NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards: On Alert For All Emergencies
Saving lives is the focus of NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards by providing immediate broadcasts of severe weather warnings and civil emergency messages and giving those in harm’s way critical lead time to respond and remain safe.
Broadcasts of tornado warnings, flood warnings, AMBER
Alerts for child abductions,
NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, a component of the nation's
Emergency Alert System, is comprised of a nationwide network of more
than 970 transmitters directly linked with one of the 123 local offices
of NOAA’s National Weather Service, which issues weather warnings
and relays civil emergency messages on behalf of law enforcement agencies.
NOAA Weather Radio is provided as a public service
of NOAA Weather Radio
• Size: Units are small (about the size of a clock radio) and require little space on a nightstand or table. They travel easily (vacations, relocations) and will use the signal from a nearby transmitter.
• Battery Backup: Ensures continued service during a loss of electricity, which can disable the warning capabilities of television and the Internet.
• Customization: Most models featuring SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding) technology can be programmed to sound only select alerts for select areas—in essence, blocking undesired messages, especially those that apply outside the local area.
• Accessories: Many radios allow customization for an external antenna to improve reception; and for devices for the hearing or visually impaired, such as strobe lights, pagers, or bed shakers.
Receivers carrying the Public Alert logo meet certain performance criteria, including SAME and a battery backup.
NOAA Weather Radios
Weather Radio Success Stories
• Charles F. Johnson Elementary School in Endicott,
N.Y., reaped the benefits of NOAA
• When an AMBER Alert, relayed by the Illinois State Police in August 2006, was broadcast over NOAA Weather Radio, it triggered the Emergency Alert System and the alert was transmitted to commercial radio stations. Listening to the radio at the time, the suspect described in the alert heard the message, contacted the authorities and turned himself in.
• When John Norwood, employee at the Mohon International casework manufacturing plant in Paris, Tenn., heard a tornado warning over NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards on November 15, 2005, he wasted no time in warning the plant. The warning was issued 13 minutes before a strong F2 tornado touched down five miles southwest of Paris. Several more life-saving minutes would pass before it ripped into the Mohon plant. By that time, Plant Safety Officer Revita Walker had already taken action, thanks to the early warning. “I got on the public address system and made the announcement to head to the storm shelters. There was a good 10 minutes to spare and some people didn’t really believe it—because the tornado wasn’t right on top of us,” said Walker. When the tornado struck, approximately 250 employees were huddled in the plant’s pre-designated safe areas. Walker added, “I heard the roof coming off and things started flying.” Early warning and NOAA Weather Radio, combined with the plant’s emergency preparedness planning, undoubtedly saved many lives that day.
• An AMBER Alert issued in Texas following the kidnapping
of a 14-year-old girl from Nevada in October 2002 was heard by a truck
driver over NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards. The driver spotted the white
pickup truck described in the alert and dialed 911. Officers from Atascosa
County, Texas, responded and pulled over the pickup truck. The kidnapped
child was found inside, in good condition, and the two suspects
• A tornado warning heard over NOAA Weather Radio activated the severe weather plan of the Parsons Manufacturing plant near Roanoke, Ill., on July 13, 2004. Timely warning of an approaching severe thunderstorm and the tornado it produced and the foresight of the plant owner in developing and implementing a severe weather plan gave workers extra minutes to take shelter before an F-4 tornado demolished the 250,000-square-foot plant. Not a single injury was suffered by any of the more than 140 employees.
Updated March 2007