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Using NWR SAME

After buying an NWR SAME receiver, you must program your county, parish, independent city or marine area into the radio. Do NOT program your radio for a louder or clearer station not designated as a SAME channel. You will not receive alerts.Once programmed, your NWR will then alert you only of weather and other emergencies for the county(s)/ area(s) you chose. NWR receivers with SAME, alert for emergencies anywhere within the coverage area of the NWR transmitter, typically several counties, even though the emergency could be well away from the listener.
  • When an NWS office broadcasts a warning, watch or non-weather emergency, it also broadcasts a digital SAME code that may be heard as a very brief static burst, depending on the characteristics of the receiver. This SAME code contains the type of message, county(s) affected, and message expiration time.
  • A programmed NWR SAME receiver will turn on for that message, with the listener hearing the 1050 Hz warning alarm tone as an attention signal, followed by the broadcast message.
  • At the end of the broadcast message, listeners will hear a brief digital end-of-message static burst followed by a resumption of the NWR broadcast cycle.

SAME is also used in the Emergency Alert System (EAS). See EAS fact sheet for more information. Using SAME, broadcasters may receive NWR warning messages for rebroadcast in accordance with EAS rules.

Programming Your Receiver

To program NWR SAME receivers with the proper county(s) and marine area(s) of choice, you need to know the 6-digit SAME code number. Then follow the directions in your radio's user's manual. You can get your SAME number two ways:

Description of Columns in State Tables

From the United States and Territories Table, clicking on a state or territory will bring up a table of eight columns.
  1. State identification Column: Identifies the state for the county listed in column two.
  2. Counties Column: Counties ins a specific state listed alphabetically. If a county is covered by more than one NWR transmitter, the county will be listed on multiple rows. If a county is not covered, it will be listed with a remark of
    "--No NWR Coverage--" in the Transmitter Column (4).
  3. NWR SAME Code Column: This 6-digit sequence uniquely describes each county. For coding of a whole county, the first digit is zero. For coding of a part of a county, the first digit is a non-zero number. The 2nd through 6th digits use the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS). The 2nd and 3rd digits are the 2-digit state/equivalent territory identifier; the last three digits are the county or equivalent area identifier.
  4. Transmitter Location Column: City and state of the NWR transmitter covering the county. Some counties are covered by a transmitter in an adjacent state.
  5. Transmitter Frequency Column: Frequency the transmitter broadcasts on. There are seven frequencies (in MHz) used throughout the NWR network: 162.400, 162.425, 162.450, 162.475, 162.500, 162.525, 162.550.
  6. Transmitter Call Sign Column: Station call sign of the transmitter.
  7. Transmitter Power Column: Peak power of the transmitter in watts.
  8. Remarks Column: Used when a transmitter covers only part of a county.


NOAA, National Weather Service
Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services
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Silver Spring, MD 20910
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Last Updated: February 27, 2014

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