National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

All Hazards NOAA Weather Radio

...Need help programing your Weather Radio...

    With several brands and models of NOAA Weather Radios available to the public for the protection of life and property, there are many different ways to program the differing radios. In an effort to gather as many Users Manuals in one place, the NWS Springfield Weather Radio team has compiled a list of some of the more common radios. For information on how to program your radio, find your brand and model number and click on the link. If you do not see your model number, click on the brand name and you will be taken to the manufacturers website.  See the Chart at the bottom of the page for your Brand.

Public Alert ™ Devicespublic alert logo

We cannot recommend one brand of receiver over another, but we do suggest that people look at receivers which carry the Public Alert logo. The Public Alert Standard (CEA-2009-A) was developed by the Consumer Technology Association in conjunction with the National Weather Service. Devices which carrying the Public Alert logo meet certain technical standards and come with many (if not all) of the features mentioned below.

Residential Grade Radios and Features

Prices can vary from $20 to $200, depending on the model. Many receivers have an alarm feature, but some may not. Among the more useful features in a receiver are:

Tone alarm: The National Weather Service will send a 1050 Hz tone alarm before most warning and many watch messages are broadcast. The tone will activate all the receivers which are equipped to receive it, even if the audio is turned off. This is especially useful for warnings which occur during the night when most people are asleep. (Public Alert - required)

SAME technology: SAME, or Specific Alert Message Encoding allows you to specify the particular area for which you wish to receive alerts. Most warnings and watches broadcast over NOAA Weather Radio are county-based or independent city-based (parish-based in Louisiana), although in a few areas of the country the alerts are issued for portions of counties. Since most NWR transmitters are broadcasting for a number of counties, SAME receivers will respond only to alerts issued for the area (or areas) you have selected. This minimizes the number of “false alarms” for events which might be a few counties away from where you live. (Public Alert - required)

Selectable alerting of events: While SAME allows you to specify a particular area of interest, some receivers allow you to turn off alarms for certain events which might not be important to you. For example, if you live in a coastal county, but not right at the beach, you might not care about Coastal Flood Warnings. This feature may also be called "Event Blocking" or "Defeat Siren". (Public Alert - optional)

Battery backup: Since power outages often occur during storms, having a receiver with battery backup can be crucial. However, unless you have a portable unit which you will use away from other power sources, an AC power connection is recommended to preserve battery life. (Public Alert - required for radios, optional for other devices)

External antenna jack: While most receivers come with a whip antenna which can usually be extended out from the unit, depending on your location you may need an external antenna to get a good reception. Some receivers come with an external antenna jack (normally in the back of the unit) which will allow you to connect to a larger antenna (which can be indoors or outdoors). You can often purchase these as accessories at the same place where you bought your receiver, or from most stores with an electronics department. NWR broadcasts are in the Public Service VHF frequencies, just above FM radio and between the current TV channels 6 and 7 - so an antenna designed for analog VHF televisions or FM radios should work. Or, you can make your own antenna. 

External device jack (special needs): Some radios have a jack to plug-in external notification devices, such as strobe lights or bed shakers, which can be useful for those with special needs. (Public Alert - required for institutional receivers, optional for consumer receivers).


 NOTE: Not all Midland WR-100 Desktop Weather Radios will audibly alert for the routine weekly alert test (Wednesdays between 11am and Noon). Newer models will only display an LED alert and readout for the Wednesday test.



Midland Radio First Alert Oregon Scientific Radio Shack HomeSafe, Inc
Motorola Garmin Sony Etón USA C. Crane Company


Click here for your county codes


For more information go to our All Hazards Weather Radio Page