I've promised several people that I would put together information about weather radios.So here that information is.
You should own a weather radio because you pay for the broadcast. The National Ocean and Atmospheric administration (NOAA) is the parent organization for the National Weather service (NWS). NOAA operates weather radio stations all over the U.S. These stations provide warnings of severe weather ,and many other emergencies.
The stations broadcast in the VHF hi-band.This means you need a special receiver to hear them ,your normal household AM/FM radio won't work. However scanners will receive them . There are 7 frequencies for the stations beginning at 162.400 MHZ and ending at 162.550, there are 3 other frequencies used internationally.
With out going into a lot of technical stuff I don't understand each station tries to cover a 50 mile radius around its transmitter sight. The signal from these stations is what is called a line of sight frequency ,this means that in theory you have to be able to see the tower to hear the signal. Of course you can hear them without actually seeing the tower, but if you draw a straight line from the top of the tower to your radio and the curvature of the earth intrudes on the line,or a mountain is between you and the tower you are not going to hear it well. There are various cures for this and none are really expensive.
I am going to list several web sight that have good information and then give my personal preferences.
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/shv/nwrcrs.htm This is an essential site it gives info for the ArkLaTex.
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/nwrrcvr.htm This sight gives you all the info on weather radios much better than I can.
http://www.oregonscientificstore.com/ This is a builder of weather radios. I have never used one of their radios but they have some interesting features.
http://www.ccrane.com/product-categories.aspx This is THE place for top of the line am/fm radios.They are a very reputable dealer if they sell it, it is good.
http://www.radioshack.com/home/index.jsp?cid= Radio shack is not quite the retailer they once were but check out the web page.Search weather radio. They sell others beside the Radio Shack brand.
http://www.weatherradiostore.com/ what can I say their name says it all.
What I prefer in a weather radio:
1- must have S.A.M.E.
2-Selectable alerts You get to choose what type of Alert sets the radio off.
3-Selectable alarms You get to choose how the radio wakes you up
5- external antennae jack or plug
6-jack or plug to set off an external alarm or signal.
7-External speaker is nice but not absolutely essential.
I have had extremely good service out of the radio shack brand and I like the auto shutoff feature.
More weather info the NOAA warnings and watches for Howard county are repeated on the 444.350 mhz N5BAB ham radio repeater.
During severe weather you can listen live to the Howard county fire radio system on154.400.
Skywarn can sometimes be heard on the following frequencies 147.045 and/or 147.55.
If you have questions leave them in the comment section and I will try to find an answer.