Tools to Keep You Safe
One of the best precautions you can take is to purchase a good quality weather radio. A weather radio is designed to alert you to potentially dangerous weather situations, like an approaching tornado. It allows you to be warned ahead of storms, providing you time to seek shelter. A weather radio is the most reliable source for weather alerts.
Weather radios have many advancements over the years and are very affordable. Most basic weather radios average around $30 and can be programmed to only alert you for the weather alerts you choose. When shopping for a weather radio, look for the following key features:
- Reviewable alerts (you can scroll through alerts and turn off the siren for alerts you do not wish to hear).
- Specific Area Managing Encoding (SAME) alert programming (alerts when specific counties are threatened, ensuring you only receive alerts for your county).
- Ease of programming.
If you need help programming your weather radio, you can always contact your local National Weather Service Office or for additional information, including county codes for your state, visit the NOAA Weather Radio website at www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr.
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency messages sent by authorized government alerting authorities through your mobile carrier. Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA, the FCC, and the National Weather Service. Alerts received at the right time can help keep you safe during an emergency. With WEA, alerts can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm’s way, without need to download an app or subscribe to a service. WEA may share:
- Extreme weather warnings.
- Local emergencies requiring evacuation of immediate action.
- AMBER Alerts.
- Presidential Alerts during a national emergency.
A WEA will look like a text message. The WEA message will typically show the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, and the agency issuing the alert. The message will be no more than 90 characters.
Visit www.ctia.org/wea to learn more about Wireless Emergency Alerts, including how to determine if your mobile device is WEA-capable.