NOAA weather radio is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information direct from a nearby National Weather Service office. NOAA weather radio broadcasts National Weather Service watches, warnings, forecasts, and other hazard information 24 hours a day.
Some weather radios are equipped with a special tone feature, which can sound an alert and give you immediate information about a life threatening situation. During an emergency, the National Weather Service will interrupt routine weather radio programming and send out a special tone that activates weather radios in the warning area. Recently, a radio that can handle the Emergency Alert Signal was introduced. The Specific Area Message Encoder (SAME) tone alert can be set up to only sound for your county. This cuts down on the number of unwanted tones you receive, and alerts you only when a life threatening situation is in your county.
In Georgia, there are 23 transmitters broadcasting throughout the state. Seven frequencies are reserved for NOAA weather radio on the public service band. These frequencies range between 162.400 megahertz and 162.550 megahertz. Broadcast range is approximately 40 miles, but the effective range depends on terrain, quality of the receiver, and indoor/outdoor antennas. Before buying a receiver, make sure your area is covered by a transmitter.
Coming up tomorrow: a timely topic….thunderstorm safety!