National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
All-Hazards Radio

The 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.  NWR broadcasts official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Working with the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Emergency Alert System, NWR is an All-Hazards” radio network, making it a single source for comprehensive weather and emergency.

In conjunction with Federal, State, and Local Emergency Managers and other public officials, NWR also broadcasts warning and post-event information hazards – including natural (e.g., tornados or flooding), environmental (e.g., chemical spills or oil spills), and public safety (AMBER Alerts, 9-1-1 telephone outages).  The radio can provide rapid warning, direct from the source, when hazardous weather conditions pose a threat to life and property.  More information on the system is available directly from the National Weather Service at: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/

Why have a NOAA All-Hazards Radio?

We recommend that every household have an all-hazards radio.  However, to help you decide we are providing the following information and suggesting that you ask yourself these questions:

How do you currently receive severe weather and other public warning?
Many people would say they receive these alerts from the outdoor sirens or from warnings broadcast on local television or radio.  Are these sources completely, 100 percent reliable?  Do you have a back-up source of information?

Can you always hear the sirens when they are sounded?
Indoors?  At night, with the windows closed and the air conditioner on?  Is the siren loud enough to wake you when you are sleeping?  Is your home within the effective range of a siren?

Likewise, local television and radio are a great way to receive up-to-date warning information, but it works only if your radio or TV is on and tuned to the right station.  Again, what about at night when you are sleeping?  Or when you happened to be watching a cable or satellite channel that does not carry the local warning information?  In those cases, you are very likely to miss the warning.

A NOAA All-Hazards Radio, on the other hand, is designed and intended to be an indoor warning device.  It is always on, and will wake you up if you are sleeping.

Do you have a smoke detector?
Of course – it alerts you of a fire hazard in your home and it will wake you up if you are sleeping.  An all-hazards radio will alert you to many other immediate, life-threatening hazards in your area, like tornados, floods, and other dangerous events.  Without this device, you could miss a critical warning message that could save your life, and the lives of those in your family.

Where can I purchase a weather radio?
NOAA All-Hazards Radios are available through local electronics stores, as well as from a large number of sources on the internet.  The National Weather Service maintains a list of manufacturers and retail outlets, available here: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/info/nwrrcvr.html

Are there options for people who are deaf or hard of hearing?
Yes. Weather radio receivers capable of providing text information from the NOAA National Weather Service radio broadcasts are widely available.

Most basic models have a radio receiver and a strobe light to alert a deaf or hard of hearing person of a weather emergency. Most also have a text display indicating the type of watch or warning that has been issued. Many of these radios are also capable of activating external devices such as pillow vibrators or bed shakers to alert a person who is sleeping. Some can also activate strobe lights or other attention-getting devices in other rooms of the house to help assure that the alert is noticed.

This site, maintained by the National Weather Service provides a good summary of available weather radio receivers and alerting devices, available here: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/info/shhh.html

How can I get more information?
Contact Eau Claire County Emergency Management if you need assistance in selecting or setting up a weather alert radio to meet your specific needs.