What is the best weather alert radio?
I’ve updated this every year for awhile. This year, I’ve included a mod (modification) to my Midland WR120EZ. Why? Because it has a VERY LOUD alert with no volume adjustment for that (which is not an issue for most people) (see my mod below).
‘Best’ refers to the subjective majority opinion of those who have reviewed weather alert radios. The criteria ranging from quality, features, price, and ease of use.
Note: When minutes count, a weather alert radio may save your life! Especially important at night while you are sleeping!
The best weather alert radio
It has been in the #1 spot for several years:
Midland WR120EZ NOAA Weather Alert
(view on amzn)
The Midland WR120-EZ is a NOAA Weather Alert Radio. Why this year’s pick? Because it’s the best value for your money in my opinion.
It’s not expensive and there’s no excuse not to have one for the safety of your household and family – especially if you live where tornadoes are possible, or hurricanes, or severe thunderstorms (which covers just about everyone).
[ Read: 10 Ways To Know If A Tornado Is Coming ]
Best Things About this Weather Alert Radio
– Purpose built & specifically designed as a weather alert radio.
– Midland is a well known quality brand.
– It’s popularity reflects being a best choice.
– Excellent price and value.
– Great features, listed below:
Midland WR120-EZ Features
- ‘S.A.M.E.’ technology -Localized Reception
- Continuous Backlighting Option- Keeps the LCD on
- 25 Programmable Locations (counties /provinces)
- Color Coded Alert Level Indicators
- Alert Override automatically switches over to warn you of impending danger
- Time & Alarm Clock with Snooze
- Silent programming
- Single, Multiple, or Any S.A.M.E program settings
- 3 Selectable Warning Systems: 90dB Siren Alarm, Flashing LED, Voice Alert
- Uses 3AA Alkaline batteries for emergency power back-up
- All 7 NOAA / Environment Canada Weather Channels
- Stores up to 10 Different Previously Received All Hazards and Weather Alerts
- Public Alert Certified
- Over 60 Emergency Alerts
UPDATE: A commenter (below) emphasized the value of the national Emergency Alert System (EAS), which is part of this radio (and others).
“The real value is for SHTF EAS warnings. That’s up to and including presidential alerts.”
“Your local radio or television station may be part of EAS, but it’s unlikely to survive for long in a serious scenario, whereas NOAA Weather Radio is more resilient than most people realize – including government officials.”
Tip: The Midland WR120-EZ has a unique feature that lets you select which of the alerts you want the radio to respond to.
For example you might not want the tone alert for many of the “Advisory” or “Watch” alerts (maybe you just the “Warnings”). The radio will still respond to these alerts though by providing the text in the LCD display, but just not the loud tone.
The entire list of alerts may be viewed in the menu. You can set which alerts will sound the tone. Note that some alert tones such as “Tornado Warning” cannot be turned off to insure you get this very important alert.
The following is a very unique and effective add-on option,
A visual alert which will flash red when there’s a warning:
Tip: Lots of so called Emergency Radios have built-in weather alert functionality. That’s great! However this particular one is designed specifically as ‘just’ a weather radio. One would presume that it’s better because of that. (And the many features that you can access).
Midland WR120EZ Modification for Alert Volume
The alert on this weather radio is very loud. It’s supposed to be! Hey, it’s giving you a warning, right? And for most situations that’s perfectly acceptable.
Here’s my issue… if it’s in your bedroom and a severe thunderstorm or tornado warning is issued in the middle of the night, you’re going to hit the ceiling when you awaken to this alert!
I searched online for anyone having done a mod to this radio to adjust the alert volume. Couldn’t find anything. It’s apparently just the way the circuit is designed. So, I came up with my own modification to lower the volume. It works!
Don’t laugh! I used some white Artist/Drafting tape to cover over the speaker grill. The more you put on, the more it quiets the alert. There’s a menu setting in the radio to test the alert, so you can adjust the volume this way to your liking.
Okay. With that said, I also have the Sangean CL-100 weather radio (with AM/FM), and it does allow you to adjust that volume. It’s a very good radio too! In fact it’s overall audio quality (the radio portion) is very good.
Continue reading: Weather Radio Channel Listing & Frequencies
More about Emergency Radios: Emergency Radio Choices