How To Make Your Weather Radio Work For You

5:04 PM, May 21, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- Whenever we see scenes like the devastation in Oklahoma, one of the first responses is to make sure friends and family know when danger is coming.

Having a NOAA weather radio is a great idea to alert you of severe weather. But if you're like a lot of us, the weather radio wakes you and the family up and ends up being unplugged and gathering dust.

News 2 Meteorologist Grant Gilmore has heard that more times than he'd like. So, he offered 2 Wants To Know a couple of ways to get sleep and stay safe.

Every weather radio is different, so it's important to follow the instructions that come with yours.

Grant says the first thing you need to do is program the radio with your area's local frequency and your county's S.A.M.E code. This will cut down on the number of alerts you get.  

The majority of counties in the Piedmont Triad area will use the National Weather transmitter located on Sauratown Mountain. That frequency is 162.400.

S.A.M.E. stands for Specific Area Message Encoding and refers to a code given to each county to program into the radio. Most radios will give you the option to program multiple counties. It is a good idea to program not only the county where you live, but also the counties storms typically pass through before reaching your county.

Follow the prompts on your weather radio to enter your area's specific information. Find your county's code for your weather radio on the NOAA site.

The second thing Grant says to do, is to program your radio for tornado alerts only. The more expensive radios allow this. The cheaper ones often do not. If you have a radio that doesn't allow only tornado alerts,  put your weather radio output to "scroll text". When severe weather or a severe weather threat is in the area, change the output to tone or voice. That way you'll be alerted when it's necessary, not all the time.


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