Special-Needs NOAA Weather Radio
for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Individuals
Vincent T. Wood
National Severe Storms Laboratory
James K. Purpura
National Weather Service
1. What is NOAA Weather Radio?
- NOAA Weather Radio receives National Weather Service (NWS) warnings, watches, forecasts, and other hazard information 24 hours a day. Click to view document:
2. What is the special-needs NOAA Weather Radio?
- The special-needs NOAA Weather Radio has recently been designed to adapt to the needs of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.
- The Radio can warn deaf and hard-of-hearing persons of hazardous conditions, giving them around-the-clock, up-to-the-minute weather information.
- The Radio is a weather alerting system that can be a lifesaver, much as the now commonly-used smoke detector with flashing light, for deaf and hard-of-hearing persons.
3. What are the weather alerting needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing persons?
- Visual and vibrating alarms and simple text readouts are provided.
- Three warning lights indicate level of alert (Statement, Watch, or Warning).
- Liquid crystal display readout indicates specific warning such as "Tornado Warning" or "Thunderstorm Warning", etc.
- Programmable state/county selections screen out warnings for other areas.
- Accessible technology, now being developed, will enable deaf and hard-of-hearing persons to obtain NOAA Weather Radio alert messages in text format.
- The battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio can be portable at home, work, school or play, or while traveling, boating or camping.
- For deaf-blind persons and hearing-impaired persons with low-vision, special-needs NOAA Weather Radio receivers may be equipped with special adaptions which convert the weather messages into large print and/or Braille version without depending on volunteering reading services.
4. What does the special-needs NOAA Weather Radio do in times of inclement weather?
- When an alert is broadcast on the NOAA Weather Radio, it will send a signal which then activates one of the following accessories:
- Pillow vibrator to wake individuals from sleep.
- Strobe light to alert individuals during waking hours.
- Bed shaker to shake a bed to wake individuals up.
5. Where can you obtain information on the special-needs NOAA Weather Radio?
- Click to view document:
Mention of these commercial products does not imply endorsement. Click to view Disclaimer.
6. In addition to using the Radio, deaf and hard-of-hearing persons should educate themselves on weather safety. Where can they learn weather safety?
- Weather safety education is highly recommended for deaf and hard-of-hearing persons to understand basic weather knowledge. This education is vital in preparing them to respond properly to weather threats. Contact your local National Weather Service office, your state emergency management agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or your American Red Cross chapter that may help you with the following:
- Educate yourself concerning the threat and danger of various weather hazards.
- Familiarize yourself with weather warnings.
- Attend safety talks.
- Follow basic safety rules.
- Develop a family disaster plan for weather emergencies.
- There are many excellent weather education sources containing detailed information on weather safety and various types of weather hazards on the Internet. Click to view document:
- Brochures can be viewed and downloaded from the Internet. Click to view brochures. A few brochures are available in Braille form.
- The Emergency E-mail Network is a national, free public service that can send you e-mail notification on natural disasters or other emergencies in your area. Click to view Emergency E-mail Network.
Comments or questions about the Special-Needs NOAA Weather Radio may be sent to Vincent Wood or Jim Purpura.
Last updated on 4 April 2005.