Recommended Accessories - Radio Shack Weather Radio


The old version of Radio Shack's 7 channel radio.  Tech America and Radio Shack were both owned by Tandy Corp.  Tech America is no longer around, so I have one dark gray version (TA), and one yellow model (RS), as seen in the pictures below.

The new version.  Still has all 7 NOAA Weather Radio Stations, but also has a nice display, and Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) feature provides local weather notices.  Available at your local Radio Shack for $49.99, Catalog #12-259.



One of the really dangerous things about camping is having a storm sneak up on you while you're sleeping.  Whether you're in a tent, Popup, or full sized RV, these are no match for lightning or tornadoes.  In 1988, a rare event happened in Florida.  We had a severe storm create a number of tornadoes.  We are known for lightning and hurricanes, but this was a new experience for a number of us.

It happened at night.  Many people were already in bed.  So how do you stay informed while camping?  A weather radio with an alert feature is the hot ticket.  Turn on the radio, select one of the 7 NOAA weather radio stations (pick the strongest), then put the radio into the alert mode.  When a severe weather alert is announced, a series of tones are transmitted.  These tones cause the weather radio to squawk.  The alarm is loud enough to wake all but the dead.

The radio can last a week on 3 "AA" batteries in this mode.  It has a low battery light when the cells get low.



Here's a close-up view of my weather radio.  Simple to operate and works extremely well.


I placed adhesive backed hooks near the ceiling in my Popup camper.  From this I'd hang my keys and the weather radio.



Kissimmee Florida, 1988 - TORNADO!

42 people died from the 9 twisters that night, 10 at the Ponderosa Park Campground.


Lightning - So misunderstood!

A couple of pictures to help kill some myths... rather than you.


This picture was copied from a presentation from our 45th Weather Squadron at PAFB.  It demonstrates the Faraday Effect.  The high voltage is traveling across the metal skin of the automobile, and around the person sitting safely inside.  Notice the arc from the wheel to ground.  The rubber tires provide NO PROTECTION.  Every week on a forum, someone is asking about whether their jacks should be pulled up, or about putting pads under the jacks.  Lighting just traveled a mile through air, a 1/2" thick piece of rubber isn't going to slow it down!

Get into a structure if available.  If not, get into a vehicle with a metal body.  Getting into a convertible with a soft top won't do you any good either.

If rubber actually provided some protection from lightning, anyone wearing sneakers would be protected, right?


Mother Nature plays by her own rules.  The myth about lighting always hits the tallest object just isn't true.  50' away from a metal light pole, lightning hits the ground.  I've witnessed similar events.  It will take the path of least resistance, but sometimes that's an ionized column of air near something it "should have hit".


If a severe storm is heading your way, you have a choice to make.  Stay in your tent/camper, or find a structure.  Your call.  Make the wrong choice, you may end up losing your life.  I know it's an aggravation having to leave the comfort of the camper and go stand in bath house or Laundromat until the storm passes.  Been there, done that.  Just not worth the risk staying to me.  Buy a weather radio, take the necessary precautions, live to camp another day.




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Last updated 04/06/05    All rights reserved.