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Tune in to a Weather Radio for the Holidays

Release date: 
December 13, 2012
Release Number: 

WINDSOR, Conn. — With the holidays approaching, shoppers may want to consider a gift that can make a difference for the whole family — a weather radio.

Weather radios transmit alerts of severe weather and dangerous conditions. They broadcast National Weather Service forecasts, severe weather warnings and watches on impending natural hazards 24 hours a day over the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration radio network. Messages are also available in Spanish.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends that consumers purchase a weather radio developed by NOAA and the Consumer Electronics Association. Radios with the Public Alert logo meet certain technical standards.

Weather radios are available at electronics stores and online at prices ranging from $20 to $200. They can be portable or desktop models. NOAA recommends the following features:

A special alarm tone to alert you to severe weather even if the audio is off;

  • Specific Alert Message Encoding to allow you to choose alerts for your geographic area only;
  • The ability to select certain types of events and block others;
  • A hand crank, battery or solar-powered radio that will operate during electrical outages;
  • National Weather Service frequency tuning; and
  • External or wireless output for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or blind, allowing connection to an alarm or other attention-getting device, such as a personal computer or text printer.

More information is available online at The link has a list of frequencies used for NWS weather alerts.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders 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.

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:10