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  • Prepare for Hurricane Florence - get a weather radio!

    Hurricane Florence Tracking Map
    Map courtesy National Hurricane Center.

    Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the East Coast of the US, and is expected to make landfall within the next 24 hours. For those on or near the coastline, personal preparation for this monster storm should already be at or near completion. For those who are further inland, there is still some time to prepare, but the storm is closing in. Are you ready?

    If you don't have an emergency preparedness kit, build one now. You can find the list of the 13 most essential items needed for an emergency kit on The Department of Homeland Security's web site at https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit. You can also download a printable version of the FEMA emergency checklist in pdf format to print out and carry with you or post in a convenient location.

    Of course, one of three most important items on this list is a Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert.

    All of our handheld FRS and GMRS radios are battery powered, and many also feature NOAA weather channels with emergency and weather alerts. One model, the Midland EX37VP, is a complete FRS radio emergency kit with a flashlight and emergency whistle - two other items on the DHS emergency preparedness list. Choosing this model checks off multiple items on your list.

    Some of our portable weather radios, such as the ER210 and ER310, are multi-function devices equipped with built-in SOS beacons/flashlights, digital clocks, USB charging adapters, and multiple power options. These weather radios include a dynamo hand crank as recommended in the DHS emergency list, and even solar power!

    Some of our NOAA approved desktop weather radios, such as the Midland WR400, are not only equipped with S.A.M.E. Digital Technology, but also include other features such an emergency battery backup.

    We also have a weather radio that does it all in one unit. The Midland XT511 Base Camp Two Way / Emergency Crank Radio has almost everything you need for emergency communications. It's a 22 channel GMRS two way radio with NOAA all hazards alert weather alert radio, AM/FM radio, alarm clock, built-in flashlight, emergency hand crank, both AC and DC adapters, USB charging port, and hand microphone. The alert override automatically switches to emergency weather alert broadcasts while you listen to the AM/FM radio.

    There are many models to choose from, and the features vary. Which emergency radio is best for you? Our Emergency Weather Radio Comparison Guide lists some of our models and puts them all on one simple chart so you can compare their key features fast. The guide is FREE to download and print for your personal use.

    To learn more about emergency weather radios, listen to The Two Way Radio Show Episode 13 - Emergency and Weather Radios.

  • Severe Weather Alert - Tropical Depression Debby

    It is 2012 and hurricane season is here. Tropical Depression Debby is heading out to the Atlantic after hovering over the Florida coast for four days, flooding the peninsula with a seemingly endless barrage of rain. According to the National Weather Service, the flooding remains a threat. If you are located in or around these flood-prone areas, Are you ready?

    Have you put together your Hurricane Preparedness Kit? For those who haven't, now is the time to prepare. Get the official FEMA checklist of Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit or purchase one of the ready-made Survival /Emergency Kits from Buy Two Way Radios.

    Of course, basic necessities such as food and water are critical to have available and are top items on any emergency list. However, there are a other items on FEMA's list that are also extremely important. The third and fourth items listed in order of importance are a Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert. The next item? Extra batteries for both radios.

    Below is a list of radios that meet the federal requirements suggested in FEMA's list:

    Two Way Radios
    Midland GXT1000VP4 Radios With Headsets and Charger - A powerful 5 watt all-weather radio. Durable and water resistant, the GXT1000 VP4 features NOAA weather channels, NOAA weather alerts and a 3 year manufacturer warranty. This is our most popular GMRS radio.

    Motorola TALKABOUT MS350R Two Way Radios - Built for performance and designed specifically for extreme weather conditions, this radio is ready. The MS350R has 11 weather channels, operates on either rechargeable or disposable batteries, is submersible and floats. It even includes a built-in flashlight! This pack also includes an Emergency Preparedness Checklist Sheet.

    Motorola TALKABOUT T9680R-SAME Two Way Radios - One of the most powerful FRS/GMRS two way radios from Motorola, the T9680R is designed as a Hazard Alert radio with Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) technology, a system adopted by the National Weather Service to warn citizens of emergency situations within their immediate area. SAME monitors the NOAA weather stations in your region for emergency situations and hazardous conditions. The T9680R can operate on either alkaline or rechargeable batteries.

    Midland XT511 Base Camp Two Way/Emergency Crank Radio - This powerful device is the "swiss army knife" of two way and emergency radios.It's an FRS/GMRS radio, AM/FM clock radio with an alarm, and NOAA weather radio with weather alerts. It's also a flashlight. The Midland XT511 has five power options: AC wall power, DC vehicle adapter, rechargeable battery pack, alkaline batteries and a Dynamo hand crank. The XT511 even has a built-in USB connector to charge a USB device such as a cell phone in the event of a power outage!

    NOAA Weather Radios (receive only)
    Midland ER102 Emergency Crank Radio - The ER102 has the key features of the XT511 without the built-in GMRS two-way radio, but with a temperature indicator and freeze warning alert.

    Midland WR-120 Weather Radio - An All Hazards Alert weather radio that monitors the Public Alert system and features SAME technology to alert you to weather or civil emergencies in your area. It also includes an alarm clock with snooze and a blue backlit display. A battery backup, color coded alert light and external antenna jack round out the features.

    Midland WR-300 Weather Radio - The WR-300 has all the features of the WR-120 - with an AM/FM radio and alarm clock with snooze to boot.

    Midland HH54VP2 SAME Handheld Weather Radio - This compact, portable handheld radio is a great travel companion. It has NWS all hazard alerts with S.A.M.E. technology and other emergency alerts such as Amber Alerts, biological hazard warnings, civil emergency messages, nuclear power plant warnings, fire warnings and landslide warnings. But that's not all. The HH54VP2 also features a bulit-in alarm clock with snooze, user selectable alerts, color coded alert indicators, a large, backlit display with continuous backlighting option and battery backup.

    Midland HH-50 Pocket Weather Alert Radio - The Midland HH-50 is a weather radio that is so compact it fits in your pocket. It instantly auto scans for emergency and weather alerts as soon as you turn it on. The HH-50 supports all hazard alerts, emergency alerts, messages and warnings. This is a great choice for the travel size emergency kit in the car.

    There is no doubt communication is critical in any emergency, but when severe weather strikes, you need to be kept up to date on current, constantly changing weather conditions in your area. During such emergencies, power can go out, landlines can be lost and cell service can lose signals. In such situations, a radio may be your only means of communication and important weather alerts.

    Don't wait for the next storm to hit before you prepare. Whether you buy it or make it yourself, get your Hurricane Preparedness Kit ready now.

    For more information on emergency weather radios, listen to The Two Way Radio Show Episode 13 - Emergency and Weather Radios.

  • It's National Hurricane Preparedness Week - Get Ready!

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    This week - May 27th through June 2nd - is National Hurricane Preparedness Week. With the coincidental arrival of Tropical Storm Beryl, we've already had a taste of what this 2012 hurricane season could be like. Beryl was not even a category one hurricane, yet this storm packed a considerable punch with wind and rain, causing power outages and cancelling Memorial Day events along the Florida and Georgia coasts.

    Tropical Storm Beryl is said to be the most powerful tropical storm in recorded history to hit the Atlantic coast of the US outside of hurricane season, which officially begins today, June 1. But it wasn't the first cyclone to jump the starting date. Tropical Storm Alberto, which formed off the coast of South Carolina, claimed that spot in mid May.

    The National Weather Service advises everyone to be prepared for hurricane season this week. Develop an emergency plan of action and/or evacuation in case of an emergency. Prepare an emergency disaster kit with basic provisions, including:

    Collecting everything you need to build an emergency kit can be time consuming and even a bit daunting, especially if you are someone who is always busy or on the go. For those who want to be prepared but don't have the time or patience to go on a scavenger hunt for emergency supplies, you can get one already prepared for you. Buy Two Way Radios now carries a complete line of emergency and survival kits, from the Basic Necessities Emergency Kit to the Four Person Survivor Kit.

    Of course, our specialty is radios. For the NWS Emergency Preparedness List posted above, we recommend the Midland ER102 Emergency Crank Radio or the Midland XT511 Base Camp Two Way / Emergency Crank Radio. The XT511 is also an FRS/GMRS two way radio, which could come in handy if land line or cell phone communications are out.

    For a complete overview of these and other emergency/weather radios, read the Weather Radio Buyer's Guide. To help you choose the best weather radio for your situation, check out our Emergency Weather Radio Comparison Guide.

    So far we've had two storms in one month, before the hurricane season has even begun. Is this just an anomaly, or a shadow of things to come? Does it really matter? The National Weather Service advises us all to get ready, always be ready, because you just never know until the next storm comes.

    For more information on emergency weather radios, listen to The Two Way Radio Show Episode 13 - Emergency and Weather Radios.

  • Emergency Weather Radio Comparison Guide

    weather radios.png
    Hurricane Season is just around the corner and the National Weather Service has advised us all to be prepared. According to the NWS, one important item to have on your emergency preparedness list is an emergency weather radio.

    But which weather radio is right for you? There are a lot of radios available with a lot of features and options. Every radio may not be right for everyone or every situation. What is the best weather radio for your family or business? Which one should you choose?

    Not to worry. Buy Two Way Radios created the 2012 Emergency Weather Radio Comparison Guide to help you find the radio you need.

    This comparison chart includes all the current models we offer as an authorized Midland dealer, from the compact, easy to carry Midland HH50 Pocket Weather Alert Radio to the full-featured Midland XT511 Base Camp Two Way/Emergency Crank Radio, considered by some as the "swiss army knife" of emergency radios. The radios and their features are organized into a simple chart so you can compare them all easily.

    The Emergency Weather Radio Comparison Guide 2012 is FREE for download and ready when you need it.

    Here is a quick overview of some key features included with these weather radios.

    Emergency
    Weather Radios
    Weather
    Channels
    Weather/
    Hazard Alerts
    SAME Clock AM/FM
    Radio
    Backup
    Power
    Midland HH50
    Midland HH54VP SAME
    Midland HH54VP2 SAME
    Midland WR-120
    Midland WR-300
    Midland ER102
    Midland XT511

    For more information about choosing an emergency weather radio, listen to The Two Way Radio Show Episode 13 - Emergency and Weather Radios.

  • Are You Prepared for a Hurricane?

    We are now in the middle of the 2011 hurricane season. Hurricane Irene recently stormed across the Atlantic, hitting the Bahamas and the Eastern seaboard of the US. Another storm is currently forming off the coast of Africa and has a 70% chance of becoming a tropical depression within the next 48 hours. If you live or work in areas prone to hurricane activity, there is only one question to ask. Are you ready?

    Do you have a Hurricane Preparedness Kit? If not, FEMA has a checklist of Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit so you can build your own.

    The first two items on FEMA's list are obviously the most critical: water and food, in that order. The third item on the list? A Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both.

    Radios that meet the requirements suggested in FEMA's list include the following:

    Two Way Radios

    Midland GXT1000VP4 Radios With Headsets and Charger - The GXT1000VP4 is a powerful 5 watt radio designed for use in all types of weather. It is durable, water resistant, supports NOAA weather channels, NOAA weather alerts and includes a 3 year manufacturer warranty.

    Motorola TALKABOUT MS350R Two Way Radios - The MS350R is a brand new high performance radio from Motorola. The MS350R is designed specifically for use in extreme weather conditions. It also features 11 weather channels and a built-in flashlight. The MS350R operates on rechargeable and disposable batteries, is submersible and also floats. The package even includes an Emergency Preparedness Checklist Sheet.

    Motorola TALKABOUT T9680R-SAME Two Way Radios - The Motorola T9680R is one of Motorola's most powerful consumer two way radios. It is built as a Hazard Alert radio and features Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) technology, adopted by the National Weather Service to alert the public to emergency events in their specific area. SAME monitors the NOAA weather stations for you pro-actively and alerts you to emergency weather and hazard conditions. Like the MS350R, The T9680R operates on both rechargeable and alkaline batteries.

    Midland XT511 Base Camp Two Way/Emergency Crank Radio - The Midland XT511 is a powerful, all-in-one two way radio that is the perfect choice for any emergency kit. It is, for all intents and purposes, the "Swiss army knife" of radios. It features an FRS/GMRS radio, flashlight, an AM/FM clock radio with an alarm, and NOAA weather alerts. The Midland XT511 offers five power options, including an AC wall power adapter, DC vehicle adapter, rechargeable battery pack, alkaline batteries and can be powered and charged using the Dynamo hand crank. The XT511 also includes a USB connector so you to charge your USB enabled devices (including many cell phones) in case of a power outage.

    NOAA Weather Radios (receive only)

    Midland WR-120 Weather Radio - The WR-120 is a basic All Hazards Alert weather radio and supports the Public Alert system and SAME technology. When a weather or civil emergency alert is issued in your specific area , an alarm goes off and a text alert is displayed. The WR-120 also features an alarm clock with snooze, a blue backlit display, battery backup, color coded alert light, and external antenna jack. The WR-120 is also tri-lingual and supports English, Spanish or French languages.

    Midland WR-300 Weather Radio - The WR-300 offers many of the same features as the WR-120. In addition the WR-300 allows you to choose between an alarm alert, an LED alert, or both.

    Midland HH54VP2 SAME Handheld Weather Radio - The Midland HH54VP2 is a small, portable handheld radio ideal for use when travelling. The HH54VP2 supports all NWS hazard alerts utilizing S.A.M.E. technology. The HH-54VP2 also provides other emergency alerts such as Amber Alerts, biological hazard warnings, civil emergency messages, nuclear power plant warnings, fire warnings and landslide warnings. The HH-54VP2 also features an alarm clock with snooze, a large, backlit display with continuous backlighting option, user selectable alerts, color coded alert indicators, and battery backup.

    Midland HH-50 Pocket Weather Alert Radio - The Midland HH-50 is an extremely compact weather radio that easily fits in your pocket and auto scans for emergency and weather alerts from the moment you turn it on. The HH-50 supports all hazard alerts issued by the National Weather Service as well as other types of emergency alerts, messages and warnings. Its extremely low cost, light weight and small footprint make it a good choice for a small emergency kit in the car or on the go.

    Whether at home or away, on land or water, a radio is an indispensable item for any emergency preparedness kit. When a weather emergency hits your area, alerts and updates on ever changing weather conditions can be vital to your safety or survival. Two way radio communications can also be critical in such emergencies, especially if you lose your landline, cell phone service or power. For more information on emergency weather radios, listen to The Two Way Radio Show Episode 13 - Emergency and Weather Radios.

    Don't be caught off guard during the next weather alert. Assemble your Hurricane Preparedness Kit now.

    UPDATE: We now carry a complete line of emergency preparedness and survival kits, including the Emergency Zone Severe Weather Emergency Kit. Add your choice of two way radio and be ready for an emergency or weather disaster now!

  • It's Hurricane Season - Are You Ready?

    wea00418_caption.jpgToday is June 1, 2011. While today may seem to be of little significance to the average person, the first day of June is an important marker for folks along the Gulf coast and across the eastern seaboard of the United States. Today marks the official start of the 2011 hurricane season.

    According to The National Weather Service, NOAA predicts an above-average season for hurricanes in 2011, forecasting 12 to 18 named storms with winds 39mph or higher, six to ten of which could become hurricanes with winds 74mph or higher. Of those, NOAA predicts between three and six could become major category 3,4, or 5 storms.

    NOAA also predicts each of these ranges has a 70% likelihood, but does not predict when or where any of the storms will hit. "The tornadoes that devastated the South and the large amount of flooding we've seen this spring should serve as a reminder that disasters can happen anytime and anywhere", FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate was quoted as saying on NOAA's web site. "As we move into this hurricane season it's important to remember that FEMA is just part of an emergency management team that includes the entire federal family, state, local and tribal governments, the private sector and most importantly the public," Fugate said.

    The uncertainty is all the more reason to be prepared. To help everyone get ready, NOAA prepared a series of audio and video public service announcements to educate the public. They are available in English and Spanish at http://www.hurricanes.gov/prepare.

    Communication is a key component in the preparation for any weather event. Staying on top of ever changing weather conditions before and during a hurricane can mean the difference between life and death. NOAA does a great job of providing up to date, localized weather alerts to keep everyone informed and ready for weather emergencies. However, they can only send out the warnings. It is still up to the public to receive them, hear the warnings and heed instructions. Fortunately, there is an easy and inexpensive way to stay tuned in. Emergency weather radios.

    Emergency radios come in a number of types and packages. They are easy to set up and easy to use. They are also inexpensive, some as economical as the cost of bottled water and some batteries. For instance, the Midland HH-50 Pocket Weather Alert Radio is a small, pocket-sized device that fits in the palm of your hand and is capable of receiving all hazard alerts from the National Weather Service as well as other emergency alerts, such as amber alerts, nuclear power plant warnings, biological hazard warnings and civil emergency messages and warnings - and it costs less than $20.

    The Midland HH54VP Portable Emergency Weather Alert Radio is a handheld radio with S.A.M.E. technology, a system that allows you to program the radio for emergency alerts in specific or localized areas. The HH54VP features an alarm clock with snooze, a large, backlit display with continuous backlighting option, battery backup, user selectable alerts and color coded alert indicators.

    Desktop models include the Midland WR-120 and WR-300 weather radios. Also featuring S.A.M.E. technology, these radios sound an alarm when NOAA activates the emergency alert system and are designed to wake you up in case of a weather emergency such as a tornado, where every second counts. These units can be programmed to receive alerts for multiple areas and feature battery backup systems so you can stay informed of emergency weather conditions even if you lose power.

    Perhaps the most versatile of all these emergency radios is the Midland XT511 Base Camp Two Way/Emergency Crank Radio. It is a combination FRS/GMRS two way radio with NOAA weather alerts, AM/FM receiver, alarm clock and three LED flashlight all built in. The feature set is quite useful, but the real versatility is in the power options. It runs on AC, AA batteries, is rechargeable, and can be powered and recharged with a built-in hand crank. It even includes a USB port so you can charge your cell phone with it. The Midland XT511 is definitely a handy radio to have, especially when the power goes out.

    No doubt a good radio is indispensable in any weather emergency such as a hurricane. Of course, it's not the only thing you need, but it is an important item to have in your kit as part of your emergency preparedness plan.

    May 22-28, 2011 was National Hurricane Preparedness Week. While that week has ended, the true deadline for preparedness is the moment a hurricane hits your area. Don't wait until the warnings are issued to get ready. Prepare now.

    For more information on emergency weather radios, listen to The Two Way Radio Show Episode 13 - Emergency and Weather Radios.

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