The Best Weather Radios

by Benjamin Aries
Weather radios can sound an alert if severe storms are present.

Weather radios can sound an alert if severe storms are present.

Severe weather can often strike without warning and can cause injury or even death. A weather radio is designed to sound an alert when hazardous conditions occur. These types of radios monitor broadcasts from government agencies and can receive important information about tornadoes, thunderstorms and other events. Weather radios can notify residents to seek shelter before a storm hits and provide constant updates about severe conditions.

Midland WR-300

The Midland WR-300 is a desktop weather radio that is Public Alert certified. This certification means that the radio can receive notifications for a wide variety of hazards in addition to the standard weather alerts. The WR-300 also features Specific Area Message Encoder, or SAME, technology, which can help filter out distant alerts and reduce the number of false alarms. Under normal conditions, the WR-300 can be plugged in to an outlet for continuous weather monitoring. The WR-300 is not designed to be handheld but can operate on battery power during electrical outages or other situations. This radio can also tune local AM and FM radio stations, which can be useful for gathering emergency news reports.

Sangean CL-100

Sangean's CL-100 model shares many features with the Midland WR-300, including Public Alert certification and SAME technology. Unlike the Midland, the CL-100 radio is able to recognize End of Message signals. An EOM signal allows the device to automatically stop an alert from repeating if the threat has passed. Radios without this helpful capability must be manually silenced. The CL-100 is designed for a desk or table and doubles as a handy clock radio. External speakers and an extended antenna can be connected to the CL-100 to increase reception and volume. This unit can operate from both household or battery power, although its large size makes it impractical for portable use.

Midland HH54VP2

The Midland HH54VP2 is specifically designed to be handheld and portable. This unit can be included in an emergency kit or taken on a trip and can provide weather alerts while on the go. Like larger desktop units, this radio is Public Alert certified and SAME compatible. A home power station is included with the HH54VP2. This provides external electricity to the radio during stationary use and keeps the unit charged. The Midland can switch to battery power when it is removed from the power cradle. If the rechargeable battery becomes drained while household power is unavailable, the HH54VP2 can also operate on common AA batteries.

Oregon Scientific WR601N

Oregon Scientific's WR601N is an entry-level portable weather radio with basic features. It is Public Alert certified and includes SAME technology. Users can program up to six specific locations into the radio in order to reduce alerts from unwanted sources. An alarm clock with a snooze feature also enables users to wake up on time when traveling. Unlike the similar Midland HH54VP2, the Oregon Scientific model does not include a rechargeable battery pack. Instead, the unit relies on either a wall adapter or normal AA batteries. Non-volatile memory allows the WR601N to maintain its programming even when the batteries are changed.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images