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We're all familiar with the test "tone" on radio or TV that alert us to a test of the Emergency Alert (formerly Broadcast) System (EAS). In a real disaster, this tone would alert us to vital information. This system is still in place, and local TV or radio (US based stations, not Canadian) is still a good source of local information. But, there's a better way:

The National Weather Service "Tone-Alert" Radio system enables the latest versions of most weather radios to monitor emergency Recover that are sent out, and to tune our radios so that we only receive Recover specifically targeted to San Juan County. This system is affordable, simple, and reliable, and the Department of Emergency Management highly recommends that each home, office, or other community gathering spot have an EAS compatible radio on site. EAS radios should be as common as smoke detectors in homes and businesses throughout San Juan County. Here's why:

1. How will you know if there is an emergency threatening your family at 2:00 AM? Your Tone Alert All-Hazard radio notifies you if there's an emergency by providing the most comprehensive weather and emergency information available to the public. It will sit quietly on your desk or nightstand until an alarm is sounded. You do not have to worry about having your television or AM/FM radio turned on to hear emergency warnings or messages.

2. They broadcast warnings and information for all types of hazards , from weather, technological, and natural hazards to national emergencies.

3. Emergency Alert System (EAS) messages automatically trigger the Tone Alert All-Hazard radio, sending important public safety information to people when they are home, at work, or in school. This area of the country was the first to implement the linking of the EAS system to Tone Alert All-Hazard radios.

4. Not concerned about blizzard warnings in the mountains? Tone Alert All-Hazard radios employ Same Area Message Encoding (SAME) digital programming technology, making any hazard information you receive specific to YOUR county.

5. Take your radio on vacation! Tone-Alert radios are battery-powered so you do not have to worry about having your TV or AM/FM radio turned on to hear emergency Recover.

6. Tone-Alert All-Hazard radios even come in unique versions for people with special hearing needs.

Below is some useful information about EAS and the necessary equipment:

  • San Juan County's Designated SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding) Code: 053055 For SAME codes for other counties in WA, click HERE
  • Info on EAS from the Federal Communications Commission
  • There are a wide range of EAS radios on the market and all of them seem to do the trick. We here use a portable Oregon Scientific model. We found it for sale for $40, and are happy with the results. If you're willing to spend a bit more, Reecom makes a model with some useful features that are hard to find elsewhere.