Weather Radios

Be Prepared – Stay Safe

For the Safety, Security, and Elections Committee article this month, I choose to cover weather radios. Not only because it is that time of year, but also because I volunteer for the Dearborn County Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service (NWS) as a trained weather spotter. As such, I am acutely aware of the destructive power of tornados. If you are in the path of a tornado, you need as much warning as possible to seek shelter.

There are several ways to get this early warning. One of the best is a weather radio with alert capabilities. Weather radios are tuned to the local NWS channel. When a weather event occurs, the NWS sends out coded trigger signals that cause the radio to turn on and sound the alert.

Weather radios come in two forms. The simplest are radios that trigger an alert when any weather event occurs in your general area. This could be a flood watch for Clermont County, Ohio. These alerts can cause people to turn off the radio due to the “false alarms”.

A better choice is a radio that can be programmed using “SAME” codes. Every county in the US has a SAME code. Some of these radios can also be programmed to trigger only for warnings and not watches. For example, an HVL resident could program a radio to alert only on a tornado warning occurring in Dearborn, Ripley, or Ohio County. All other alerts would remain silent.

Numerous makes and models of radios are available with the advanced SAME features and prices range from $35 to $75. There are survival weather radios with numerous options like hand cranks, cell chargers, and flash lights but they seldom feature the SAME capabilities.

Choose the right weather radio. Be prepared and be safe.

Don Norris – Dearborn County Emergency Management Assistant RACES Officer