How to Program an NOAA Weather Radio

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National Weather Service offices throughout the U.S. broadcast 24-hour weather information via NOAA weather radios. The National Weather Service Weather Radio broadcasts on seven VHF Band frequencies ranging from 162.400 MHz to 162.550 MHz, outside the normal AM or FM bands. Some of these radios have a Specific Area Message Encoder (SAME) option that lets you enter a code so you'll only receive severe weather statements for the county in which you live. Although weather radio models differ, the same general instructions apply to most models.

Things You'll Need

  • NOAA Weather Radio
  • Appropriate voltage batteries
  • AC adapter
  • County code
  • Slide the rear battery panel off. Place the correct number and voltage batteries inside in their proper polarities and replace the rear battery panel.

  • Plug the AC adapter into a wall outlet, then into the rear panel of the weather radio.

  • Turn on the weather radio using the on/off selector if the radio has one. Some weather radio models turn on automatically when supplied a power source.

  • Set the time by pressing menu until "Time" displays, then press "Select" (or "Set" on some models). Press the up or down arrows to set the hour. Press the right arrow to move to minutes, then press the up or down arrows to set the minutes, then press "Select."

  • Set the alarm clock by pressing the up or down arrows until "Alarm" displays, then press "Select." Press the up or down arrows to set the hour. Press the right arrow to move to minutes, then press the up or down arrows to set the minutes, then press "Select." Press the up or down arrows to set the hour. Press the right arrow to move to minutes, then press the up or down arrows to set the minutes, then press "Select."

  • Set the channels by pressing the up or down arrows until "Channel" displays, then press "Select." (This will cause the radio to play.) Press the up arrow to select a channel in your area, then press "Select."

  • Set the county codes by pressing the up or down arrows until "SAME Set" displays, if you have a weather radio with SAME technology. If you don't, skip this step. Press "Select" so that it displays the word "Any." Press the up arrow and select from the three settings available:
    -Single for only one county.
    -Multiple for more than one county.
    -Any for all counties.

    For Single, press the up arrow to select "Single", then press "Select" to display "SAME 01" and press "Select" again to display "00 00 00". Use the up or down keys to set the the first digit, then press right arrow to continue to the next digit. Repeat this process until all six digits have been programmed, then press "Select."

    For multiple counties, complete the process for "Single," then press the up arrow to display "SAME 02" and repeat the steps.

    For "Any," simply press "Select."

    You can obtain the code for your U.S. county by visiting NOAA Weather Radio County by County Coverage.

  • Set the alert type by pressing the up or down arrows until "Alt Type" displays. Press "Select" to display "Tone." Press the up arrow and select from the three settings available:
    -"Tone" which sounds an alarm.
    -"Display" which is silent. It displays a written message on the LCD.
    -"Voice" which sounds the radio announcement.
    Press "Select."

  • Set the alert test by pressing the up or down arrows until "Alt Test" displays. Press "Select" to sound the alarm. Press the up or down keys stop the alarm.

  • Press the "Menu" button to complete the programming process.

Tips & Warnings

  • Depending on your radio's design, instead of a "Select" button, you may have a "Set" button.
  • At any time you can press "Menu" to back out of the area you're programming.
  • Always keep fresh batteries in the radio, even when it's plugged in to the wall with the AC adapter. This provides a backup power source, so if a storm knocks out the electricity, you will still receive weather broadcasts, including watches and warnings.

References

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