• NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) weather radios alert the public to a weather advisory, watch or warning and inform the public of civil emergencies. NOAA suggests you purchase a radio that displays the public alert logo. All weather radios bearing this logo conform to their standards.

    Flashing Red Light

    The National Weather Service issues a warning when hazardous weather or civil emergencies are imminent. When a warning is issued, a signal is sent out from the NWS to your radio, which turns on a red flashing light, sets off the tone alarm, displays a text message and begins an audible news bulletin. The flashing red light becomes a steady light after the broadcast and remains on until the warning has expired.

    Weather Warnings

    A warning is issued for severe weather events that pose threat to life or property. The broadcast bulletin includes specific details about the warning.

    Civil Warnings

    The red light also flashes for civil warnings such as chemical spills, AMBER alerts, and other natural and technological emergencies.

    Action Plan

    The NWS audio message will describe the nature of the emergency and what actions should be taken, whether to take shelter or leave the area.


    Some people cannot see the red light or hear the warning. To overcome these limitations, NOAA weather radios can be connected to strobe lights, pagers, bed shakers, computers and text printers.


    NOAA Weather Radio

    NOAA Weather Radio Consumer Information

    Public Alert Logo

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