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NOAA – One of the Best Kept Secrets on the Web

Some people say "Noah" and some people say "N, O double AA". Either way, they're all talking about the same organization, the "National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration"; perhaps the best-kept secret in government. Take a quick trip to the NOAA Web site and you'll immediately be struck by two things. They're about a lot more than the weather and they have one of the most beautiful websites on the Internet. You can find fascinating information on everything from giant squid, to climate, or NOAA satellite images. That's just the tip of the iceberg. The images throughout the website are stunning and the articles are filled with some of the most interesting stuff you can read online.

Since the mid 1990s, the NOAA's National Weather Service has been making its way into American homes by way of their NOAA Weather Radios. A lot of people rely on NOAA Weather Radios for immediate information about natural hazards like tornados, volcanic activity, strong winds, and earthquakes, as well as technological hazards like oil and chemical spills. The NOAA issues warnings and forecasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in all fifty states. It's no surprise that in the aftermath of 9/11 people have been wondering why the NOAA Alert system was not used to signal a national crisis. Will it be used in the event of another national crisis?

The NOAA says that they are an "all-hazards radio network, making it the single source for the most comprehensive weather and emergency information available to the public." In other words, weather radios won't just give you weather warnings. They're also tapped into the FCC Emergency Alert System (EAS), which means that if and when the President decides to issue an alert about a national emergency, it will go directly to your Weather Radio.

Though the system could have been used on 9/11, President Bush went directly to the broadcast media instead. The President's decision to forego an EAS alert sparked a quiet (though heated) national debate about how the EAS should be used. Is it exclusively a warning system? Or can it be used to report incidents after the fact as well?

The NOAA could be instrumental in handling a national emergency. In 2001, NOAA satellites helped save 166 people throughout the United States. As part of the Cospas-Sarsat international search and rescue system, the NOAA has helped rescue 12,889 people worldwide - including an amazing rescue of two people threatened by a bear after their plane went down in Alaska.

Given the impressive amount of information at the NOAA's disposal, it's no wonder they believe the Weather Radio should be as "common as smoke detectors" in US households, schools and offices. It could really help protect and save a lot of lives. That's why C. Crane integrated the NOAA Weather Band into the CCRadio-2 and CC Solar Observer. Like other ideal NOAA Radio's, these radios are easy to operate and durable. The CCRadio-2 also features a weather alert that sounds an alarm, and illuminates a small LED to let you know of any reported hazards on the way.

C. Crane has had many customers tell them how much they appreciate the Weather Band (WX) and NOAA alert features of the CCRadio-2 and the Sangean DT400W Digital Pocket Radio. Having these radios on hand gave them enough time to batten down the hatches and keep their families safe from the inclement weather heading their way.

You can learn a lot more about this remarkable organization at some ofthe following NOAA Web sites:

You can also hear the NWR text-to-speech voices of "Donna", "Tom" and "Javier".

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