NOAA Weather Radios: Why You Need One & Which Are The Best

by Weatherman Tim

Emergency, tornadoes, wind

midlandwr100B.jpgA NOAA Weather Radio can save your life. Period.

Every home, every office, every school should have one.

As a local TV weatherman, I can provide my audience with critical life-saving information when severe weather strikes. But, if that bad weather happens to come in the middle of the night while you’re sleeping, or at any other time when your television is turned off, I can’t reach you.

That’s why I believe everyone should have a NOAA weather radio. The radio sets quietly in a corner until a severe weather warning is issued for your county. Then, an alarm which will wake the neighbors squeals to let you know it’s time to take cover. The radios can be programmed to receive warnings for your county only. When you push the button to turn the alarm off, you hear a voice explaining the warning, who is being impacted by the approaching storm, and what you need to do to stay safe.

Across the country, many local television stations have partnered with the Midland Radio Corporation to make radios available at a discount price through local grocery/department store chains. My television station worked with a large grocery store and a local electric company to provide the radios for all of the more than 400 public schools in our viewing area. Shortly after we provided the radios, the federal government saw the same need and put weather radios in every school in the nation.

Here are the NOAA weather radios that I recommend:

midlandwr100B.jpgMidland WR100B
This is a great basic weather radio which sits quietly in the corner until bad weather threatens. It has a built in alarm clock and an optional flashing light alarm for the hearing impaired. It’s priced right and will do the job!

midlandWR300.jpgMidland WR300
This is a step up from the WR100B in that it has a built-in AM/FM radio. I recommend this for schools and offices because it’s more likely to be kept on someone’s desk with working batteries!



redcrossradio.jpgAmerican Red Cross Crank Radio
This radio has a power crank on the side. When the power is out for an extended period of time and your batteries die, you can just still get power to this radio by simply turning the crank. You can even charge your cell phone with the crank on this radio. Radios like this one are great for hurricane-prone areas where power could be out for days, weeks or months following a major hurricane.

midlandhh50.jpgMidland HH50 Portable Weather Radio
I keep one of these in my car. I only turn it on when I suspect severe weather. I’ve taken it on the golf course with me. It scans frequencies and can pick up a NOAA Weather transmitter pretty much anyplace in the United States which is covered by a signal.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operates more than 900 transmitter sights around the United States. Most of these sights are maintained by the National Weather Service which is where the signal generally originates. In most radios, you need to program your county ID codes so you only receive warnings for the counties you care about. It’s called SAME coding. Your radio should come with the necessary instructions, but if you go to NOAA’s official website, you’ll find all the information you need to make sure your radio is set up correctly.

NOAA Weather Radios make great gifts for those you love. Most severe weather events come with at least some warning. The NOAA Weather Radio will get that warning to you, and might just save your life!