NOAA Weather Radio Life-Saving Testimonials
NOAA Weather Radio - Saving Lives for 60 Years
Since its inception 60 years ago, NOAA’s Weather Radio has been credited with saving thousands of lives. All AcuRite Weather Alert Radios are NOAA-compatible.
NOAA Weather Radio Engineer Ron DeWaters says that by combining a NOAA Weather Alert Radio with a little research and an action plan, a family or individual can drastically increase the chances of surviving deadly weather. “Being disaster-ready is more than just knowing what to do in case of a storm,” says DeWaters. “Reception of the NWR alerts requires a NOAA Weather Radio receiver, like AcuRite Weather Alert Radio, which is different than the standard AM/FM receivers most people have in their homes and automobiles. The radio receivers provide early warning and increase lead-time to alert families of changes in the weather and emergencies in their area.”
Out of the Range of Sirens, Wooster, OH
In September 2010, an F2 tornado touched down in the Wooster, OH, area. One man spoke about his Radio helping to save his life, and the lives of his family, "I have a weather radio and pay close attention to it. When the Tornado Warning came on - I think about 5:20 PM - I went to listen to it and thought we might be in the path of it. I then looked out the front door and there it was, throwing my neighbor's barn in the air and coming toward me. I got my wife and daughter, along with our cat, then proceeded to a basement storage room where we covered ourselves with some moving blankets. Never have I been so frightened!! Thank God we are survivors. My point was to let you know that we now appreciate NOAA Weather Radio in a whole different way. It is quite possible you could have been responsible for saving our lives, as we are out of range of the warning sirens here."
When John, an employee at a manufacturing plant in Paris, Tenn., heard a tornado warning over NOAA Weather Radio on November 15, 2005, he wasted no time in warning the plant. The warning was issued 13 minutes before a strong F2 tornado touched down five miles southwest of Paris. Several more life-saving minutes would pass before it ripped into the Mohon plant. By that time, the Plant Safety Officer had already taken action, thanks to the early warning. “I got on the public address system and made the announcement to head to the storm shelters. There was a good 10 minutes to spare, and some people didn’t really believe it because the tornado wasn’t right on top of us.” When the tornado struck, approximately 250 employees were huddled in the plant’s pre-designated safety areas. The safety officer added, “I heard the roof coming off and things started flying.”
Early warning and NOAA Weather Radio, combined with the plant’s emergency preparedness planning, saved many lives that day.
Camping in a Remote Location, Mercer, WI
Avid campers, Larry and Rita, were visiting Turtle Flambeau Flowage in northern Wisconsin on July 27, 2010, to celebrate their wedding anniversary, along with their dog Lilly. The couple had set up for the weekend at campsite C11, which was equipped with one of the permanent picnic tables located around the recreation area. Familiar with how quickly Wisconsin weather can change, Larry kept his portable NOAA Weather Radio close at hand that day and paid attention to broadcasts advising of severe weather development. He advised neighboring campers of the broadcasts and possible developments.
After dinner, the couple secured their campsite and boat, all the while paying attention to numerous broadcasts about developing storms and tornadoes. Knowing their nylon tent, boat and screen house would provide little protection, they decided the campsite’s picnic table would be their shelter of choice. Made of large timbers of heavy wood, the 2,000-pound, 4x8-foot picnic table was more formidable and provided better protection from high winds and debris than anything else in the area.
Around 7:30 p.m., about five minutes before tornadoes hit the area, Larry heard the tornado warning over NOAA Weather Radio telling anyone in its path to take cover immediately. He immediately alerted the couple camping next door. Four adults and a dog crawled under the picnic table and used a tarp to keep the rain off as much as possible. The women were fully covered, but it was a tight squeeze and the two men were slightly exposed to the elements.
Within moments, "trees started coming down all around us," Larry said, and part of a pine tree clipped the picnic table on its way to the ground, pinning him so he couldn’t move. Additional trees fell across the picnic table/shelter, shifting the tree that had him pinned so he could scrunch in a little closer to the base. The group endured driving rain and relentless high winds for half an hour before the storm ended around 8 p.m. The hardy campers crawled from under the battered picnic table, except for Larry, who had suffered a fractured pelvis that kept him in the hospital for a week. In addition to the many trees and branches that came down, the screen house the couple had been in when the tornado warning sounded had been destroyed.
"If it were not for Weather Radio, we’d be dead," Larry told Carol Christenson, warning coordination meteorologist at NOAA’s National Weather Service office in Duluth, Minn. He said repeated updates of information clarified where the storms were and helped guide preparations for the moment when severe weather arrived. The tornado warning provided enough time to find the most substantial protection in a wilderness area.