ANDOVER, Mass. -- Information is power, so why not give Dad a powerful tool for Father’s Day that could really save lives: a weather radio.
As essential as a smoke or carbon monoxide detector, weather radios transmit signals from the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio network. The receivers are equipped with a special tone feature that can sound an alert and give you reliable, 24/7 information about a life-threatening situation.
It has been many years since Bay State residents have experienced a major hurricane, yet NOAA officials warn that the coming season could be active with as many as 14 hurricanes predicted. All the more reason for you and your loved ones to be prepared with instant access to the same weather reports and emergency information used by meteorologists and emergency personnel.
NOAA’s radio system is an all-hazards system. It provides watches and warnings for other natural incidents including floods, tornadoes, oil spills, 911 telephone outages, terrorist and AMBER alerts, as well as post-event information. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency recommend that every home have a NOAA Weather Radio receiver as standard equipment for around-the-clock reports.
Prices vary, starting from around $30 for a no-frills version. However, experts say that weather radios that include support of the Specific Area Messaging Encoding (SAME) system are the best choices. This technology lets users pre-select the alerts that they want to receive based upon where they live, allowing residents to tailor their weather radio alerts to their specific area and thereby reduce irrelevant alerts.
The hearing-and-visually impaired can also get these warnings by connecting weather radios with alarm tones to other kinds of attention-getting devices like strobe lights, bed-shakers and text printers. A weather radio with battery back-up can advise you of emergency conditions whether at home, at work, traveling or on vacation. Hand-crank, DC car adaptable and even solar-powered radios are also all available.
More information is available through the Weather Service’s NOAA Weather Radio website: www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr. The site offers a list of frequently asked questions, radio frequencies, coverage maps and Spanish-language information.
Give Dad the gift that keeps on giving, a gift that can really make a difference.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders and to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.