NOAA Weather Radios are being freely distributed to public schools across the country, as a part of a program designed to help maintain the safety of our schools. This program is sponsored by the United States Department of Homeland Security and Department of Commerce with assistance from many other agencies. These weather radios will help provide information about severe weather alerts, terrorist threats and other local emergencies to the staff and students in our public schools.
Last year, during the first year of this project, radios were distributed to only a few schools in select parts of the country. This fall all other public schools across the country will be receiving radios. It is planned that next year radios will be made available to private schools as well. More details on the program can be found on the NOAA Public Alert Radios for Public Schools web page.
Schools are asked to register their radio once it arrives, so that the agencies sponsoring the program are assured that the weather radios got to their proper destination. If your public school did not receive a weather radio, the registration page can also be used to provide the information about your school needed to get one shipped out.
The radios can be programmed so that only the alerts affecting your immediate area are received. The programming is done based on Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) codes. Each county has its own SAME code. Instructions for programming the radio were included in the shipment, or can be found online. The National Weather Service provides a full list of SAME codes for counties across the entire country. Or you can check our site for a list of SAME codes for local counties.