‘America Is Safer When Our Schools Are Safer’: U.S. Schools Receive Life-Saving NOAA Public Alert Radios

August 19, 2008

Federal agencies have begun distributing more than 182,000 Public Alert Radios to preschools, Head Start programs, K-12 nonpublic schools and nonpublic school central offices, K-12 school district offices and post-secondary schools. In two earlier phases, the federal government distributed radios to all 97,000 K-12 public schools across the country, bringing the program to a close this September with life-saving radios in every school in the nation.

The radios sound an alarm to alert school personnel about hazardous weather and other emergencies, even when other means of communication are disabled.

The radios are distributed by the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and assistance from the departments of Education and Health and Human Services.

NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards.
NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Commonly known as NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, these Public Alert Radios provide alerts and safety steps on a wide range of emergencies — from an approaching tornado, a telephone outage disrupting 911 emergency services, local roads overrun by flash floods, a derailed train posing a hazardous material threat, or the urgent need to be on the lookout for an abducted child.

The program also encourages school officials, emergency managers, human service providers, and Citizen Corps Councils across the country to partner and align their efforts with local emergency plans to build overall community preparedness. By coordinating with their local emergency managers and Citizen Corps Council, schools also can obtain technical and other assistance to improve their school safety plans and other emergency preparedness efforts.

For additional information on the Public Alert Radios for Schools program, see the Web site.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.