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Any one have a NOAA weather radio?

Diane

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If so, can you recommend a model or brand? I see a wide price range on the web and few reviews. I have heard that they can be cranked by hand for power and can be used to recharge a cell phone. Both sound like excellent features I would want for an emergency situation.

Thanks,

Diane
 

laxmom

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We have one that we have had for several years so I can't help with models but I will tell you one thing! What ever you do, pay extra to get the one that can be programmed for notices in your area only. Ours goes off for alerts for the next state. Sometimes the thing goes off for hours before the storm gets here. It even goes off for things in neighboring counties that don't effect us. We will probably replace this one soon with one that can limit the alarms that only effect our area.
 

"Roger"

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The radios do two things.

(1) You can turn them on at any time to a get a current weather forcast. Any weather radio will allow you set it for your "area."

(2) The radios also automatically go on (beep followed by an announcement) when their is an advisory alert (a severe thunderstorm, approaching blizzard, flood warning, etc.).

The cheaper radios will go off for any warning in your "area." That would normally be a whole host of counties. To say the least, it can be very annoying to have the radio go off at 3 am to warn you of a thunderstorm four counties to the north. The better radios will allow you to choose for which counties you want to be issued a warning. You start out thinking it will be fun to hear the warningx for a host of nearby counties. After a few early morning alerts, you learn that hearing the warnings issued for your own specific county is just fine. The better radios let you set it so just those warnings are issued.
 

BSQ

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Mine is built into my Magnavox bedroom clock radio. I've had it for 12 years. I've lived in 4 states with it now. As previously mentioned it has a light that will blink when there is a weather alert for my area, or I can set it so the alarm goes off. I only put it in alarm mode when we are under tornado watch and it's bedtime.

It has a switch that puts it on different "stations". One thing you do need to check is if your area actually has a NOAA alert station. You can find this out on the NOAA website (under radio listings) The only time I had an issue not getting my actual alerts is when I lived in Charlotte. The nearest station was in South Carolina just far enough away to make a huge difference alert-wise.

It has a 9v battery backup. It's gotten me safely through a Tornado that landed in my neighborhood. <shudder>

Now that I'm in CA, it gives me high surf warnings and hi heat warnings. Definitely more useful when I was in the southeast.
 

Diane

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Just checked, BSQ, and there is an NOAA alert station at the airport in Albuquerque. Thanks.

The fire department here urges people to get a NOAA weather radio saying we are overdue for a fire in the mountains. Figure if I get one maybe I won't ever need it. The fire department, in cooperation with other agencies, has a telephone warning system in the event that an evacuation is recommended. It is automated and goes only through land lines without a portable phone. Good reason to keep an old fashioned land line, at least here.


Diane
 

"Roger"

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Why I bought a NOAA radio ...

Quite a few years ago, I was sitting reading the morning newspaper (I told you it was quite a few years ago). There was a story about a tornado that went through Siren, Wi. Ironically (given the name of the town), very few people had gotten an advanced warning of the tornado because a lightning strike had knocked out the town siren. No siren, no warning.

The middle of the article quoted several weather and emergency personnel, all of whom recommended having NOAA radios. (They did own them themselves.) The radios have (or should have) battery backups and will issue warnings even if the sirens, the electricity, the phone lines go dead.

In answer to part of the OP's question, I got mine at Radio Shack. I have no reason to recommend or disrecommend it. It was the only place in town that I could find one that could be programmed for the specific county (see my earlier message) and would sound an audible alarm in the middle of the night if necessary.

The radio hasn't been just something for patrons of the fearmonger shop. We use it all the time to get an instantious weather forecast.
 
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Diane

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Roger, since you seem to like the NOAA weather radio you bought at Radio Shack, would you mind looking at the brand/model so I have a starting point when I go there? Thanks much, Diane
 

KCI

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We have had a Midland weather radio for a little over a year. The one we have has an AM/FM radio and an alarm. We didn't buy it for the extras, we just couldn't find the one without these features. The first radio stopped working after about 3 months and Midland replaced it without argument. The new radios have the two items mentioned above, program it for whatever area coverage you want and you can pick the frequency that gives you the best voice sound. It also allows you to pick the alerts you want to be warned of and eliminate the others. Example, we in SC and are very interested in local tornado alerts, but not a high surf advisory or a water spout advisory. So there is a lot to programming a weather radio. The instructions that come with the radio send you to a web site that lists all the areas you’d like for coverage. We have selected 5 surrounding areas of coverage. Then there’s the 25 or 30 choices of which advisories you want. They also give you a choice of sounds to alert you and how loud you want it. As mentioned above, a 3 AM wake up isn’t always welcome, but it could save your life. We must have had a total of 20-30 advisories during TS Fay’s visit last week.
We bought our on the internet for about $50. Just look at Midland.com
 

"Roger"

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Diane,

I have had my radio for a little over seven years now. Radio Shack no longer makes the exact same model. This one appears to be it successor. The key is to get one with SAME coverage. That is what allows you to pick out warnings by county.

The radio mentioned by KCI appears to be a Midland version of what I have. In my case, I just left all the warning codes on (the default option). Living in the midwest, like KCI I have no interest in surf warnings, but it doesn't hurt to let those warnings coded into the radio. Since there will never be a surf alert for my county, having that warning code left on never causes any kind of alert to occur. (If they did issue a surf alert for my specific county, we would have a lot more to worry about than just high surf.)

Like KCI, I have had alerts that are for my county go off in the middle of the night and appreciate the warnings enormously. I just don't want to be alerted for a thunderstorm going through a hundred miles to the north.

By the by, if you are away from home and an alert is issued, an orange or red light remains on until the alert is over. You can either look at the LCD message screen or turn the radio on to find out the nature of the warning.
 

Diane

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Armed with all the good information I learned from fellow TUGGERS, I stopped at my local Radio Shack today to look at NOAA weather radios. Learned that not all such radios claiming to be able to re-charge a cell phone can re-charge an iPhone. I need a USB port for that, which only one of the radios at RS had. Further, the staff claimed that the closest alerts any of their radios could receive was from Santa Fe. I had already checked with NOAA and learned that it broadcasts from the Albuquerque airport. The staff asked me to let them know if I find out how to program a weather radio for Albuquerque. Didn't feel like I knew what I was doing yet, so I didn't buy one. Am going to do a little more research. Thanks for all the help so far.

Diane
 
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