Department of Public Safety

NOAA Weather Radio

The most sophisticated alerting system is Weather Radio Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME). It has been implemented in 1997 and employ digital coding to activate only those receivers programmed of specific emergency conditions in a specific county.

In the most sophisticated alerting system, Weather Radio Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME), digital coding is employed to activate only those special receivers programmed for specific emergency conditions in a specific area, typically a county. SAME can activate specially equipped radio and cable television receivers and provide a short text message that identifies the location and type of emergency. SAME will be the primary activator for the new Emergency Alert System planned by the Federal Communication Commission.

The warning alarm and battery backup features are worthwhile, especially valuable for schools, hospitals, day care centers, nursing homes, public safety agencies, and news media offices.

The warning alarm is activated for the following:


Tornado Watch/Warning Flash Flood Watch/Warning Flood Warnings for Rivers, Stream and Creeks with less that 3 hours advance notice
Severe Thunderstorm Watch/Warning Flood watch for streams and Creeks High Wind Warning
Winter Storm Warnings 
(heavy Snow, Ice Storm)
Blizzard Warning Wind Chill Warning
  Excessive Heat Warning  

Test of the NOAA Weather Radio warning alarm system are conducted every Wednesday between 11 am and 12 noon. The test is canceled if severe weather is expected during the time.

Broadcast rang from most weather radio transmitters is approximately 40 miles. The effective range depends on terrain, quality of the receiver, and indoor/outdoor antennas. Before buying and NOAA Weather Radio receiver, consumers should make  sure their area is covered by one of the transmitters.

NOAA Weather Radio Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) require state and county FIPS Codes for programming National Weather Service Warning Area

FIPS Codes EMA Home