Straight from the Heart Advice from WBIR Chief Meteorologist Todd Howell:
The Importance of Weather Radios
Severe weather can happen anytime during the year, not just in the spring. Every home needs a working Weather Radio. Statistics show that in today's society the majority of citizens get their severe weather information from television, but what about the times when your television isn't on, say for example in the middle of the night while you are sleeping? This is where a working Weather Radio can save your life during severe weather...day or night. These radios are affordable, and are well worth the investment.
Click link for all the counties' codes: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/ccov.php?State=TN
When shopping for a weather radio, purchase one with a tone alarm. This is really a big key to the whole equation and radios without this feature are unable to alert you during severe weather. When the radio is in alert mode, it is on but silent, listening for the special tone that the National Weather Service puts out when a watch or warning is issued that will activate the alarm on your radio. This will serve as an "alarm clock" for you relative to severe weather, especially when you are sleeping or away from your television. Once you receive the alarm, you can listen to the radio message and tune into the WBIR Weather Center for the latest information.
You should also look for one with S.A.M.E. technology which stands for Specific Area Message Encoding and it allows the user to program their radio so that they get alerts for a SPECIFIC county or counties! For example if you want Knox County watches and warnings only, you are able to program this radio to accomplish that. You can program your radio with as many or as few counties as you like.
A battery backup is also critical in case of a loss of power, which can happen when severe weather occurs.
Just like a smoke detector against fires, this radio is the best and cheapest life insurance policy you can buy for yourself and your family against severe weather.
Todd Howell, Chief Meteorologist