Alerts on NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards

What you should know about receiving alerts on your weather radio:

  • Every model of radio is different. Check your directions for specifics about what features your radio has and how to program it.
  • There may be some variation from region to region in which messages include alert tones. 
  • In general, winter weather messages should not alert your weather radio (although there may be some exceptions).
  • Weekly, a test is conducted for all transmitters.  In the local area, this test is conducted every Wednesday around 11 am.    In case of severe weather, the test will be postponed until the next available non-severe weather day (at 11 am).
  • Civil emergencies are alerted per partnerships with state and local agencies.  There will be variations from state to state in handling non-weather emergencies based on the specific agreements in place.

The following is a list of which messages include alert tones when broadcast from transmitters operated by the NWS Quad Cities. (These transmitters are: Cedar Rapids, IA - Delaware County, IA - Dubuque, IA - Fairfield, IAFreeport, IL - Macomb, ILMaquoketa, IA -Medill, MO - Princeton, IL - Quad Cities, IA/IL - West Burlington, IA.)

Weather Messages
Should this 
message alert?
   Non-Weather Messages
Should this 
message alert?
Blizzard Warning
Sometimes*
 
Emergency Action Notification (National)

Yes

Dust Storm Warning
Yes
  Child Abduction (Amber Alert)

Yes (IA and IL)

Flash Flood Watch
Sometimes*
 
Civil Danger Warning
Yes (IA,IL,WI only)
Flash Flood Warning
Yes
 
Civil Emergency Message

Yes

Flash Flood Statement
No
 
Earthquake Warning
Yes (IL,WI only)
Flood Watch
No
 
Evacuation Immediate
Yes (IL,WI only)
Flood Warning
No
 
Fire Warning
Yes (IL,WI only)
Flood Statement
No
 
Hazardous Materials Warning
Yes (IL,WI only)
High Wind Watch
No
 
Law Enforcement Warning
Yes (IL,WI only)
High Wind Warning
Sometimes*
 
Local Area Emergency
Yes (IL,WI only)
Severe Thunderstorm Watch
Yes
 
911 Telephone Outage Emergency
Yes (IA,IL,WI only)
Severe Thunderstorm Warning
Yes
 
Nuclear Power Plant Warning
Yes (IA,IL,WI only)
Severe Weather Statement
No
 
Radiological Hazard Warning
Yes (IL,WI only)
Special Weather Statement
No
 
Shelter in Place Warning
Yes (IL,WI only)
Tornado Watch
Yes
     
Tornado Warning
Yes
 
Required Weekly Test

Yes**

Winter Storm Watch
No
 
Winter Storm Warning
Sometimes*
 

*Sometimes indicates that these messages only alert when they are issued within 3 hours of the hazard's expected begin time.

** On many radio models, the Required Weekly Test is only indicated by a light. (In other words, it does not have an audible alert on some radios.)  Check your radio's manual for specifics about how your radio handles the weekly test.

 

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