Weather Radio Features And Functionalities Explained

Weather Radio Features And Functionalities Explained

Last Updated: 01.10.20


If you search for the best sump pump, you certainly need to know what it can do and what special features it comes with. Things are no different for weather radios, and, as there are so many models on the market, you surely must know more about what they can offer so that you can make an informed choice.

You will find here the essential features and functionalities of weather radio explained. You will learn about acronyms such as SAME and what they stand for, as well as about extras that might make your life easier.


What is SAME?

To start with something you might have heard of already, let’s talk about the SAME feature. This acronym stands for Specific Area Message Encoding, which is a specialized feature with the primary role of picking only those alerts that are intended for the area you live in.

As you can easily imagine, this is a pretty neat feature. After all, you don’t want to hear all the weather alerts for the entire country. That also means that you will have to set your machine for receiving alerts for your county.

One thing to bear in mind is that SAME is particularly useful if you intend to use your weather radio at home or the office. In case you want to use a weather radio when you go camping or hiking, you would be better with something called an emergency radio.

Although some people use the two terms interchangeably, there are some significant differences to keep in mind. Emergency radios are designed with portability in mind, and they don’t have the SAME technology implemented. Also, while they are pretty useful, they don’t come with the same certifications as weather radios.



Is it possible to have a portable weather radio?

The short answer to this question is ‘yes’. However, that doesn’t mean that you should just grab the unit you have installed at home and drag it around with you when you embark on an outdoor adventure. Units created for home use need an electric outlet nearby, and they tend to be bulky.

Therefore, the best course of action would be to search for portable weather radios. They are small enough to fit inside your pocket so that they can offer the advantage of portability. They usually are built to withstand some shocks and bad weather, so they are more likely to be dependable companions throughout your trip to the woods.


Customizing the alert system

The central role of a weather radio would be to alert you when there are weather changes that could affect you. However, you surely don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night due to the alarm of the radio blaring because there’s a coastal cyclone when your home is at a fair distance from the beach.

Such situations might make people think that having a weather radio could be a significant nuisance, but you should know that at least some models allow you to customize the alert system. 

For instance, you can opt-out alerts for thunderstorms, even if they affect your area. At the same time, you can pick for the unit to trigger the alarm when there’s a life-threatening weather event heading your way.


When an additional antenna could come in handy

Any weather radio has a built-in antenna for receiving signals. However, some areas could pose more challenges to good reception, and that, in itself, would deny the primary role of such a radio. If you face such situations, a good idea would be to get another antenna to improve reception.

You will notice that some models have an extra jack for attaching one more antenna. This is the kind of weather radio you will want to purchase if you expect that the signal in the area is weak and the built-in antenna won’t be enough for proper reception.

Usually, public-alert radios offer the possibility to attach another antenna, but not all might have it. Therefore, it is a good idea to check before purchasing such features.



What to do if you’re out of power

Most desktop weather radios need AC power to work, but if you live in an area where you often have to deal with power outages, you should get a model that can work with batteries, too. You will see that many models on the market can offer you extra possibilities to make them work when the power is out.

For instance, some have hand-crank generators, so your own physical ability to operate the crank is the only thing needed to make it work. Solar panels are also standard in high-end models. The main recommendation would be to pick a model with multiple power backup possibilities.


How loud is the alarm?

That’s a pretty important question to ask before choosing one model or another. One thing that sets weather radios apart from other units is that they can trigger the audible alarm when the audio is turned off.

Again, you will find a lot of options. Some have alerts that are delivered as a single, high-pitched, sound. Others come with multiple tones you can choose from. What matters most, however, is that you can hear the alarm when it goes off. The chances are you don’t want to keep the weather radio in the same room you sleep, so a pretty loud alarm is a must.


Other things about weather radios you must know

Another aspect you should be interested in learning is whether the radio of your choice is durable enough. That can easily be solved by picking a model made by a well-known manufacturer. Also, you should pay attention to any extra features. For instance, a useful feature is a mobile charger function you could use for recharging your phone.

You might also light the idea that your weather radio has an incorporated flashlight. In case you intend to use it during an emergency, such a feature could prove handy.



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Real Time Web Analytics Do you know what features you need most in a weather radio? From what application you have in mind to extras, here is a comprehensive guide.