Saturday, March 24, 2012

SAME weather radio at home; pocket alert radio for vacation

The National Weather Radio Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) is one radio that I think everyone needs to have. Our SAME radio came from Amazon.com but they can sometimes be purchased from a local Radio Shack.

March 2, 2012 TN tornado damage
Copyright Gayle Crabtree
Severe weather and tornadoes do more than ruin vacations. They can cause severe property damage and worst of all, they can cost lives. The National Weather Service does their best to get word out, but even the most accurate warning is worthless if the message is not received.

A SAME radio can make sure that you get the alerts. It is enormously helpful for staying on top of alerts from the National Weather Service. For the home, I couldn't be happier with the  Midland WR300 that Hubby bought and feel that it is worth its weight in gold.


Athens, TN ominous clouds 3.10.12
Copyright Gayle Crabtree
In addition to the SAME feature, it also has AM/FM, time and date and an alarm clock. A battery back-up insures that the equipment will sound off. The alarm will be overridden in can the National Weather Service issues a bulletin. 

This model is small enough that we can travel with it. All we have to go is go online, the SAME codes for where we are staying and change the programming. It is easy to change it all back after vacation.


March 2, 2012 TN tornado damage
 Copyright Gayle Crabtree
I prefer a pocket weather radio for vacation. Mine buzzes loudly any time National Weather Service issues an alert (day or night). It isn't SAME programmable so the messages are for the general area where I am traveling or camping.

When on vacation, it can be difficult to discern my location in relation to the alert. I always carry a paper map. When an alert is received, a quick consult with the map tells helps me decide if action needs to be taken on my part. 

I have found both the SAME and pocket alert radios to be invaluable. Having one at home and one in the vacation camper gives me peace of mind.  Most importantly, it helps keep my family safe.

Winter weather preparation tips
Storm damage scattered throughout much of East Tennessee