Weather Radios

If you use TV or FM radio to learn about a severe storm or other hazard in your area, what happens when the emergency is while you’re sleeping? NOAA Weather Radios can be programmed to alert you to all hazards in your county day and night—not just severe weather, but also human-caused emergencies and law enforcement alerts, such as child abductions. Weather radio stations immediately stop their standard weather programming to broadcast any alert, plus all important information and instructions associated with the alert. 

Be sure to include a battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio in your emergency supply kit, plus have one in your home and workplace for everyday usage. You can find weather radios for as little as $20 in many stores.

If you’re programming your weather radio, Forsyth County’s Specific Area Message Encoder (SAME) code is 037067. You can find other county codes on the Raleigh National Weather Service’s Weather Radio page.

Why Radios over Sirens?

Forsyth County stopped using its roughly 20 tornado sirens by the early 1990s, in part due to false activations and increasing maintenance costs. As explained in a local news report, a siren may be harder to hear in newer homes or by people watching TV or listening to music. Weather radios, on the other hand, can cost consumers as little as $20-30, and one radio tower is designed to serve at least a 40-mile radius. Plus, the radio’s alert tones are usually loud enough that they’re difficult to miss, and unlike a siren, a radio alert includes specific information and instructions for what to do next.