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A Gorman-Redlich CRW-S weather radio.
weather radio service is a broadcast service which airs special weather-related emergency broadcasts and announcements. Weatheradio services may also broadcast non-weather related emergency information, such as in the event of a natural disaster, an AMBER alert or a terrorist attack. They generally broadcast on a special VHF frequency audible only with special "Weatheradio" receivers or radio frequency scanners, although in some locations a weatheradio broadcast may be retransmitted on a conventional AM or FM frequency, some terrestrial television stations broadcasting in MTS stereo transmit weather radio on their second audio program (SAP) channel as well as on one of its digital subchannels (where news & weather are applicable), or local public-access cable channels.

Weather radios come with several features that make them very helpful in case of an emergency. Some models use crank power, in addition to electricity and batteries, which is a life saver in case of an electricity outage or if you are located in an unserviced area (such as a forest). Some models have an embedded flashlight and can double as a cell phone charger.

Weather radios are widely sold in electronics stores in the United States, but in Canada may be only available online, especially in communities without frequent serious weather emergencies (such as Vancouver and Calgary). The price of a consumer model weather radio varies depending on the model and its extra features, and can range from $15 to more than $70 in the United States and from $30 to $140 in Canada.

Governmental weather radio services

The United States and Canada both operate their government weather radio services on the same band.

Notable weatheradio services include:

Frequency Old name New name
162.4 MHz WX 2 WX 1
162.425 MHz WX 4 WX 2
162.45 MHz WX 5 WX 3
162.475 MHz WX 3 WX 4
162.5 MHz WX 6 WX 5
162.525 MHz WX 7 WX 6
162.55 MHz WX 1 WX 7

Commercial weather radio services

The weather radio band is reserved for governmental services. However, most AM and FM radio stations provide some sort of private weather forecasting, either through relaying public-domain National Weather Service forecasts, partnering with a meteorologist from a local television station, or affiliating with a commercial weather service company. Accuweather (through United Stations) and The Weather Channel (through Westwood One) both operate large national weather radio networks through AM and FM stations.


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