Weather Radios Give Safety Edge in Storm Season

By KBJR News 1

August 4, 2010 Updated Aug 4, 2010 at 11:47 AM CDT

"This is the National Weather service in Duluth. We have activated the public warning alarm tone," said weather service announcer.

The National Weather Service Office in Duluth has its own radio station.
These "deejays" are more interested in lightning strikes than hit records, though.

Their broadcasts are picked up by tuners like this.
This is a weather radio designed to receive forecasts and weather warnings 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

"NOAA weather radio is this guy right here and it's basically the best way to get all the National Weather Service warnings, forecasts and everything we issue," said Mike Mettwy of the National Weather Service.

"This is a test of the weather warning alarm system," said the NOAA announcer.

The National Weather Service issues a lot of advisories because nearly 15,000 severe weather events hit the U.S. every year.

Often those severe weather events hit as millions of children are going to school.

A government program aims to make sure those children are safe by putting weather radios into schools around the country including here the Northland.

"It was a joint effort between the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Commerce and Department of Education. They all worked together and were able to provide these weather radios to each and every school in the nation," said Carol Christenson of the National Weather Service.

Weather radios aren't just for schools or storm chasers however.
Anyone can pick one up at an electronics store.

The unit is about the size of a clock radio and has a battery backup in case of power loss.

They can be one of the cheapest forms of life insurance during severe weather.

"Anything we issue that is of importance you will be alerted right away. There's a tone alert that will immediately sound if we issue a warning so you'll get it right away," said Bettwy.

"During dangerous weather, special receivers are activated to warn of the hazard," said NOAA announcer.

Most of our region is now covered by a NOAA weather radio station.

There are 12 transmitters in the Northland including International Falls, Virginia, Spooner and Ashland.

"This concludes this test of this weather radio station. We now return to our regular program," said Christenson.

NOAA weather radio fans will have a chance to take part in a live call in show on Thursday, May 1st.