May 9th Is NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards Awareness Day in Wisconsin

NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards Radios Save Lives!

“Listen, Act and Live!”

The campaign is sponsored by Wisconsin Emergency Management and the five NWS offices that service Wisconsin.  It encourages Wisconsin residents to own a NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards radio device, a 24-hour source of weather forecasts, watches, warnings, and non-weather emergency information provided by the National Weather Service and its parent agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

“NOAA emergency weather radios save lives”, says Tod Pritchard, Wisconsin Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. “The early warning of possible danger gives you and your family time to act and stay safe.” Pritchard adds this reminder, “Listen, Act and Live! Listen to the weather radio warnings and take action right away. You’ll have a much better chance of surviving disaster.”

Weather radios are “smoke detectors for danger.” A NOAA Weather Radio with an alarm and battery back-up is one of the best ways to protect your family, especially at night when the alarm feature can wake you up during severe weather and give you and your family time to seek appropriate shelter.

All homes and businesses should have a weather radio!

If there is no severe weather or emergency your radio can be switched to a silent, stand-by mode.

ReadyWisconsin profiles people who survived tornadoes thanks to emergency weather radio. You can see those profiles at

The NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards network started in 1972 and is the sole government-operated radio system to provide direct warnings for all hazardous conditions that pose a threat to lives and property. There are 37 stations that broadcast weather and hazards information to the residents of Wisconsin, and over 1,000 stations nationwide.

Weather radios come in many sizes, with a variety of functions and costs. They can be purchased at most electronic stores. Most weather radio receivers are either battery-operated portables or AC-powered desktop models with battery backup.

The portable weather radios are an important item to take along when you are enjoying the outdoors such as camping and boating. Many receivers have digital technology called Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) that allows users to program their radios to alarm only for hazardous conditions that affect their county.

NWS offices maintain a weather radio page on their web sites.  WFO Milwaukee's can be found here.  You'll find information about radio coverage and county code numbers needed to program your weather radio.

Most retail stores that sell electronics also sell weather radios.  Occasionally, your County Emergency Management team may acquire large number of weather radios and sell them "at-cost" to county residents at fire stations.  In the spring months of April and May, some commercial TV stations in Wisconsin may team up with retail outlets and weather radio manufacturers to sell weather radios at a discount.

For additional information about weather radios including real life stories of Wisconsin residents who survived a tornado thanks to the early warning from an emergency weather radio, go to You’ll also find a Q & A section with the most asked questions about emergency weather radios. For more information contact Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Tod Pritchard at:, or Warning Coordination Meteorologist Rusty Kapela at

Additonal resources:

 Below is a Proclamation signed by Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin.  Click on image for larger version.



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