The recent expansion of The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio (NWR) transmitter locations across the United States delivered the NWR signal to previously unserved areas. This paper will show that although increased NWR signal coverage is now being provided, manufactured and metal-built homes can still pose serious problems for the reception of NWR broadcasts. A series of signal reception tests were completed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management. Reception results are presented for a manufactured home and a home built with metal wall studs. This paper shows that an external antenna developed from the test results will effectively improve NWR reception in metal buildings and manufactured homes. The tests further showed that using a simple J-pole external antenna mounted on a window alleviated the attenuation problem. It is hoped that this study's results will alert the public, emergency managers, and other officials to the potential for poor NWR reception in mobile homes and metal buildings, as well as what corrective measures to take. The use of inexpensive, light-weight external antennas and the correct placement of NWRs should be stressed during NWS outreach activities. Obviously it is very important for the public to purchase a NWR, but they must be educated about proper unit placement and/or antenna availability. These education efforts should inform customers, reduce complaints regarding NWR reception, and lead to a safer public.

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Footnotes

*NOAA/National Weather Service, Southern Region Headquarters, Meteorological Services Branch, Fort Worth, Texas.

+Florida Division of Emergency Management, Tallahassee, Florida.