How should I prepare for a hurricane?

For up-to-date hurricane and severe weather information, even during a power outage, listen to your NOAA Weather radio. The Midland ER102 with emergency crank function keeps you alerted when the power is down. Keep extra batteries handy, as well as bottled water and canned food.

For more items helpful in an emergency, check out the National Hurricane Center’s disaster supply kit checklist:

For tips on preventing damage to your home and developing a family plan:

What is the difference between a tropical depression, tropical storm and hurricane?

Tropical cyclones are classified based on sustained wind speeds. Higher sustained winds are directly correlated to damage potential.

  • Tropical Depression: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 38 mph (33 knots) or less.
  • Tropical Storm: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph (34 to 63 knots).
  • Hurricane: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher. In the western North Pacific, hurricanes are called typhoons; similar storms in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean are called cyclones.
  • Major Hurricane: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 111 mph (96 knots) or higher, corresponding to a Category 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
When is hurricane season?

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th, and the Eastern Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15th to November 30th.

The National Hurricane Center describes the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season as mid-August through late October. However, deadly hurricanes can occur anytime in the hurricane season.

What is a hurricane?

NOAA Hurricane

According to the National Hurricane Center, a hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone, which is a generic term for a low-pressure system that generally forms in the tropics. The cyclone is accompanied by thunderstorms and, in the Northern Hemisphere, a counterclockwise circulation of winds near the earth’s surface.

A tropical cyclone is called a hurricane when maximum sustained winds reach or exceed 74 mph. In the western North Pacific, hurricanes are called typhoons; similar storms in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean are called cyclones.

What causes a tornado, and how do they form?

suprcell diagram

According to the Glossary of Meteorology (AMS 2000), a tornado is “a violently rotating column of air, pendant from a cumuliform cloud or underneath a cumuliform cloud, and often (but not always) visible as a funnel cloud.”  According to the Storm Prediction Center, in order for a vortex to be classified as a tornado, it must be in contact with the ground and the cloud base. A large variety of weather patterns can lead to tornadoes, but they most often occur in super cells – which are rotating thunderstorms with a well-defined radar circulation called a mesocyclone. A strong updraft of air into the storm may begin to rotate as the wind changes direction higher in the atmosphere, which can produce a rapidly rotating column of air that eventually makes contact with the ground – a tornado.  However, not all super cells will produce a tornado.

It’s this uncertainty and the tornado’s ability to form rapidly that make a weather radio essential in any home.

Can I use a Midland FRS/GMRS with other FRS/GMRS brands?

Yes, Our FRS/GMRS will work with any other FRS brand on the market today.

Why do I need a severe weather alert radio? Won’t any radio do?

NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) broadcasts National Weather Service weather alerts, warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day.

During severe weather, NWS forecasters interrupt regular broadcasting and send a special tone activating local weather radios. Weather radios equipped with a siren feature will sound a weather alert giving immediate information about a life-threatening situation.

Weather radios are called “indoor tornado sirens” because they broadcast tornado warnings as soon as they are issued and can wake you while sleeping. Outdoor storm sirens are meant only for warning people outdoors. They may not be heard at night or during a loud thunderstorm.

All Hazards Weather Alert Radios will sound for a variety of situations, including severe weather, hurricanes, tornadoes, amber alerts and civil emergencies. Portable versions of NWR like the Midland HH54VP2 and HH50 provide localized alerts to travelers, storm watchers and outdoorsmen.

Any radio won’t do because only a weather radio can receive NOAA broadcasts. A weather radio that can run on back-up batteries is the only way to ensure you receive severe weather and public alerts even without electricity.

How soon will my order be shipped?

Orders placed through our web page are processed by our office staff once each week day, and usually ship the next business day. For example, an order placed late in the day on Monday would be processed on Tuesday and shipped on Wednesday.

Backorders, holidays and other events beyond our control may cause further delays.

Can I have my order shipped to a PO Box?

No. All orders are shipped via UPS or FedEx and cannot be delivered to a PO Box.

How many broadcast towers are there?

There are more than 1,000 broadcast towers covering more than 99% of the U.S. population.

Whom do I contact for large quantity wholesale orders?

To place or track an order, obtain pricing, and get product information for consumer radio, accessories and parts, email or call  816.241.8500 ext. 261.

How close to the broadcast tower do I need to be?

Broadcast range from the weather radio transmitter is approximately 40 miles. The effective range depends on terrain, quality of the receiver, and indoor/outdoor antennas. Before you buy a receiver, make sure your area is covered by one of the transmitters. The goal of the National Weather Service and emergency preparedness agencies is to expand the reach of weather radio broadcasts to cover 95 percent of the U.S. population. Innovative partnerships between the NWS, private industry, and state and local governments are fueling this expansion. You can help foster such partnerships in your community. For more information concerning developing a partnership with the NWS, contact your local weather service office.

What is "NOAA Weather Radio"?

NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information direct from a nearby National Weather Service office. NWR broadcasts National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day. For more information visit:

What alerts are broadcasted?

Only the most imminent life- and property-threatening hazards are broadcasted with the SAME signal and 1050 Hertz warning alarm tone, when the public has to take immediate action to protect themselves and their property. An operational guideline is that alerts are only for hazards urgent enough to warrant waking people up in the “middle of the night” or otherwise interrupting someone’s activities at any time.

Why is my weather radio only running on batteries?

Please check and make sure that the adapter is plugged into the “DC Jack” and not the middle jack in the back of the radio.

Why is my WR100 weather radio not giving an audible Tone Alert on the weekly test?

The WR100 radio has been updated so the radio responds to the weekly and monthly test with only the visual alert. During the test, the Advisory LED will light up and the “Weekly Test” or “Monthly Test” message will be visible on the display. The radio will not sound an audible alert tone to avoid giving the impression of an actual alarm. The visual response to the test is confirmation that your radio is working properly.

Why is my weather radio not alerting for blizzards and winter warnings?

The NWS does not always tone alert for many winter storms, unless there is a dramatic change to the forecast. You may want to contact your local NOAA office to ensure that the alerts are being issued.

Once you have verified with the local NWS office that the alerts are being issued, and you verified that your weather radio is programmed correctly and it’s still not alerting, you can follow the instructions in the back of your user’s manual for warranty service.

Why have I not been receiving any of the alerts that have been issued?

Check to make sure that the correct codes have been entered and that you are on the correct channel for your county. Make sure that the reception is coming in clear. The “Alert on/off” switch MUST be turned on to receive alerts. If you are receiving poor reception then you may not get the alerts.

When does the warning/watch/advisory light turn off?

After an alert is received the light can remain on the radio from 15 minutes up to 6 hours. When the designated time has passed the display message and light will reset to their normal state.

What is the EXT alert jack used for?

The external alert jack is used for a strobe light or a pillow vibrator, etc. These items are used to assist the hearing or visually impaired community.

My WR300 manual says that the radio is defaulted to not give an audible alert tone for tornado warning. Is that the way the radio is supposed to work?

We apologize. This was a mistake in the manual. The asterisk was mistakenly placed by some alerts that are preset and cannot have the alert tone turned off. The alerts that you can see in the radio under “defeat siren” can be turned off, but all other alerts listed in the manual cannot be disabled and will give an audible alert tone.

I am having some reception problems. How do I get a clearer broadcast?

You can try moving the radio near a window or to a different location in the home to see if that will improve the reception. You also can try an external antenna to help improve the reception. You may be able to obtain an external antenna from your local electronics store.

How can I turn off some of the alerts on my WR100 that I do not want to be alerted for?

The WR100 cannot be programmed to only receive certain alerts.

How can I adjust the volume on my WR100?

The volume can only be adjusted when “weather” is displayed on the LCD. To adjust  the volume press “Weather/Snooze,” then press the up or down arrows several times to increase or decrease the volume.

What is the PC jack used for?

The PC jack is used for cloning like radios with like information, which is usually done in large quantities. It’s not made for consumers to use the radios with a computer.

Where can I find consumer radio service warranty info?

Warranty will vary according to model. All warranties are found on the last page of the owner’s manual.  If your radio needs to be repaired, please follow these simple instructions:

Out of Warranty:

Please call Midland Customer Service at 816-462-0438 for assistance.

Warranty Repair:

Please send your unit with COPY of receipt to:

Midland Radio Corporation
Attn: Repair Dept.
5900 Parretta Dr.
Kansas City, MO  64120

What is the warranty term on a weather radio?

Weather radios are warranted for one year from the date of purchase. Specific warranty terms and conditions can be found in the back of your owners manual.

Why does my weather radio have a "Check Reception" message scrolling across the screen and it beeps every 10 minutes?

The message and beep tone indicate that the radio has not received any weather alerts or test alerts in 10 days. If NOAA is forced to skip the weekly test and no alerts have been issued, the message can appear on the display.

To clear the message and beep you will need to reset the radio. To reset the radio, unplug the power cord and remove the batteries. Wait 15 seconds and reinsert the power cord and batteries. Once the radio has been reset the time will need to be programmed.  


What are the different types of tornadoes?

Tornado observers, storm trackers and storm chasers usually classify a twister based on its appearance. Tornadoes may not always have the classic “funnel” appearance – wider at the cloud base and narrower at the surface.

“Wedge” tornadoes appear to be at least as wide as they are tall.  “Rope” tornadoes are very narrow and often snake-like.  “Stovepipe” tornadoes resemble cylinders and can sometimes also fit into the definition of a wedge tornado.  While wedge tornadoes are generally regarded as the most intense, any tornado can be destructive, regardless of shape or size.

Exactly what is NOAA Weather Radio?

NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information direct from a nearby National Weather Service office. NWR broadcasts National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day.

During an emergency, NWS forecasters interrupt routine broadcasts with a special tone activating local weather radios. Weather radios equipped with a siren feature will sound an alert to give you immediate information about a life-threatening emergency situation like severe weather.

For more information visit:

How many tornadoes are there each year?

2011 tornado map

According to the Storm Prediction Center, recent trends indicate around 1,300 per year, give or take a few hundred. The actual average is unknown, because tornado spotting and reporting methods have changed so much in the last several decades that the officially recorded tornado climatologies are considered incomplete.

Also, in the course of recording thousands of tornadoes, errors are bound to occur. Events can be missed or misclassified; and some non-damaging tornadoes in remote areas could still be unreported.

What is Public Alert?

Public Alert logoPublic Alert is a certification by the Consumer Electronics Association to designate Specific Area Message Encoding (S.A.M.E.) products with superior performance and reliability in the U.S. and Canada. The Department of Homeland Security recognizes Public Alert for the dissemination of terrorism-related information.

What is the difference between a tornado watch and a warning?

A watch means severe weather is possible during the next few hours, while a warning means that severe weather has been observed, or is expected soon. A tornado watch is issued when conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes. Warnings may be issued based on Doppler radar-indicated rotation within a thunderstorm, suggesting tornado formation, or based on eyewitness reports of a tornado on the ground.

High winds, hail, heavy rain and lightning can knock out power. When you can’t turn on the television or your regular radio, a weather radio (either emergency crank or battery powered) is the only way you’ll be able to receive severe weather alerts and tornado warnings.

What is S.A.M.E.?


The National Weather Service uses NOAA Weather Radio to broadcast weather conditions, forecasts or alerts. Specific Area Message Encoding (S.A.M.E.) can be programmed so your weather radio only alerts you to severe weather and emergency warnings in your area.

If your weather radio has S.A.M.E., you can program it to sound an alert only if it affects your county. Most weather radios will allow you to program multiple S.A.M.E. county codes in case you would like to receive alerts for surrounding counties.

Find your S.A.M.E. code at