How to Program a Midland NOAA Radio

By Gene Erik

Tornado Hits Near Dimmitt, Texas, in 1995.
i Harald Richter, NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library, OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory

A NOAA radio can help keep you safe in severe weather. Although the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration does not endorse a particular brand, the Midland WR-100 weather radio receives NOAA broadcasts and is easy to operate, affordable and widely available. Program the radio properly to help ensure that you have time to seek shelter during a tornado or other emergency.

Step 1

Set up the radio. Install three AA batteries in the compartment on the underside of the radio to keep it running during power outages. Plug the radio into an electrical outlet, turn on the power switch and extend the antenna.

Step 2

Set the clock. The Midland radio is also an alarm clock. Press "Menu" and the up arrow button until the word "Time" appears on the display on top of the radio. Press "Select." Press the up arrow to change the hour and the right arrow to save the hour setting. Set the minutes using the same two arrow buttons and press "Select."

Step 3

Set the sleep alarm. Press the up arrow until "Alarm" is displayed. Press "Select." Press the up arrow to turn on the alarm and press "Select." Set the alarm time with the up arrow and right arrow buttons, the same way you set the clock and press "Select."

Step 4

Program the 24/7 NOAA weather channel for your area. Press the up arrow until "Channel" is displayed. Press "Select." Press the up arrow to scroll through the channels until you hear the strongest broadcast and press "Select."

Step 5

Program the radio to alert you to weather watches and warnings in your county. You must enter your county's six-digit NOAA SAME code, (short for Specific Area Message Encoding). Press the up arrow until "SAME Set" is displayed. Press "Select." Press the up arrow until "Single" is displayed and press "Select." SAME 01 will be displayed. Press "Select" again, and six spaces will appear for you to enter the county code. Press the up arrow to choose the first digit and the right arrow to save the digit and enter the next. Repeat until you have entered all six digits. Press "Select."

To enter multiple county codes, choose "Multiple." After each code, press Select, then the up arrow to enter the next code. When you are finished entering the codes, press "Menu" to return to the main programming menu. "Any" is the default setting and will pick up any county within the radio's range.

Step 6

Choose how the radio will notify you of weather alerts. Press the up arrow until "Alt Type" is displayed. Press "Select." Press the up arrow to find the alert option you prefer: "Tone," "Display" or "Voice." Press "Select," and press "Menu" to exit the programming menu. When storms are in your area and you hear the alert tone, press "Weather/Snooze" to listen to the alert message. Press the same button to hear weather forecasts and conditions; press it again to stop listening.