NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office.
You can find weather radios online and at Lowes, Home Depot and Amazon.
Most Lowes stores will have the Midland WR120B, item 366058. Around $35.00.
Weather radios really are the equivalent of smoke detectors for your weather. Just like a smoke detector is your signal that there’s a fire in your house, when a weather radio’s alarm goes off, it’s your signal that there’s dangerous weather approaching. If your city or county goes under a tornado warning, these radios will sound an alarm when they receive the alert from the National Weather Service.
NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts, weather observations and other hazard information 24 hours a day. It also broadcasts alerts of non-weather emergencies such as national security, natural, environmental and public safety (such as an AMBER Alert) through the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Emergency Alert System.
Weather radios are special radios that receive emergency alerts for dangerous weather events, natural disasters and other hazards like terrorist threats. These alerts are broadcast by the U.S. and Canadian governments over special high frequency radio networks.
In the United States, the network is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). For this reason, the term “NOAA weather radio” is often used in the U.S. interchangeably with the term “weather radio”. A “weather alert radio” is a weather radio with a special feature that allows it to remain silent until an alert is detected. Radios without this feature are either On and constantly play weather forecasts and updates or Off.
History of the Weather Radio
In the wake of the Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak of 1965, one of the key recommendations from the U.S. Weather Bureau’s storm survey team, was the establishment of a nationwide radio network that could be used to broadcast weather warnings to the general public, hospitals, key institutions, news media, and the public safety community.
Starting in 1966, the Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA) started a nationwide program known as “ESSA VHF Weather Radio Network.”
In the early 1970s, this would be changed to NOAA Weather Radio. NOAA Weather Radio was expanded to coastal locations during the 1970s in the wake of Camille based upon recommendations made by the Department of Commerce after the storm in September 1969.
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All NWR channels are available on stand-alone “weather radio” receivers that are currently sold online and in retail stores (available for prices ranging from US$20 and up), as well as on most marine VHF radio transceivers, amateur radios and digital scanners.
In addition, more mainstream consumer electronics, such as clock radios, portable multi-band receivers and two-way radios (such as FRS, GMRS and CB radio), now feature the ability to also receive NWR channels.
NWR broadcasts official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.