into the regular outlet. When the 6-plug adapter was used, the antenna had to be in a certain position (even though it's by a window!) and now - any antenna position I want, it works like my WR-100 did - like a charm. It hasn't sounded yet, so I don't have a full review. (It came on test day, but wasn't opened until quarter of 3 PM. I'd recommend this radio to anyone who needs a radio and is worth every penny!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Weather Alert Radio Ratings

Weather Alert Radio Ratings

Midland WB150 Emergency Weather All Hazard Alert Radios Combo Pack with the WR100 and HH50
Average customer review ratings:

MIDLAND WR300 Weather Radio
Weather Alert Radio Ratings:

First Alert Public Alert radio
Average customer review ratings:

Kaito Voyager Pro KA600 Digital Solar/Dynamo AM/FM/LW/SW & NOAA Weather Emergency Radio with Alert & RDS, Black
Average customer review:

Reecom R-1650 Weather Alert All Hazard Alert Radio

Average customer review:

(37 customer reviews)