A weather radio can save your life (even if it doesn’t float)

NOAA weather radios
NOAA weather radios come in many shapes and sizes but all should provide early warnings of weather events and other vital information about hazards. Image: NOAA

Gov. Jay Inslee has proclaimed October as Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month and NOAA Weather Radio Awareness Month. Consider a weather radio as your “first-alert” to the many types of hazardous events for which we are at risk in Washington State — from wildland fires and avalanches to floods, landslides and earthquakes, to name a few.

Here are the basics of what a NOAA weather radio provides:

  • “All-hazards” warnings — not only for floods and storms, but for immediate life-threatening hazards like tsunamis, volcanic activity, AMBER child abduction alerts, and secondary hazards from terrorism and earthquakes;
  • Warning alarm to alert you to fast-breaking, potentially lifesaving warning messages around the clock;
  • Immediate emergency warning information via the Emergency Alert System that also serves television and radio broadcasters;
  • Programmable features so you can select which warnings you want to receive by location and type of event;
  • Battery backup;
  • Broadcasts of the latest weather forecasts and conditions 24-hours a day; and
  • Special radio frequencies not found on the regular AM/FM bands.

Find more information about weather radios, where to purchase them, how to program them and other information from the Washington State Emergency Management Division.

Do you own a NOAA Weather Radio? Why did you get it and how has it helped your hazard preparations? Join the conversation on the DNR Facebook page.


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