Friday, May 01, 2009

What is "weather radio" and "How to use it?"

  1. Weather hazards are a part of life no matter where you live. In addition to weather alerts on the regular media, the NOAA's National Weather Service issues broadcasts through National Weather Radio that can only be picked up by a weather radio. Weather radios come in handy, so learn how to use one with these steps
  2. How to use it?
  3. Step 1
  4. Understand that there are two basic types of weather radios. Stand-alone receivers issue watches and warnings. General multi-band/function receivers deliver regular broadcasts as well.
  5. Step 2

    Place your radio near a window facing the closest National Weather Service transmitter. Reception often improves in second floor windows and away from computers.

  6. Step 3

    Tune your weather radio to one of these seven VHF frequencies that National Weather Radio (NWR) broadcasts from:162.400;162.425;162.450;162.475;162.500;162.525;162.550.

  7. Step 4

    Check your reception. If you live in an isolated area or near mountains, you may need to use an external antenna for good reception. Nearby buildings can affect reception too. Weather radios often come equipped with an external antenna jack at the back that you can connect to a larger antenna.

  8. Step 5

    Program weather radio use with Specific Alert Message Encoding (SAME) for the counties you want to receive alerts for. This allows you to get alerts only for your area and not others.

  9. Step 6

    Learn that a 1050 Hz tone alarm precedes most weather watch and warnings. This tone activates weather radio receivers and should awaken you if alerts come at night.

  10. Step 7

    Plan to keep fresh batteries to use for the battery backup in case you experience a power outage.

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