The best emergency weather radio

 

Finding the best emergency weather radio

 

Weather radios will provide you with the information you need during a natural or manmade emergency. Broadcasting on high frequency bands, governmental agencies are able to issue warnings and updates even when AM/FM stations are down. While there is no denying that weather radios are an important tool to have in an emergency, it can be difficult trying to decide which one is the best one for you. Here are a few tips that will help you find the best emergency weather radio.

 

2.The best emergency weather radio

 

Use

Where you are going to use the weather radio is an important consideration and will help determine which one is right for you. If you are an avid camper or hiker, you will want to choose a model that is lightweight and easy to pack with the rest of your gear. If it is mainly for use at home or even in the office, a larger desktop model might be a better choice. These weather radios often come with AM/FM capabilities, and many can also function as an alarm clock.

Weather radios often have multiple power options, and this will also affect where it can be used. Portable models are generally battery operated, and some can even use solar power. There are also compact hand crank radios that are ideal for camping, and ensure you never have to worry about finding a power source. Larger, desktop weather radios usually are designed to plug into a nearby outlet, and can be switched over to battery power in the event of an electrical failure. While the larger size makes these weather radios impractical to carry, it is a good way to stay informed and updated whether you are at home or stuck in the office.

 

Settings

The available settings will also help you determine the best weather radio. If you plan on using it at home or work, you might want to choose one that lets you program it to only receive warnings and updates for your immediate area. The NOAA bands broadcast around the country, and you don’t want to be constantly disturbed by alerts that don’t affect you. The “Specific Area Message Encoding” (SAME) feature might cost a little extra, but it is worth it when you consider how many alerts you would get that don’t pertain to you. If the weather radio is going to be part of an emergency kit a basic, less expensive model might be the best choice for you.

 

Light

No matter where you are going to use the weather radio an included flashlight is always an advantage. Some of the top rated weather radios come with a small light that will clearly illuminate your path in the dark. It can help guide your way to the fuse box or safely around storm debris, and a flashlight can also serve as a beacon to emergency personnel. If is important to remember that the flashlight will drain battery power, and it should be used sparingly.

 

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Tips for using a weather radio

 

Weather radios are designed to be easy to use, and most will automatically sound a warning anytime an alert or bulletin is issued. This means that you really don’t have to do anything to ensure you always stay informed. Even though these radios are simple to operate, there are a few tips that can make help you be certain that you will never miss an important update.
3.Tips for using weather radios

 

Instructions

One of the first things you should do, before there is an emergency, is to take the time to carefully read the included instructions. Not only will this cover all of the basic operating procedures, it can also help you trouble shoot any potential problems. Knowing how the weather radio works before you need to use it will make it easier to operate, and even fix during an emergency.

 

Power Supply

Weather radios are normally designed to function without electrical power, which means you need to periodically check the batteries. While there are hand crank and solar powered models, most weather radios also have the option of running off of disposable or rechargeable batteries. If the batteries are dead when the power goes off, chances are your weather radio will not be able to function. This is even true for hand crank and solar models since the charge in these only lasts for a limited amount of time.

Not only do you want to make sure that the batteries are fully charged, but that there are also no signs of leaks or corrosion. Extra sets of disposable batteries are always recommended, and should be a standard item in your emergency preparedness kit. If the weather radio uses a rechargeable battery, you might want to keep an extra one on hand in case the electricity is out for a few days.

 

Range

Even though NOAA bands use higher frequencies than standard AM/FM stations this doesn’t mean that you will always be able to receive a signal. The range can vary dramatically between models, and it is something that should be carefully considered. If you are camping or hiking in remote locations it might be difficult to receive clear alerts from the National Weather Service if the radio does not have a long enough range, which could leave you in a potentially dangerous situation. Checking to see how far the range is will give you the added assurance that the weather radio will work when you need it.

2.Tips for using weather radios

 

Practice

One of the best ways to become familiar with a weather radio is to simply practice using it. Try tuning in the NOAA frequencies, and experimenting with volume levels. If the weather radio is capable of using multiple power sources make sure that you are able to quickly switch over to each one and that you know how to charge it, even in the dark. Some models also come with a convenient built in flashlight that you should be able to easily turn on and off. The best tip for using a weather radio is to know how to operate it before you are in an emergency.

 

The video below may help you

 

 

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Uncommon uses for weather radios

 

While most consumers know that weather radios are used to broadcast information and warnings about natural and manmade emergencies, not everyone realizes that there are other uses for these convenient safety devices. Along with keeping you informed about current conditions and forecasts, a weather radio can also be a convenient device to keep around. Here are some unconventional uses for weather radios.

1.Uncommon uses for weather radios

 

Uncommon uses for weather radios

 

Entertainment

Some of the higher end weather radios can receive local AM/FM stations, along with the national NOAA frequencies. Most of these models allow you to listen to your favorite radio stations, and some are even compatible with a MP3 player. If there is a warning issued the radio will automatically interrupt the program or music so you never have to worry about missing a bulletin. This is also convenient for campers who are always conscious about the amount of gear that they carry since weather radios are designed to be lightweight and compact.

 

Phone Charger

There are some weather radios that allow you to use it to charge your cell phone. While this might not be what these radios were initially designed for, there is no denying that it is important to stay in touch during an emergency. Most of the weather radios that can be used as chargers are hand crank models, but there are also some that are battery powered. While it is nice keeping your cell phone charged, you do want to make sure that you don’t run the battery down. If you lose battery powered you want be able to listen to the latest updates and warnings.

 

Alarm Clock

Some of the desktop style weather radios come with a digital clock and a convenient alarm. These radios will automatically turn on when an alert is issued, otherwise you can easily use it as a standard alarm clock. It will make a statement sitting out on your nightstand, and you might even sleep better at night knowing that you will be awakened the instant a bulletin is issued.

2.Uncommon uses for weather radios

 

Night Light

Fuses can blow or trip leaving you in the dark, but you can use your weather radio to help you see what you are doing if it can with a built in flashlight. The small beam is bright enough to easily light your way to the fuse box, even if it is located downstairs. You can also use the flashlight to help guide children back to bed or to simply see your way around the house without waking others. The flashlight is also a great extra to have when you are camping and need to move around in the dark.

 

GPS

Newer, high end weather radios can now come with GPS features which lets you use it as a map. Not only will you always know what type of weather to expect, a weather radio can also keep you from getting lost. Simply check your coordinates to see where you are, and you can safely make it back without losing your way.

 

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Weather radios save lives during tornado season

 

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Tornados are definitely a dreadful natural phenomenon.

Sometimes a tornado claims lives and wrecks one’s home, but, other times, people do survive these twisters.

So many stories are filled with despair and desolation when talking about the deadly tornados, but some stories are filled with hope indeed.

For instance, Wilma Nelson is a woman who survived 2 tornadoes in the exact same town. She almost paid with her life, however, she survived!

In 2012 a tornado in Woodward, Oklahoma, had destroyed 89 homes and 13 businesses, killed 6 people and injured dozens more. But Mrs. Nelson has a history of surpassing these terrible moments.

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The model above is -> La Crosse Technology W85947

When disaster struck for the 2nd time, she was 87 years old.

She said that a weather radio she kept next to her bed is why she wasn’t dead. She declared that she had had the door shut and she heard an explosion-like noise and that she was shaking like a leaf, while relatives expressed that it was a miracle she had survived.

Those who had heard her cries of help were her neighbors. But it was mostly thanks to Wilma’s weather radio, a unit that’s worth about $30.

In 2013, May 22nd, a tornado with a 320 km/h speed was racing towards the Oklahoma City Suburb of Moore. This had been the deadliest tornado of 2013, as 24 people lost their lives and hundreds more were injured.

However, there’s a story filled with hope amidst such disaster. A woman called Barbara Garcia had found her pet companion, a dog named Bowser, in a video that went viral on the Internet. Thus, it seems that when one has at least an ounce of hope left, when one doesn’t stop having faith, everything will work out for the better.

Another miraculous survival story of 1974 is when a dreadful lash of tornadoes had caused catastrophe across the U.S. The 1974 outbreak had killed hundreds of people, including 49 in Indiana. One of those tornados targeted Noble County, Indiana.

Linda Speakman-Yerick, resident of Noble County, is one woman who survived. She still has very bad memories and tries not to think about April 5th, 1974. However, she’s thankful to be alive.

Linda, living in a mobile home, had no idea that the worst tornado outbreak in Indiana were heading right towards them. She declared that she had landed next to her car. Bur she fortunately didn’t have a scratch!

Moreover, Larry and Rita Krznarich from Park Falls are also survivalists. They declared that their weather radio had saved their lives.

During their 5th wedding anniversary, they were out camping. The skies were dark and they perceived trouble coming. It was eerily quiet, but you could still hear rolling thunder in the skies. They said that they had heard on the radio that a tornado was rushing towards their area.

Debris in chunks was flying through the air, and trees were cracking and rotating due to the tornado. Had it not been for the weather radio, they would’ve received no warning, so that’s why they claimed that the radio had saved their lives.

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The Salerno family of Kenosha County survived a tornado that went through in 2008. Yet again the weather radio aided in saving people’s lives, as Nancy Salerno and her son heard the news, a tornado alert, and rushed to the basement to take cover.

She was really shocked to see their neighbors’ belongings on their yard, after the tornado had passed.

Since that tornado, they’re a two-weather-radio family. They have one upstairs and one downstairs. They thought of encouraging everyone to purchase a weather radio, as every second counts when there’s a tornado outbreak.

 

Tornado season in the U.S.

 

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Tornadoes are more common in the U.S. than in any other country. There are up to 1,200 tornadoes per year, four times more than in Europe. Violent tornadoes occur more often in the U.S. in comparison to other countries. Tornadoes are known to form at a lower or higher intensity in the United States.

Via weather radios and tornado alerts, this phenomenon can be forecasted, as meteorologists, by spotting potential severe weather conditions, would help at issuing a warning. As of recently, the Doppler radar helps scientists identify a circulation or cyclonic development in the storm. Due to their intensity and size, there are only a few storm observations. However, more thorough information has been gathered by those who have been chasing the storm.

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The areas most exposed to tornadoes are as follows: the southern U.S., the Mississippi Valley, the Midwest, the Great Plain and the Rocky Mountains. Twisters tend to be less frequent in the northeastern states. Tornado Alley has been coined as a denomination for an area prone to tornadoes. Unofficially, this area stretches from North Texas to Canada. The core of this area would be Kansas, Oklahoma and Northern Texas. Dixie Alley is yet another region where tornadoes are prone to occur, stretching across the southern U.S., and the central and northern regions of Alabama and Mississippi. Florida is a state where tornadoes usually occur. Nevertheless, tornado outbreaks in Florida are of a lesser intensity than those that occur in other states.

Referring to the time of the year when tornadoes strike – they are more common in spring, and less likely to strike in winter. In spring, usually cooler air collides with warmer air, resulting in thunderstorms. Tornadoes may also be caused by tropical cyclones, which occur in late summer or the beginning of autumn. Thunderstorms that are capable of spawning tornadoes form when the temperature reaches its peak (when it’s at its highest point), usually from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.

Tornado season, colloquially known, is from March till June, but violent tornado outbreaks are known to occur at any time in the United States. For instance, in November, 1992, in Indiana, a twister injured nine people. Yet another non-seasonal tornado happened on December 9th, 1991, when a tornado outbreak struck in Illinois.

During winter, tornadoes usually strike in the Southeastern and Southern United States the most, even though this is not a general rule, as they could hit other regions as well. In February 2008, 84 tornadoes occurred during the outbreak, whereas the storm had produced several twisters in heavily populated regions: Jackson, Tennessee, the Memphis and the Nashville metropolitan areas. Hundreds were injured and 57 people were killed across several counties.

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To reiterate, tornadoes hit specific areas of the U.S. during specific seasons. In winter, twisters are detected in the Southern U.S. and in the states near the Gulf of Mexico. This happens because of cold air reaching its limit of expansion over the Gulf Coast. In spring, the hot air moves back into the Gulf Coast. Thus, tornado frequency reaches its peak in April, as the mass of cold air is pushed from the Gulf States into the Southeastern states.

At the beginning of summer, masses of warm most air traverse into the Midwestern states and Great Plains. In May and June, tornado activity is the highest in the southern Great Plains. Moreover, the air mass traverses the Great Lakes region and Northern Great Plains – thus, tornado activity is at its peak yet again across these areas, in summer. However, during late summer and early fall, tornado activity tends to diminish in the U.S. Despite thunderstorms, this phenomena isn’t severe enough to cause twisters.

 

A novice’s guide to using a weather radio

 

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In this short informative guide, you will find out how to use a weather radio, as weather hazards are an all-year threat wherever you live. So, weather radios definitely come in handy!

Bear in mind that there are expressly 2 variants of weather radios: stand-alone receivers and general multi-function receivers. Both deliver regular weather broadcasts.

NOAA is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States. But how does a NOAA All-Hazard Weather Radio actually work?

The NOAA All-Hazard Weather Radio is a great asset to have as part of your personal and family preparedness in case of a potential hazardous situation, be it natural or caused by several other factors.

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The model from the image -> Midland WR120/WR120EZ

 

The above-mentioned weather radio is designed and destined to keep you safe during severe weather conditions, such as tornado warnings and severe weather events.

It’s fairly easy to set-up a NOAA Hazard Weather Radio, in your home.

First thing’s first, you can get that type of weather radio in specialized stores across your town.

So, the weather radio unit has a power cord, whereas it displays minimal, easy-to-use buttons. The unit is really compact and can be stored in a dresser, or on the TV stand, for easy access to it. So, while you keep an eye out on the news channel, your NOAA weather radio will announce you regarding potential hazard threats too.  So, this unit model will keep you and your family notified during emergencies. Or, more appropriately, you should place the receiver near a window facing the nearest National Weather Service transmitter. Reception usually improves in 2nd floor windows and away from computers.

Also, remember to check the reception feature, if you live in isolated areas or mountain areas. In this case, you might need to use an additional external antenna for reliable reception. Near-by building might affect reception as well. However, weather radios are usually equipped with an external antenna jack in the back. Thus, you will be able to connect the jack to an external antenna.

You will firstly have to plug-in the power cord at the back of the unit. As a side note, it has battery back-up in the back. In the event of a hazard situation, you can take it to your basement or shelter area. However, you should have at your disposal extra batteries for back-up.

You’ll want to make sure that the side button is turned ON, where it says weather radio, When it’s turned ON, you’ll observe the screen lighting up, and some color change on the side.

It’s very simple. It has the time at the very top, but, bear in mind – you want to make sure you have the right code, which National Weather Services use to let you know of severe emergencies or weather threats in your area.  The code is comprised of 6 digits, and all you have to do to get it ready to go is to input the code in your weather radio. The simplest way is to select “New” and then you go up-and-down using the arrow buttons, until it gets set. You hit “Select” and you input the code.

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Remember to program your weather radio using the Specific Alert Message Encoding (SAME) for the counties you want to receive severe weather alerts for.

If alerts come while you sleep at night, the weather radio alarm tone will wake you up, as the 1050 Hz tone alarm precedes most warnings. So, basically, the tone activates the weather radio, which is a definite improvement in weather radio technology.

Once it’s set, you can hit the “Weather Snooze” button and it will confirm that it’s working properly. And there you have it – the weather radio is ready to go and set for your family preparedness plan at that point.

It costs roughly a modest sum of $30, and it’s ideal for severe weather events. We definitely encourage you to purchase the item, if you want to be safe and keep your family safe during hazardous situations. Bear in mind – the unit could save your life!

 

5 ways to prepare for natural disasters

 

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First thing’s first – you should have at your reach two disaster kits together, meaning: 1 for your car, for the case when a disaster strikes while you’re not at home; 1 at home.

For the house kit, you should consider packing food and water and you should think about which items are essentially needed in the case you have to leave the house. Water can be easily contaminated, therefore you need enough fresh water supplies, for drinking, cooking and washing.

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The kit for your car ought to include supplies that should last for 2-3 days, whereas the kit found in your home should ideally include supplies that last for 5-7 days. These supplies should include and be in the categories of: food, clothing, safety and shelter. Considering the food you should carry, think of packing canned food, such as fruit, and protein bars that would conserve your energy. You should include fresh medication among your supplies.

Moreover, considering garments, you should be ready to dress in layers, if you’re facing different types weather conditions, such as heat waves, floods or severe cold weather. For instance, you should grab a rain jacket, and/or canoeing shoes, i.e. shoes that allow you to walk in water.

Step 1 would be for you to identify the hazards you could or are about to face. Aside from natural hazards, you should also take into consideration hazardous material spills, train derailments or even plane crashes, so, all in all, those that aren’t really caused by “natural” phenomena. For instance, the Red Cross or local emergency managers could aid you in discovering which hazards risk affecting your area.

Now, after you’ve identified the potential hazards, you should proceed to writing a survival plan. The plan should be issued according to hazards that could actually occur in your area – for instance, a tsunami wouldn’t occur in Oklahoma, but a tornado might. Additionally, you should make a list of items you want to carry with you prior to evacuating your home, such as family photos, that work as encouragement in difficult situations.

Remember to provide safety, food and water supplies for your pets as well (if applicable).

It’s really important that you get notified via weather radio warnings, so, if you invest a modest amount of money in a weather radio, this could actually save your life. You should have extra batteries for the radio too. So, basically, you ought to keep an eye out for the weather radio alerts and watch your daily news channel, especially if you were to potentially deal with a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, heat wave or a heavy winter storm.

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Furthermore, you should have at your disposal flashlights, a hand-crank radio for safety and extra batteries, and even glow sticks. About lighting your way in the dark, you could also consider acquiring a LED headlamp. The LED lights last a long time on batteries, whereas the headlamp doesn’t keep your hands occupied.

Also, consider applying for text alerts on your cell phone and subscribing to weather channels to also receive alerts via e-mail. These are usually offered for free by many local governments.

You should have a bag at your disposal where you’d be able to keep your supplies in case your car breaks down. In this case, you should safely pack your supplies in a backpack for your car or a bucket for your home.

All in all, you should also pack a sleeping bag and a tent for shelter purposes, whereas the survival kit should also be at your reach in case you have to leave in a hurry, for instance in an upper level closet.

 

What is NOAA?

 

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the American scientific organization, within the U.S. Department of Commerce, whose purpose is analyzing the conditions of the ocean and the atmosphere.

NOAA warns of dangerous weather most commonly via radio alerts and charts skies and seas. The organization’s other purposes are to guide the use and protect coastal resources and the ocean, while at the same time conducting research to improve understanding of the environment.

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Moreover, the National Weather Service (NWS) has the main role in identifying and providing “weather, hydrologic, and climate forecasts and warnings for the United States, its territories, adjacent waters and ocean areas, for the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the national economy.” This is accomplished via a collection of national forecast centers, thirteen river forecast centers (RFCs) and roughly 120 local weather forecast offices (WFOs). Their duty on a daily basis is to issue weather forecasts, river forecasts, advisories and warnings. The NWS issues more than 45,000 severe weather warning per year. NOAA data is also very important for the problems with ozone depletion and global warming.

Furthermore, the NWS operates NEXRAD, a U.S. nationwide network of Doppler weather radars, which are destined to detect precipitation and its velocity. Many forecasts of this kind are broadcast on the NOAA Weather Radio. The NOAA Weather Radio is a network which functions 24 hours a day, and is destined to broadcast severe weather statements, weather forecasts and other types of watches and warnings.

The civilian employees who work for NOAA have reached a number of 12,000 as of 2012, whereas there is a number of 300 uniformed service members who represent the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps. At present time, the current Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and the agency’s administrator is Kathryn D. Sullivan, whose position was confirmed on March 6th, 2014. NOAA Corps is encompassed by officers who operate NOAA aircraft and ships, also serving in administrative and scientific positions.

Referring to NOAA’s purpose, the agency’s goals extend beyond U.S. borders and onto a larger global scale.

NOAA gives information to its partners concerning the states of the ocean and the atmosphere. This is manifested by issuing weather warnings and forecasts via the National Weather Service. However, NOAA’s area of expertise extends to ecosystems, climate and commerce as well.

Secondly, NOAA is the steward of U.S. marine and coastal ecosystems. Cooperating with international and federal authorities, NOAA manages the use of the above-mentioned environments by regulating marine sanctuaries and fisheries. NOAA also has a key-role in the protection of endangered marine species.

 

Moreover, the agency’s purpose is to provide accurate scientific information in the areas including: climate, weather, water and ecosystems, but also transportation and commerce. Therefore, NOAA has become a leader in scientific research.

Their essential activities include: the monitoring of the Earth’s systems via data collection networks; the understanding of Earth’s systems through the analysis of the mentioned data; assessing the changes that these systems might suffer in time; informing the public with important information via weather radio alerts; last but not least, managing resources for the improvement of society, economy and environment.

Last but not least, there’s also the concept of the National Ocean Service (NOS), whose purpose is to ensure that coastal and ocean regions are healthy, safe and productive. NOS employees and volunteers, embodied by scientists, specialists and national resource managers, have been serving America by ensuring efficient marine transportation, and showing interest in the issue of the protection of coastal communities. Their other roles are to conserve coastal and marine places.

Program offices and staff offices are included in the National Ocean Service.

 

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