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Non-Weather Messages On NOAA Weather Radio

The National Weather Service has teamed up with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to broadcast critical all-hazards messages via NOAA Weather Radio.  Such messages can include warnings of terrorist strikes, nuclear accidents, toxic chemical spills, and 911 outages.  This will make the radio network into an "All-Hazards" network.  However, weather messages will continue to be the main emphasis on a day-to-day basis.

Upon request by:

  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Iowa Emergency Management Division
  • Minnesota Division of Emergency Management
  • Wisconsin Division of Emergency Management
  • Any county / local officials

These messages will contain alerting features that can activate alarm-capable radio receivers, as well as deliver the message over the Emergency Alert System (EAS) for use by commercial media.  With over 900 transmitters nationwide, over 97% of the U.S. population will have access to such alerts. 

EAS codes have been implemented to assist with distribution of these messages.  If you have a programmable NOAA Weather Radio receiver (which uses EAS codes to determine the message type), this may have an impact on the operation of your receiver.  If it is an older model, it may display "unknown warning" or "unknown statement" when these codes are received, but may still sound an audio alarm.  Newer programmable radios will have these codes in place.  Non-programmable radio receivers, which use a 1050 Hz tone for alarm activation, will not need to do anything to receive the new messages, but be advised the alarm tone is used for any warning in the coverage area of your local transmitter.

For information on NOAA Weather Radio receivers, click here.

The following new EAS codes will be available through the La Crosse NWS weather radio stations.  No changes to individual county codes will take place.

EAS Event Code 1050 Hz Alarm Tone Used? Definition
ADR No Administrative Message
CAE Yes Child Abduction Emergency (AMBER Alert)
Iowa Only!
CDW Yes Civil Danger Warning
CEM Yes Civil Emergency Message
EQW Yes Earthquake Warning
EVI Yes Evacuation Immediate
FRW Yes Fire Warning
HMW Yes Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Warning
LAE No Local Area Emergency
LEW Yes Law Enforcement Warning
NUW Yes Nuclear Power Plant Warning
RHW Yes Radiological Hazard Warning
SPW Yes Shelter in Place Warning
TOE No 911 Telephone Outage Emergency