Weather Radios and Travel

I definitely like to travel and I wish I could do so more often.

Furthermore,

I probably think about Weather Radios more than most though probably not as much as some of these younger people on YouTube.

By the way, my hat definitely goes off to these youngsters. When I was their age, I was indeed experiementing with electronics but I was the only one my age who was doing so.

The furthest any of my peers went with electronics experimentation was installing CB radios in their trucks during the latter parts of high school. Unfortunately this fad was very short lived.

I still think that I should have been born ten years later, but then maybe life would have been so great for me that I would not have realized my desperate need for Christ!

Still it is very refreshing and encouraging to see young people interested in radio electronics!

Anyway back to the subject at hand:

So far the past few months I had been thinking about Weather Radios, and specifically their application with travel, be it a short commute on foot, an Inter City/Inter State trip or anything in between.

I initially wanted to interview some Generation X former latch key kids who walked to and from school and see if any of them carried pocket sized weather radios for their travels. I wanted to document their experiences with this and post it in a blog piece. Unfortunately no one was willing to participate and for now, this project is sadly on the back burner and will likely be scrapped which is a disappointment to me.

Since I now have access to a reliable computer again, I am able to transcribe my thoughts and share them with the world in detail.

This is a real blessing to me.

Since 2016, (not counting childhood and adolescence) I have gone on quite a few road trips, either with friends or with now ex in laws.

For the majority of these trips I had carried some form of a Weather Radio and since 2015, I have also augmented this Weather Radio use with an app known as Midland Weather Center, which is truly a God send! If any executives at Midland and/or Google are reading this piece, please consider making the Weather Center app once again available on Google Play. It is a pain in the rear end to have to search for the APK every time I buy a new Android device. And if it is no longer available on iTunes, please reinstate it there as well. I prefer Android over iOS and actually cannot see myself ever purchase an iOS device, but I digress.

Before my time there used to be a Traveler’s Forecast features on most Weather Radio stations. I’ve been listening to Weather Radio for a little over twenty years and don’t ever recall hearing it. In fact, I discovered it by listening to vintage recordings of Weather Radio broadcasts. So, I know I have been reaching up to those in high places, but if any bureacrats in the government are reading this piece, please consider bringing back the Traveler’s Forecast!

While I am at it, I also want to reach out to the manufacturers of automobile electronics:
Very seldomly do I see Weather Radios featured in automobiles and I think that is foolish. Radio Shack made one years ago and some mobile CB transceivers feature Weather Radio, but why can’t Weather Band come standard on cars? It would not be that hard, plus there is the potential to save lives!

Look at me, I am on my soap box though I serious doubt that my suggestions are considered.

It was late January of 2017 and a friend and myself were traveling back home from Plano, Texas. We were in Northwest Louisiana between Shreveport and Alexandria when we had learned through the assistance of my trusty Midland HH50B that there was a tornado nearby. Through use of my Midland Weather Center app, I was able to determine are more precise location of the tornado and all I will say is Thank God that He kept it away from Interstate 49. Days earlier, on our way to Plano, my friend and myself were traveling West on the Interstate 20 corridor between Shreveport and Dallas when my Dad called concerned that there were tornadoes near us. I explained to him that the sun was shining and the weather was very pleasant. Apparently the weather he was concerned about made it way later than expected. I even checked on my personal Weather Radio to see if there was any tornadic threat and there was none at that moment.

Since the repetitiveness and computerized voices on modern Weather Radio broadcasts irritate some drivers, I keep my listening in the car to a minimum. However, every time we step out the car for any kind of stop I take my weather radio from my pocket or backpack and search for the nearest broadcast to have a listen. This is one of my traveling rituals. Fun fact: Another travel ritual of mine is to shave the instant I arrive in my hotel or motel room. And yet another travel ritual if I have money at least is to purchase a flashlight or calculator from at least one truck stop or travel center. Well I would also like some coffee, I definitely enjoy truck stop coffee and since once again I am living near a truck stop, I frequent purchase cups of coffee from there. Well lately it is been hot chocolate too, because it is the dead of winter at the time I am writing this piece. For the past thirty out of thirty five years of my life I always appreciated eating doughnuts while traveling and this dates back to the Summer of 1992 when the housekeeper at a motel gave me a pack of miniature doughnuts to eat. Another food item I like to purchase while traveling is a foot long hot dog, especially one where I can customize the toppings and prepare it myself. My favorite type of hot dog, of course is Chicago Style.

All of these thoughts have been cycling through my head for the past few weeks and a female friend of mine suggested I should write all of this down. I wanted to anyway, as most of you would probably have alread guessed…

Because my apartment was ruined by a wicked woman namde Ida, my government eventually set me up with a camper-trailer for residence. I thank God every day for this trailer because it is very nice and well furnished. I do have a weather radio contantly on standby next to my bed. It is a Midland WR-120EZ, my first one was destroyed by Hurricane Ida but I have since purchased a replacement. And, praise God, the Weather Radio signal makes it into my trailer perfectly fine!

Of course I also have one in my EDC backpack and a 1997 Radio Shack Weather Cube on my dining table, my first one was also destroyed by Ida (and Nicholas) and this too is a replacement. As one of the two birthday presents to myself, I purchased an Eton FRX1, the L. L. Bean Edition. It tunes in the Weather Band fairly well.

I think the next time a Hurricane threatens my area I will leave no matter what. I rode out Hurricane Ida and I should probably write a dedicated piece on those awful experiences. Of course, evacuating naturally means traveling and as this piece suggests, traveling and Weather Radios go hand in hand. Because of that, I will pack a more weather radios than what I usually carry anyway.

I appreciate how some rest areas and welcome centers have a Weather Radio feed available at the push of a button. That is usually the first thing I look for at one of these facilities unless I need to urgently answer nature’s call.

To encourage others to use Weather Radios with their travels, I think pocket sized models (especially the Midland HH50B) should be sold at truck stops, tourist gift shops, RV parts dealers and maybe even motel lobbies! There are a few other models I could think of and actually, I wrote a piece describing what I think would be the perfect EDC Weather Radio.

The highway I am near is planned to become an Interstate at some point in the future but the stretch of it near me is already built to Interstate standards. I’ve noticed that the cooler truck stops are located mostly near Interstate highway corridors. When I say cool, I specifically mean that they have a wide selection of gadgets to sell and all kinds of good food and drink. There are three truck stops within a few miles of me and one is even in walking distance but they are no where near as some of these that are located near “real” established Interstate highways.

While I have admitted that digital broadcast televsion significantly outferforms its former analog counterpart, there was one advantage analog had and that was it could be successfully received while in motion. In those days, many storm chasers would have analog televisions in their vehicles to get weather information from their local television meterologists. This was before the advent of smartphones and while most of us use technology to evade this sort of of weather if at all possible, storm chasers use this technology to chase this foul weather. They definitely carry weather radios when they travel although, while I carry them for safety and preparedness, they carry them to locate severe storms that will likely spawn tornadoes.

I know a lot of these aforementioned youngster who collect and display their weather radios on YouTube also carry them when traveling. I wish I could get more besides myself, them and a few others to carry weather radios, but only a few pay attention to my suggestions no matter how wise they may be.

I plan to continue to use a weather radio whether (no pun intended) traveling or not.

My biggest desire considering weather radio at the moment is to bring back the traveler’s forecast among other things.

Real human voices would also be nice, but I won’t hold my breath.

Weather is constantly changing and when traveling, the local environment is also constantly changing.

That’s two or more constantly changing variables.

But easy, free and relevant weather information avaialable whilst on the go mitigates some of the potential trouble and danger, provided one actually carries a Weather Radio.

I think I am running out of things to say.

Well it is late, actually now early.

It’s good to be blogging again though and I hope to be cranking out even more material.

I hope that you, the reader, have found this piece informative, enlightening and maybe even entertaining.

Thank you for taking the time to read and may God richly bless you!

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