I had known about Weather Radios since July of 1997, though I didn’t know much about them.
I wouldn’t actually own a Weather Radio until December of 2001. It was an Oregon Scientific WR-8000 and I had it until some point in 2003.
I didn’t EDC a dedicated Weather Radio permanently until June of 2015, but in my teen years, I frequently EDCed an FRS transceiver.
The model of FRS transceiver that was my favorite during my teen years was a Motorola Talkabout T6250 and it had a built-in Weather Radio with a Standby Alert function.
I used this radio very frequently to get Weather Alerts whilst on the go.
One event that stands out took place in the Spring of 2004. This was about a month before I became stricken with my disability, so I was volunteering as the camera guy for my high school football team. It was an overcast day and I had my Motorola Talkabout in my pocket with the Standby Weather Alert feature activated. I was also standing on top of the press box of my high school’s football stadium. The Weather Alert feature worked flawlessly and I was notified of a Severe Thunderstorm Warning. I took shelter inside the press box and continued recording, but was subsequently chewed out by the head coach over my fear of lightning. However, I felt vindicated when the school’s lightning detector sounded and practice was temporarily called off.
In this piece I wanted to document accounts from other people who may have EDCed a Weather Radio.
My initial focus was to interview members of Generation X and the oldest of Millennials, former latch key kids who walked to school.
Of course I would have also appreciated any input from any coach/athlete (especially golfers), mariner, farmer, aviator, or anyone else who is engaged in outdoor activities
The reason why I am singling out those two generational cohorts is that dedicated, pocket sized Weather Radios were not marketed to the consumers until the early 1970s. They are still marketed now in 2022, even with the advent of smart devices. And I’ve noticed from watching YouTube that there is a plethora of teens and early twenty somethings (Generation Z) who are highly fascinated by Weather Radio and radio electronics in general. When my generation (Millennials) was that age, very few were interested in radio electronics, except for those that used them for hunting and fishing. I was the exception to the rule and I, for some time, have felt that I should have been born ten years later. All in all, in the 1970s until about the early to mid 2000s, the most practical way to get instant, almost on demand weather data whilst on the go was to use a Weather Radio. So, I have figured that maybe there were some latch key kids from that time period who listened on pocket portable Weather Radio in order to be better prepared for their foot commute to and from school or wherever else they went. Unfortunately, just about everyone I asked didn’t reply. I’m not sure if it’s that they personally didn’t EDC a Weather Radio or if they don’t like the somtimes controversial nature of this blog. I wish I could have received some input to make this piece better than what it currently is.
By the way, the Weather Radio that which I am currently EDCing for commuting on foot is a Kaito KA-210, which also receives AM and FM. I had used it extensively when I was living close to my church and would commute there on stormy Wednesday afternoons. I have also been known to EDC a Midland HH50B, but more or less for long distance traveling, because of its automatic scan feature.
I do wish I could get some input for this this piece, maybe if not from former latch key kids, but from others who spent considerable time outdoors for either work or play.
I know that Weather Radios are typically associated with affluent white people and up until recently were almost seen as a status symbol.
Maybe this is why latch key kids didn’t use them to walk to school and thus the reason why I couldn’t get any data.
For coaches, unless they are college or professional coaches, they likely do not make much money if any money at all. But maybe the local school board or recereation districts could have furnished them with a weather radio of some sort, I mean for their safety not to mention the childrens’ safety. I have seen tabletop or permanently installed Weather Radios deployed in the building of government entities quite a bit. Actually about thirty years ago (at the time of writing this), before I wanted to be a writer or knew that there was such a device as a weather radio, I had envisioned a school teacher who walked to and from his job and carried a radio (let’s assume AM/FM) every day for weather related information. As for professional golfers, I know many of them EDCed Weather Radios, because the lightning danger that goes hand in hand with golf. And since golf and Weather Radios are both considered status symbols, the two likely go hand in hand.
For mariners, those that are indoors have a fixed mount VHF Marine Radio and those that are outdoors, such as deckhands riding on barges, have a portable, waterproof VHF Marine Radio and I know that Weather Radio comes standard on just about ever VHF Marine Radio.
I have read about farmers using Radio Shack Weather Cubes, probably because they were simple and cheap, but not easily EDCed. They likely though had them in their barns or coops. They probably had Weather Radio available on their mobile CB transceivers or on other two way radios installed on farm machinery with cabs. I know that in modern times, Midland Micro Mobile GMRS radios are very popular with farmers and they have Weather Radio receive capability. Since a good portion of the VHF Low Band is not used, I think there should be a license free FM two way radio service that is used for rural areas. I’m thinking it could be on 49 MHz with a five watt output and be allowed any type of antenna that one wishes to use.
For aviators, maybe they had a Weather Radio in their flight bags (especially those that fly smaller planes) but there was also weather forecasts broadcast in AM on longwave non directional aviation beacons. This service is probably totally phased out by now.
So, I don’t think I am the only one who regularly EDCs a Weather Radio, but I wish I would be able to find examples of others who do or at least did back in the day.
I know there are some who want to do away with Weather Radio, which would disappoint many people, especially those Zoomers on YouTube and myself.
However, I think it is very much needed, at least as a means for just about anyone to receive vital, sometimes life saving weather data and for free.
If you are reading this link and know of any situation you were personally involved in where EDCing a Weather Radio proved beneficial, please drop me a line and I will either include it in this piece or a subsequent piece.
I wish there was more content for me to provide on this subject by I hope that you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened and entertained, at least to some degree.
May God richly bless you!