Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Perfect Weather Radio

So, when my Weather Channel app looks like it did today, I'm pretty happy I've got the Reecom 1630.

Most of you know I'm the resident tech-head and early adopter for my little circle of influence.  Every since we moved back to Missouri and Joplin happened, I've had my eye on the sky and this nagging thought we should get a NOAA weather radio.

You know how the weather guy says, "The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a (Fill in the Disaster Blank here)?"  That info is broadcast nation-wide through a network of over 1000 transmitters.  The NWS constantly sends out local forecasts, time/date info, etc.  Certain radios pick up this signal and provide the same alerts you see on TV.  There are alerts for everything from volcanic eruptions to nuclear fallout and dust storms.  Warnings, watches, evacuations, they're all available through the NWS system.  The problem with the basic radios you pick up at Walmart is that they don't determine between fog in Boone county, nuclear fallout in Callaway or a hailstorm in Randolph.  Some of them just play the weather continuously, which is quite annoying.  Imagine the weather channel without Al Roker and Ice Pilots or Coast Guard Alaska.  

I know, terrifying.

When Suzi's mom asked recently about getting a weather radio, it finally pushed me over the edge. I did my research and discovered the Reecom.  The bonus is that it allows you to select specific warnings for specific counties.  As much as I'm sure that McBaine, MO needs to know when there's a flood warning at 2AM, I don't want to be rousted from my dreams by an ear-shattering siren declaring a disaster that's of no consequence to my immediate safety, 40 miles away.  Only want to hear about severe warning and impending icicles of doom in your immediate area?  This is your radio.

We bought five of them, one for each the families.

So, this is how it typically works... This past Saturday started out hot and clear.  We spent the morning on the Slip-n-slide and then decamped for cooler quarters for the afternoon siesta.  At 4.11PM the radio went off, and the robotic voice (named Donna) declared an impending severe thunderstorm with hail.  I went out, put the vehicles away and wrapped up the water park that our backyard resembled.  By the time, I got inside, the first drops were dimpling the dusty terra firma.  I called the neighbors to go roll up their windows and quicker than an Emeril BAM!, the storm was upon us.

In short, I love this thing.  You can pick one up on Amazon for $45 and that's money well-spent.

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