How to Program a Weather Radio Correctly and Easily in Just 4 Steps

Trying to figure out how to program a weather radio, and a bit frustrated? You’ve come to the right place.

Weather radios are a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest weather information during severe weather. While our phones and weather apps have gotten much better at notifying us of weather alerts, they’re not always timely. That’s why we recommend weather radios to anyone who lives in areas prone to severe weather, and we wrote this post on how to program a weather radio.

how to program a weather radio
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They’re not the most user-friendly, we’ll admit — so we figured this would be useful if you’ve just bought a weather radio yourself. JLeep in mind this only applies to weather radios with SAME technology. Standard alert weather radios cannot be programmed to filter out alerts that aren’t relevant. So let’s get started.

How to program a weather radio from Midland

Some of Midland’s radios are extremely easy to program, as nationwide SAME codes are already stored. However, some require manual programming. Navigate through the following menus:

  • WR100: Menu >> S.A.M.E. Set >> Single, Multiple, or Any >> Follow steps below
  • WR120: Menu >> Set Location >> Single or Multiple, or Any >> Follow steps below
  • WR300, WR400: Menu >> County Codes >> Single, Multiple, or All >> Follow prompts on screen

The video below might also help, although it’s based on a discontinued model. However the steps on how to program a weather radio from the company aren’t too much different in more modern Midland weather radios.

How to program a weather radio from eton

Some of eton’s newer weather radios now offer SAME capability, so here’s how to program a weather radio from that company. We will add new models as they’re released.

  • eton FRX5/FRX5BT: Menu >> Press WB button >> Single, Multiple, or All >> USA or Canada >> follow prompts

How to program a weather radio: step by step

midland wr300 weather radio
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Program a weather radio to receive alerts specific to your location using SAME codes.

Total Time: 15 minutes

  1. Locate your user manual online in case you get stuck.

    While the steps here will show you how to program a weather radio from most brands, there are some minor differences. You don’t need to find your user manual; we have links to the bestselling models below.

    Midland WR100 User Manual
    Midland WR120 User Manual
    Midland WR300 User Manual
    Midland WR400 User Manual
    eton FRX5 User Manual

  2. Find the strongest available frequency.

    Turn on your weather radio, and choose the station with the clearest signal, and the least static. Leave the weather radio on this frequency at all times for the best results.

  3. Find your SAME codes.

    Visit the NWS’ NOAA Weather Radio page on SAME codes to find your code. Click your state, then scroll through the list to find your county. Make sure that the frequency you’ve chosen serves SAME-encoded alerts for your county. If you’d like to listen for more than one county, most radios can handle multiple SAME codes. Write these down.

  4. Enter your SAME codes into your weather radio.

    Typically, this is found within the “Menu” option. Scroll to an option called SAME or codes or similar and press the select or enter key. Follow the prompts to enter your codes and press the select/enter key to ensure that it is saved. You might be asked if you’d like to enter single or multiple codes, choose single if you’d only like to be alerted to warnings for one code, or multiple for several codes (typically up to 6).

Weather radio programming tips

  • If you live on the edge of a county, consider adding the next closest county to you. This will give you advanced warning of potential incoming storms.
  • While weather radio is available to almost all Americans, there are areas where the signal will not be strong enough to properly read the static bursts that deliver SAME-encoded information. Your weather radio will not activate properly. Consider an external antenna. NOAA has a website where you can view coverage maps. Be sure to click the transmitter on the maps closest to you for more detailed propagation information.
  • Most weather radios can store multiple alerts even if you aren’t present to hear them. The type of alert is displayed on the screen, and will automatically disappear when the warning expires.

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