NOAA Radio Coverage Assessment

26 Nov 2019:

The following is a message from Napa County OES to SARS members:

Napa County OES is evaluating the signal strength of NOAA Weather Radio transmissions throughout the County and we would like to invite local amateur radio operators to participate.   

Background 

NOAA weather radio broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be used as a redundant alert and warning system during local emergencies. This system could be especially useful to residents in rural areas of the county or during prolonged PSPS events, which have shown to degrade cellular communications. The following NOAA transmitters primarily service Napa County:

Transmitter Frequency
Big Rock Ridge KDX54 162.5 MHz
San Francisco KHB49 162.4 MHz
Monterey Marine WWF64 162.45 MHz
Monterey KEC49 162.55 MHz

For more information about NOAA Weather Radio go to https://www.weather.gov/phi/nwrfaq.

How You Can Get Involved:

The NWS sends weekly emergency test messages every Wednesday between 11:00 am and 12:00 pm. OES has requested that the test messages be sent at specifically 11:10 am for the next three Wednesdays (November 24, December 4, and December 11). We invite local amateur radio operators to tune in, preferably with a simple NOAA radio similar to the Midland WR-120B, and then respond to an online survey found at https://arcg.is/1eSG0O.  

Bottom line: Our intent is to determine if there are gaps in coverage areas as indicated on NWS coverage maps. Coverage maps can be found at https://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/coverage/ccov.php?State=CA.

The survey consists of the following five questions:

  1. What monitoring location were you assigned to?   *Note: Amateur radio operators should select “other” and input a general description from where they observed the transmission (e.g. home, work, etc., etc.). County staff will test locations 1 – 10.
  2. Did you receive the NOAA weather test message?      Yes or No.
  3. Where were you when you received the test message?   *Note: Address information will not        be released to the public and will only be used to map coverage or non-coverage areas.
  4. Can you receive NOAA weather broadcasts?      Yes or No.
  5. What type of device did you receive the NOAA test message broadcast on?      NOAA Weather Radio or nomenclature of advanced amateur equipment (e.g. handheld, base station, etc., etc.).

We estimate that participation will require 10 to 15 minutes of volunteer time.  

Please distribute this invitation throughout your club, volunteer group, or anyone you know has a NOAA Weather Radio and is willing to participate.

Please do not hesitate to call me if you have any questions or concerns. My office number is listed below.

Best wishes, 

Brentt L. Blaser

Emergency Services Officer

Napa County Office of Emergency Services

Office: 707.299.1575 | C: 707.480.6448

Email:  Brentt.Blaser@CountyofNapa.org LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brentt-blaser-a319ba5a/

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