30 Days of Preparing for Spring Storms and the Stinging Heat of Summer Day 3: NOAA-Approved Emergency Weather Alert Radios

By CTD Suzanne published on in Buyers Guide, Camping and Survival, Gear

NOAA is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. It operates the National Weather Service providing around the clock weather forecasts and warnings “for the protection of life and property and enhancement of the national economy.” NOAA, working with the FCC, uses the Emergency Alert System to issue warnings and watches, not only for severe weather, but also for issues relating to public safety and national security. To receive continuous coverage, you must purchase a special receiver. NOAA recommends purchasing a receiver with the NOAA NWR All Hazards logo on it.

NOAA broadcasts continuous updates on a network of radio stations around the country called NOAA Weather Radio (NWR). Not only does NOAA report weather, but also information on natural disasters such as avalanches and earthquakes, as well as environmental problems such as oil spills and chemical explosions along with Amber alerts. NWR uses VHF frequencies from 162.400 to 162.550 MHz. However, you cannot hear these broadcasts on regular AM/FM radio receivers.

Better receivers have:

  • A tone alarm that alerts you of a broadcast even if the radio receiver is turned off
  • SAME (Specific Alert Message Encoding) technology that allows you to localize your alerts
  • Battery backup
  • An external antenna jack
  • An external device jack

As with all weather-related events, NOAA calls these events either a “watch” or “warning.” A watch means the event is possible and to be prepared; while a warning means the event is currently happening or inevitable it will happen soon.

Cheaper Than Dirt! sells four different emergency weather-alert specific radios. In order from lowest to highest price, I have highlighted the main features of each. All have seven NOAA weather channels.

Picture shows a white emergency radio.

The WX Civil Trilingual has seven weather channels, SAME technology and three language settings.

Midland Radio Corporation WX Civil Trilingual Monitor

  • 7 weather channels
  • 12-volt DC or battery back up power sources
  • NOAA All Hazards alerts
  • No AM/FM tuner
  • Alert override
  • SAME technology
  • Spanish, English or French

Buy it here.

Midland Radio Corporation Emergency Crank Radio

Picture shows a black and white emergency radio with crank power on the side.

The Midland Radio Corporation’s Emergency Crank Radio has four sources of power.

  • 7 weather channels
  • Alkaline battery back up, AC adapter, crank and 12-volt DC rechargeable battery power sources
  • NOAA All Hazards alerts
  • Includes thermometer and flashlight
  • USB jack
  • AM/FM tuner
  • Alert override

Buy it here.

Picture shows a black emergency radio with a crank power button and pop up spot light.

The Kaito Dynamo Emergency Radio has three lights and alternative sources of power.

Kaito Dynamo Emergency Radio

  • 7 weather channels
  • Solar panel, crank, alkaline battery back up, USB charger power sources
  • NOAA All Hazards alerts
  • Includes LED reading lamp, white LED flashlight and red LED emergency lighting
  • USB jack
  • AM/FM tuner

Buy it here.

Midland Radio Corporation ER300

Picture shows a black and red emergency radio with a flashlight on the side of the unit.

The ER 300 has alternative sources of power, plus an SOS beacon.

  • 7 weather channels
  • Solar, crank, internal rechargeable battery 12-volt DC, alkaline battery back up, USB charger sources
  • NOAA All Hazards alerts
  • Includes Flashlight, SOS beacon and dog whistle
  • USB jack
  • AM/FM tuner

Buy it here.

Midland Radio Corporation Base Camp

Picture shows a black and gray emergency radio with handle and a two-way communication walkie talkie attached.

The Base Camp has a two-way communication feature.

  • 7 weather channels
  • Internal rechargeable battery, crank or alkaline battery back ups
  • Built-in flashlight
  • USB jack
  • AM/FM tuner
  • 2-way communication feature

Buy it here.

Do you have an emergency alert radio? Tell us which one in the comment section.

SLRule

Suzanne Wiley started shooting at a young age when her older brother bought a Marlin 60 and taught her to shoot. She took to shooting and developed a love for it when she realized she was a natural with a .22 LR rifle at summer camp. As an outdoor adventurer, she enjoys camping, fishing, and horseback riding. Suzanne specializes in writing for the female shooter, beginner shooter and the modern-day prepper, and is a staff writer at Cheaper Than Dirt!

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