NOAA Weather Radio Information

All Hazards NOAA Weather Radios

NOAA Weather Radios (NWRs) are a low-cost home emergency alerting tool that can be remotely activated by the National Weather Service to broadcast life-saving warnings issued by first responders. When the power is out or if cell phones don’t work, an NWR can still get emergency messages to those who need the information.

Thanks to a grant from FEMA, the City distributed 12,000 free NOAA Weather Radios to Santa Rosa residents via nonprofit organizations and seven drive-thru distribution events. NWRs were initially given to residents residing in the City’s Wildland Urban Interface Area ahead of the start of fire season then expanded to all city residents.

How to Properly Insert Batteries to Avoid Resetting Your Radio

  1. In order for your radio to be operational, you need to insert the three batteries into the radio and plug the radio into a wall outlet.
  2. Lay the radio on a table to insert the first two batteries and hold in hand to insert the final battery while keeping your fingers off of the WEATHER/SNOOZE button.
  3. It is critical NOT to push the WEATHER/SNOOZE button when the final battery is inserted. This will reset the radio to factory specs and erase the Santa Rosa specific programming.
  4. If you have erased the programming, the display will read RESET, or WELCOME.
  5. If you need assistance re-programming your radio, refer to the Owner’s Manual provided with your radio.

How to Set the Clock Function on Your Radio

  1. Press MENU
  2. When SET TIME appears, press SELECT
  3. Use the up/down arrow to adjust the hour, going past 12 to decide between AM/PM.
  4. Once the hour is set, use the right arrow to move to the tens-digit for minutes and adjust with the up/ down arrows.
  5. Press the right arrow to advance to the single-digit for minutes and adjust with the up/down arrows.
  6. When you are done, press MENU twice to save and exit.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Do I need to have it plugged in and turned on all the time?
    Leave it plugged in and ON all the time, it will silently monitor for alerts. The batteries are a backup for any potential power outages.
  2. How do I set up the radio now that I have it?
    It has been pre-programmed, so all you need to do is take the radio out of the box, plug it into a wall outlet, and turn the ON/OFF switch on the side “ON”. The only button you may want to use is the WEATHER/SNOOZE button.  Pressing this button tells the radio to play the National Weather Service broadcast.  When you are done listening, press WEATHER/SNOOZE again and the radio goes back to silently monitoring their broadcast.  End-users need to insert the three batteries into the radio and plug the radios into a wall outlet.
  3. How do I set up the clock?
    Press MENU. When SET TIME appears, press SELECT. Use up/down arrow to adjust the hour, going past 12 to toggle between AM & PM. Once the hour is set, use the right arrow to move to tens-digit and adjust tens digit with up/ down arrows. Press the right arrow to advance to single-digit and adjust with the up/down arrow. When done, press MENU twice to save and exit.
  4. Where is the best location to place the radio?
    Keep the radio in your house, on the kitchen counter, in a hallway, on a bookcase….even beside your bed.  Extend the antenna for best reception.
  5. What does an alert sound like?
    If an alert is issued this radio will sound an eight-second alert tone, and then it will tell you what the emergency is. This function is automatic, as long as you leave the radio plugged into the wall with the switch on the side in the ON position.

  6. How often will I hear test alerts?
    Every Wednesday morning between 11 and noon the National Weather Service will send out its Required Weekly Test.  You may notice the ADVISORY light comes on, and ‘REQUIRED WEEKLY TEST” scrolls across the screen.  That means your radio is operating properly.
  7. Who do I call for technical assistance with the radio?
    Midland’s customer service number is 816-462-0459. Call anytime Monday through Friday from 6:00 am to 2:30 pm West Coast time. Or visit and click on the “Need Help?” icon.

More about All Hazards NOAA Weather Radios: