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Department of Emergency Management


Press Release Detail

Friday, October 28, 2016  03:10

Issued: Wednesday, March 03, 2010  00:00

All Hazard Radio Info


All hazard weather radios air Emergency Alert System (EAS) messages.  In the case of tsunami events, EAS is activated for both a Tsunami Watch (lead time ahead of a warning) and a Tsunami Warning.
The tsunami in the wake of the Feb 27 Chile earthquake was a Tsunami Advisory, a relatively small tsunami event with primary impacts in harbors, bays and inlets.  Hence, no need to activate EAS that would activate the all-hazard weather radios as well as all broadcast stations such as radio and TV.
It is important to note that the tsunami advisory was aired on all coastal weather radio stations.
 From: Ted Buehner NOAA/Seattle
Warning Alarm and EAS (SAME) Activation
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio warning alarm and activation of the Emergency Alert System (EAS), also known as SAME (Specific Area Message Encoder), may occur for the following events:
  1. High Wind Warning
  2. Marine Storm Warning
  3. Flood Warning
  4. Flash Flood Watch and Warning
  5. Tidal Flood Warning
  6. Winter Storm Warning
  7. Blizzard Warning
  8. Severe Thunderstorm Watch and Warning
  9. Tornado Watch and Warning
  10. Tsunami Watch and Warning
  11. Volcanic Activity including Lahars
  12. Enemy Attack
  13. Nuclear Accident
  14. AMBER Child Abduction Alerts
  15. Dam Failures
  16. Secondary Hazards From Terrorism or Earthquakes
  17. Other Hazardous Events including Chemical Releases
    (In cooperation with local emergency management officials)

NOTE: EAS is activated for immediate life-threatening events only. If the event has been publicized in advance, such as a flood or weather watch, EAS is not normally activated unless the threat to life is quite high. EAS is activated for "major flood" category events and "high impact" major wind events.
All Hazards Alert Weather Radio Issue
   There are many questions about why some All Hazards Alert Weather Radios don’t activate during the “weekly” or “monthly” tests. Each type of Weather Radio has its own special nuances. You MUST read the instructions to determine if your radio is one that will sound during the “weekly” and/or “monthly” tests. Many types such as the Midland All Hazards Weather Alert Radio WR-100, WILL NOT sound a SIREN during the weekly or monthly test. It will only display a test message and light the yellow LED. The radio WILL sound the SIREN when an actual alert is received.
   If you are not sure if your radio is operating properly:
1)    Check the manufacturers website to read about proper operation and settings.
2)    Contact your local  Emergency Management Office to determine if you are using the proper frequency to obtain the alerts in your specific location.
3)    Prior to purchasing a radio, ask to open the box and read the instructions to insure you understand proper operation.
4)    If you purchase a new radio, contact your local Emergency Management Office to obtain the proper frequency to use for alerts in your specific location.