What is a weather radio?:
Weather Radio is a broadcast service provided by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). That airs weather reports, weather warnings, and civil and other types of national emergencies. The warnings are provided by the Emergency Alert Service (EAS). Weather radio broadcast over the frequencies between 162.40 and 162.55 MHz.
Here's what to look for in a weather radio.
SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding), with SAME you can program your radio so that the alert goes off only for the local areas you want to be notified about.
Some radios let you block certain alerts, others don't. However, certain events like a Tornado warning can't be blocked, which kind you want is up to you.
Audible Alarm, this is a must have. Many dangerous weather events happen at night while you're sleeping. Also, you will want an alarm that you can turn off. For instance, if you live on high ground a flood watch or even an warning might be less important to you than a severe thunderstorm warning.
Some weather radios let you adjust the volume. If this is important to you, look for models that allow you to do so.
Battery Backup, Often during a weather emergency electric power is unavailable. Therefore, you will want to have a radio that has a battery backup.
There are radios that also will run on car adapters, and other alternate power sources.
External Antenna Jack, most weather radios are supplied with a built-in antenna; most of the time they do a very good job. But sometimes it can be difficult to receive an adequate signal. When that happens, you want a radio that allows you the ability to hookup an external antenna.
They sell external antennas. However, one thing many don't know, is the weather frequencies sit between the analog TV channels 6 and 7, so a standard VHF TV antenna can also do the job.
The weather alert channels:
All weather radios sold to the public are suppose to be able receive all seven NOAA channels...but it never hurts to make sure the one your buying can access them all.
162.425 MHz162.450 MHz
162.525 MHz162.550 MHz
Types of Weather Radios:
There are four types of weather radios, portables, desktops, hand crank, and combination.
These are the small hand held radios that are easy to take with you when you're on the go, and are exceptionally suited for remote work locations.
These come in a wide range of sizes and styles. Also, prices vary, but the majority of them fall into the 50 to 80 dollar range. So you shouldn't have any trouble finding the perfect radio to match your decor and needs.
Hand Crank Radios:
Even if you buy a desktop weather radio, buying an hand crank radio can be a good idea. They make a great addition to your emergency kit. a few cranks of the handle can give you an hour or more of reception.
This type of weather radio is a little different. These are a blend of weather radio and a home weather station, with temperature readout and other basic weather forecasting abilities.
You can find weather radios in many places. Such as, Wal-Mart, Target, Sears, Sam's, BJ's, Radio Shack. You can also find them online at such sites as Amazon and eBay. The only thing I will add is buy a weather radio that is public alert certified and carry the Public Alert logo
Well that's about it, well, with the exception of you purchasing a weather radio after reading this.