- Q. What does a weather radio do?
- A. The National Weather Radio service broadcasts warnings, watches, forecasts and non-weather hazard information 24 hours a day.
- Q. Why do I need a weather radio?
- A. When a threat is determined, National Weather Service forecasters interrupt routine weather programming and transmit a special tone that automatically activates weather radios. This instant emergency notification can give you and your family valuable seconds to seek shelter.
- Q. What type of weather radio should I buy?
- A. What radio you should buy depends on your personal needs. The most useful features in a weather radio are battery backup, alert tone, SAME technology and that the unit receives all seven NOAA frequencies. Lake County uses the Midland WR-100 for its program to supply at-risk residents with weather radios.
- Q. Where can I purchase a weather radio?
- A. Most local retail stores that sell consumer electronics or home-entertainment equipment stock multiple brands of weather radios.
- Q. How does the weather radio service work?
- A. There are approximately 750 weather-radio transmitters nationwide making it the single most comprehensive weather and emergency information source. Each transmitter broadcasts on one of seven VHF frequencies. The broadcasts cannot be heard on a simple AM/FM radio receiver. Frequencies for towers transmitting to Lake County are:
162.400 - channel 1
162.475 - channel 4
162.500 - channel 5
- Q. What is the difference between the three transmitters?
- A. There is virtually no difference between the transmitters in Daytona Beach, Orlando and Sumterville. All three are 1,000 watts and send out weather-radio alerts for Lake County. One difference between the three is the National Weather Service office in Melbourne maintains the transmitters in Daytona Beach and Orlando while the Tampa office operates the Sumterville location, but this has no bearing on how Lake County receives weather-radio alerts.
- Q. How do I know if my weather radio is working properly?
- A.The National Weather Service sends test messages to weather radios from its Daytona Beach, Orlando and Sumterville transmitters every Wednesday 11 a.m.-12 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. In the event of bad weather, the test will be postponed. On many weather radio models (including the Midland WR-100), the test will not sound the alert tone, but will display a test message on the radio's screen.
- Q. What does it mean if I do not receive the weekly tests?
- A. There is a chance that you will not be alerted in the case of a true emergency. Several options you should try include changing the weather radio's frequency to one of the other two transmitters that broadcasts to Lake County, or try moving the weather radio to another part of the house, preferably near a window. If you are still having difficulty receiving a signal, you should consider purchasing an external antenna to complement your weather radio.
- Q. I am having trouble with my weather radio, who can help me?
- A. The Lake County Emergency Management Division and National Weather Service's office in Melbourne are available to help local residents with their weather-radio questions. Contact the Lake County Emergency Management Division at (352) 343-9420 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact the National Weather Service office in Melbourne at (321) 255-0212. More information is also available by logging on to www.lakecountyfl.gov, keyword: emergency or www.srh.noaa.gov/mlb/?n=nwr.