Weather alert radio receivers are important tools for kayakers and other outdoor enthusiasts. Equipped with SAME technology, these simple devices can receive NOAA Weather Radio alerts, forecasts, and other information which are broadcast in the VHF Public Service band. SAME weather alerts provide advance warnings for tornados, hurricanes, lightning, flash flooding, and other life-threatening situations.
Most weather alert radio receivers with SAME technology are inexpensive, compact, and portable. Receivers are available in a wide range of models including desktop units, portable sets, and sports models which are waterproof.
In addition to SAME weather radios, most hand held VHF marine radios are capable of monitoring and receiving NOAA weather alerts and broadcasts. Unlike basic radio receivers, VHF marine radios are capable of transmitting, which offers additional safety capabilities.
Regardless of the design, weather radios require a sufficient signal in order to work properly. Although much of the USA has coverage, reception can hampered by obstructions such as mountains, buildings, and other structures. In some cases, it may be necessary to move to higher ground in order to receive weather broadcasts.
Once a SAME weather radio has been purchased, it is advisable to become familiar with the unit’s operation. To take full advantage of SAME technology, the receiver should be programmed with the unique code for the county, parish, city or marine area where the unit will be located. The unit should also be tuned to the strongest available channel that broadcasts NOAA Weather Radio alerts. When programmed correctly, a SAME radio will alert only for weather and other emergencies that apply to the area(s) programmed.
In the USA, NOAA Weather Radio stations broadcast on one of eight frequencies in the VHF Public Service band: 162.400 megahertz (MHz), 162.425 MHz, 162.450 MHz, 162.475 MHz, 162.500 MHz, 162.525 MHz, and 162.550 MHz.
NOAA’s National Weather Radio program includes 1000 transmitters, covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Pacific Territories.