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NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information direct from a nearby National Weather Service Office (NWS). NWR broadcasts National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecast and other hazard information 24 hours a day.

Working with the Federal Communications Commission's new Emergency Alert System, NWR is an "all hazards" radio network, making it the single source for the most comprehensive weather and emergency information available to the public. NWR now broadcasts warning and post-event information for all types of hazards, both natural and technological.

NWR requires a special radio receiver or scanner capable of picking up the signal. Broadcasts are found in the public service band between 162.400 and 162.550 megahertz (MHz). In Alachua County, NWR broadcasts on 162.475 MHz.

NOAA Weather Radio receivers come in a variety of sizes, styles and prices and can usually be found in electronic stores. Most radios can receive an alarm tone, triggered when the NWS issues severe weather announcements or emergency information.

A new generation of NWR receiver allows you to pre-select the NWS alerts you want to receive according to local geographic areas, such as Alachua County. Look for NWR receivers with the SAME feature (Specific Area Message Encoding) which means the receiver is capable of turning itself on from a silent mode when the digital code is broadcast before the alarm tone is sounded for the geographic area that you have pre-selected.

The Alachua County Division of Emergency Management recommends that every home, business, school, church and other public places have a NOAA weather radio with an automatic alarm feature. A NOAA weather radio is the most effective method of receiving timely emergency notifications. The office has worked with State grant money to provide every school and day care in Alachua County with a weather radio free of charge.

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