One of the questions I get asked the most as a television meteorologist is, “How do I program my weather radio?” Unfortunately, programming a radio isn’t as easy as it should be yet but radios are getting simpler and programming a radio isn’t as difficult as many people think. In my opinion, a weather radio is one of the best ways to receive weather warnings – especially in the middle of the night – thanks to it’s alarm feature. The radio will sit quietly waiting for a warning and when it receives one for your county, a tone alert is activated that will definitely get your attention (or wake you up in the middle of the night). After the alarm, you’ll hear important information from the National Weather Service regarding the warning, communities that are affected and how long the warning is in effect. Make sure you get a radio that has the Specific Area Message Encoding (S.A.M.E.) feature which allows it to be programmed to alarm just for your home county.
This video details how to program one of the most popular models of weather radio, the Midland WR100. The basic instructions also work for the Midland WR120. Fortunately, Midland is now shipping WR120 radios with county codes already programmed in so that all you have to do is select your county from a list. However, many of the radios in homes today don’t have this feature and the county codes have to be programmed manually. To get your county code listing, click HERE, follow the list to find your county, write down the six digit code and follow the video to help you program the radio. If you need more help beyond the video, you can find a PDF version of the User’s Manual for the WR100 radio HERE. Also, you can e-mail me at Charlie@CharlieNeese.com. Happy programming!