Weather radios are a must-have in storm-prone Alabama

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Elise Anzaldua

Tornado season is getting started, and in the wake of Tuesday’s storms across West Alabama, now’s the time to consider picking up a weather radio if you don’t yet have one.

On Monday, March 21, Tuscaloosa County Emergency Management Agency Director Nick Lolley and WVUA 23 Chief Meteorologist Richard Scott hosted a weather radio programming event ahead of Tuesday’s severe weather.

Weather radios get automatic warnings from the National Weather Service whenever they’re turned on. Unlike normal radios, weather radios will broadcast weather alerts and emergency announcements no matter the conditions.

Lolley said weather radios can truly be live-savers.

“They’re very important because they’re very loud and a lot of our storms come through at nighttime,” Lolley said. “They wake you up and they’re very consistent. We have not had a problem with those.”

Weather radios are battery-powered, meaning they’ll broadcast even when the power’s out. They can commonly be found online or at local big-box retailers including Target, Walmart, Ace Hardware, Academy Sports and Outdoors and Tractor Supply Company. Prices start around $30.

Once you have your radio, you’ll need to get it programmed so it can receive local broadcasts. It’s more complicated than tuning into an AM or FM radio station, but if you’re having problems figuring things out, you can take your radio to your local EMA or fire station, where first responders can program it for you.

The Tuscaloosa County EMA has codes for Tuscaloosa and surrounding counties right here.

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