14 June 2010 ~ 7 Comments

Get Informed About Your Weather Radio: What is NOAA and SAME?

When it comes time to purchase a weather radio, you would like to know what you are paying for, especially if it could help you during a disaster. The main purpose of a weather radio is to keep you informed on any upcoming storms or emergencies coming your way.

While many understand how to control these devices, there are still some beginner weather radio users who would like to learn more. During this weather season, it is important to understand what the NOAA Weather Radio and SAME technology can do for you during an emergency or disaster.

NOAA Weather Radio (NWR)

The NWR is a nationwide network of radio stations that broadcast weather information from a nearby National Weather Service office. This service broadcasts warnings, watches, forecasts and other information 24 hours a day.

They work very closely with the FCC’s new Emergency Alert System, which makes it the most detailed weather and emergency information available to the general public. On top of covering weather issues, the NWR also takes care of natural and technological hazards.

NWR provides as a public service for the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, which covers 50 states, coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Pacific Territories.

The seven NWR broadcast frequencies are: 162.400 MHz, 162.425 MHz, 162.450 MHz, 162.475 MHz, 162.500 MHz, 162.525 MHz, and 162.550 MHz.

For the latest list of frequencies and transmitter locations from across the country, check the NOAA Weather Radio website.

SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding)

NWR SAME provides timely information digitally on the nature and location of a threat to the safety of those most immediately at risk from severe weather or other hazards.

The owner of a NWR SAME radio can program their device so that it will alert them only of weather and other emergencies for the county they desire. It can be set for up to 15 counties and can be tuned to all seven NOAA Weather radio frequencies.

When an NWS office broadcasts an urgent audio message, it also creates and broadcasts a digital SAME code. The SAME radio will then turn on, the listener will hear the alarm as an attention signal, and the alarm will be followed by a broadcast message.

At the end of the broadcast message, listeners will hear a brief digital end-of-message static burst and then will be returned to the NWR broadcast. Code numbers for other counties can be found from the United States and Territories Table.

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Understanding today’s technology in weather radios is crucial when an emergency or disaster strikes your area. Check out the Etón web store for our line of American Red Cross and Etón radios that carry the NOAA signals. Also, if you are interested in a SAME radio, we offer the Etón Solarlink FR600 and American Red Cross Solarlink FR600.

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7 Responses to “Get Informed About Your Weather Radio: What is NOAA and SAME?”

  1. Laura Ludgate 19 April 2011 at 1:22 am Permalink

    I just bought a Eton weather radio with the American Red Cross symbol. There was not an Owner’s Manual with it.
    Weather tracker FR800.
    I would appreciate directions about how to set the time, alert, alarm, and all of its capabilities.]
    Thank you very much.

  2. sean 19 April 2011 at 1:49 pm Permalink

    Hi Laura,

    Here is the manual for the FR800 in PDF form: http://etoncorp.com/upload/contents/307/fr800_manual_v051410.pdf

  3. Paul suto 25 August 2011 at 8:16 pm Permalink

    Need more detailed insructions for operation of the microlink fr160

  4. sean 26 August 2011 at 1:10 pm Permalink

    How can we help you, Paul?

  5. Anne 6 February 2012 at 8:58 pm Permalink

    I can not figure how to set the time on my eton weather radio or how to get radio channels. Have misplaced the instructions, but also found them difficult to follow.
    Thank you for any help you can give.
    Anne

  6. mike 12 November 2013 at 6:00 pm Permalink

    I see lots or references to SAME and NWR etc – but no comment if they work in Canada or strictly a US service, If they don’t work is there a Canadian equivalent?

  7. Eton Corp 12 November 2013 at 10:05 pm Permalink

    Hi Mike! SAME and NWR alerts are available in Canada. From this article (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/nwrrcvr.htm):

    Your Weather Radio receiver will also work in Canada. The Meteorological Service of Canada, the government agency responsible for producing official forecasts there, operates a network of “Weatheradio” transmitters which generally operate on the same frequencies as the U.S. NOAA Weather Radio network.

    See also: http://ec.gc.ca/meteo-weather/default.asp?lang=En&n=792F2D20-1


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