How to program your Midland WR120 weather radio | Local News
One of the most popular weather radios, the Midland WR120, is commonly sold across the US and known for its reliability.
If you weren’t able to get your radio programmed by the Hamilton County EMA during the Local 3 events, this guide is for you.
Before you get started, make sure you have the required 3 AA batteries to save your settings should the power go out. You’ll also want to ensure you have the radio’s AC power adapter plugged in as well.
Midland suggests that you program your radio for a single county (where you live), since the more you add, the more your radio goes off.
Midland’s guide, for the WR120 only, explains how to program your radio for several different scenarios:
Who should program multiple counties?
Midland days that if the following statements apply to you, you should program additional counties:
- I live right on the county line
- I own property in an adjoining county
- I have family in an adjoining county
- I work in, or commute through an adjoining county
In this case, access the SET LOCATION menu, press SELECT, and arrow up to choose MULTIPLE, which will allow you to program your radio to receive alerts for MULTIPLE counties.
Note the counties you choose must be counties that are served by the same weather radio transmitter you are monitoring via the SET CHANNEL menu.
National Weather Service Tennessee Counties
National Weather Service Georgia Counties
National Weather Service Alabama Counties
National Weather Service North Carolina Counties
Sometimes you must pass on the option to add another county if it’s too far away and its warnings broadcast from a different transmitter. You could program that county into the radio, but you would never receive its warnings because it’s served by a different transmitter.
For MULTIPLE counties, always program your home county first.
- Press MENU, then arrow up to SET LOCATION.
- Press SELECT.
- Arrow up to MULTIPLE and press SELECT.
- When “01 SAME” appears on the screen, press SELECT.
- Arrow up to USA or CANADA, then press SELECT.
- Now arrow up or down through the alphabetical listing of states or provinces. Scroll through to find your home county and press SELECT.
- After this, you can program further counties into positions “02 SAME”, “03 SAME”, etc. by extending this programming process.
By programming your home county first, you allow yourself the option to turn off the extra counties by changing from MULTIPLE setting to SINGLE setting.
If warnings for your multiple counties become bothersome, go to menu option SET LOCATION, press SELECT, then arrow up to SINGLE and press SELECT. You have now told the radio to ignore extra counties and just alert you for the first county you programmed. Your home county.
The radios accept 25 county codes in slots labeled “01 SAME” to “25 SAME”. There are no transmitters that serve that many counties, so if you are set on hearing everything for every county around you, use SET LOCATION and choose the ANY option. Programming the ANY setting makes the radio go off for any county the transmitter is alerting. This ANY option may be useful when you travel and are unsure of what county you are in, or if camping in the mountains and monitoring for possible upstream flash flooding. Otherwise, ANY is a rarely-used setting as it leads to over-warning and resultant fatigue. Keep your county selection to the bare minimum and turn to SINGLE if your MULTIPLE counties become a nuisance.
What about the NEARBY option that pops up when programming counties #2,3,4, etc? If you are programming MULTIPLE counties, after you fill slot 01 SAME with the name of your home location and press SELECT, “02 SAME” appears indicating the radio is ready to accept your second county.
Press SELECT and the word NEARBY appears. Pressing SELECT once more will activate the NEARBY function, bringing up a list of the counties immediately surrounding yours.
Arrow up through these counties and press SELECT to add a county. 03 SAME will then appear, allowing you to repeat this process and add a third county if you like.
Confirm your final county by pressing SELECT, then press MENU to exit this MULTIPLE county programming feature. If the MULTIPLE county you want does not appear in the NEARBY list, press MENU, then SELECT.
When NEARBY appears, press the up arrow until USA or CANADA appears.
From this point, use the basic programming steps to add another county: SELECT your state, then SELECT your county.
Learn more at Midland’s weather radio website.
Midland Weather Radio: Tracking severe weather alerts
It may come as a surprise, but tornado sirens are not intended to warn people who are indoors that a tornado may be approaching. Instead, they are only intended to warn people who are outdoors. This I learned after a recent tornado struck my area, and the residents in my town cried out to our town officials, upset that they had not heard the sirens go off while sleeping soundly in their beds, and in turn had found their families in danger.
At the advice of our local officials, I purchased the Midland Weather Radio
(available at Amazon)
. With over 17,000 Amazon customer reviews landing it at a 4.5-out-of-5-star rating, the Midland Weather Radio seems like a great option. But, I wondered, would it be too difficult to program and could it actually help keep my family safe?
I got the answers to my questions when a severe storm rolled into my area. Here’s my experience.
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What is a weather radio?
Reviewed / Eden Strong
With the weather radio, you will not have to worry about missing out on the news or phone alerts whenever disaster strikes.
A weather radio is a device that provides weather-related updates such as the current conditions, expected forecast, any potential upcoming weather watches, and imminent weather warnings in the areas where you have programmed your weather radio to monitor.
Designed to alert and/or alarm you in the event of a severe weather event, they take the worry out of not hearing a siren, not seeing an alert on your phone, or missing important information on the news, radio, or, even, on social media.
And, by also providing critical information such as “move to a basement or the lowest level of your home,” or “evacuate the area immediately,” during a severe weather-related event, weather radio helps you navigate your way through the situation in the safest ways possible.
How to program Midland Weather Radio
Programming the Midland Weather Radio is easy and won’t take more than a few minutes. Once plugged in, the radio display will direct you through a series of options, beginning with your language selection.
Using the “menu” and “select” keys, along with the up/down arrows, you will set the language, country, state, county, time, and the frequency that your local weather is broadcast through.
You can select if you want your alerts to come through via the display, voice, or a tone.
To go a bit further, if you’d like, you can even select the type of alerts you’d like to get including situations such as severe thunderstorm warning, avalanche, boil water advisory, fire, flash flood, and many others, even going a step further to include a child abduction.
Some severe and potentially deadly weather events, like a tornado warning, cannot be turned off, but many others leave the alert option up to you.
What we like
The weather radio is easy to set up
Reviewed / Eden Strong
Relatively simple instructions to follow! But make sure you actually read it and set it up correctly.
From start to finish it only took a few minutes to set up the weather radio, which is a huge plus when it comes to safety equipment. As a general rule, if it’s difficult to use, then there is a huge margin for error—a problem when you are relying on a device for its safety purposes.
Even without tech knowledge most people will still find confidence in their ability to easily and correctly program the radio, as long as they follow the step-by-step directions.
It offers safety and security
Knowing that the Midland Weather Radio was watching the weather even when I wasn’t helped me sleep better at night.
Living in Illinois, I’m no stranger to tornados, and there are many nights where I awaken to the crack of thunder, and then find myself staying awake until the storm has passed, because I’m nervous to go back to sleep and not hear the outdoor tornado sirens over the screeching of the wind.
I was assured that I would not miss a severe weather event warning, as I learned a few days into my test, when after a few days of substantial rains the weather radio suddenly alarmed and then a voice announced that our area was under a flash flood warning.
The radio then went on to provide helpful information such as the dangers of being in a car during a flash flood and where you might want to seek safety.
The radio’s visual display stated what the warning was for, as well as flashing the “warning” light on the unit itself.
It is sleek and portable
Although safety should always be more important than aesthetics, there is something to be said about safety equipment that isn’t overly obtrusive in size and appearance.
Small, sleek, and modern looking, the weather radio blends easily into a space and is also just as easy to tuck away out of sight, while still remaining diligent in doing its job.
And, because of its small size, it can even be tossed into a suitcase when your travels take you to a place where you may encounter weather situations that you aren’t familiar with; just remember to take a couple of minutes to program in your new location when you arrive.
What we don’t like
There is the potential for user error issues
Midland has done a phenomenal job making their weather radio easy to use, which as I stated before, is extremely important when it comes to safety equipment. But with that, comes the small caveat that you do need to be willing to follow the directions for setup.
When I first took the weather radio out of the box, the unit looked self-explanatory and so I dove right into programming it without even looking at the directions, which was a huge mistake.
Not only did I quickly realize that I had no clue what I was doing, but even after I pulled out the directions and took five minutes to program it the correct way, my previous fumbling had somehow set an actual alarm clock that woke up everyone in my family the next morning before the sun came up.
Although simply annoying, this could have been a bigger problem if I had programmed something important incorrectly, such as my location.
Was this my fault? Absolutely and I have no excuse since the directions are easy to follow, but for people who never read directions (I know you’re out there), this could be a problem.
Should you buy the Midland Weather Radio?
Yes, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind during severe weather.
Reviewed / Eden Strong
Your state and county is bound to be covered by the weather radio.
A bit of a tightwad when it comes to managing my budget, the one area in which I never skimp on is safety. If it has the potential to keep my family safe, I will buy it (ask me why I have tourniquets in my car and a DeChoker in my kitchen).
But when it comes to the Midland WB120R weather radio, I don’t need to feel guilty about adding another safety product to my family’s safety plan, because this weather radio definitely works.
Watching the weather even when I wasn’t, the Midland Weather Radio kept an eye and ear open, alarming us when necessary, and then providing information so that we could place ourselves in the safest position possible.
You do need to be willing to follow the directions for setup, but it truly only takes about five minutes, so it’s nothing to sweat about.
Severe weather events are unlikely to end anytime soon, and as the past few years have shown us, actually seem to be increasing in severity and intensity (we’re looking at you, climate change). Because of that, I would highly recommend that if you value your family’s safety, you won’t hesitate to add a Midland Weather Radio to your home.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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Midland Digital Monitor Discontinued Manufacturer reviews and…
Weather radio in radio
Michelle S. Sun
South Korea , Seoul
Very good product. The instructions are simple and easy to follow. Severe weather often occurs in our Ohio area, and this radio helped us learn about several situations.
349Z”> Published October 22, 2022
Great radio but needs a manual.
Kate M. Moon
0 Karma codes, time and date, so take your manual with you, plus the radio (monitor) is big!
Amanda S. Smith
I was very disappointed with the condition of this item and its packaging when we received it, not to mention that it was poorly packaged which could be the reason for its condition. BUT I gave it 2 stars because it works even though it looks bad. Unfortunately they are no longer in production, or at least this particular one is no longer in production and we needed one for our building, otherwise I would probably have asked for a refund. But if it comes and works, then 2 stars for it.
Great radio but needs instructions
Patrick R Reynolds
Such a great radio but hard to program, same codes, same time and date, so bring your manual, plus the radio (monitor) is great!
9044 3 Posted on October 05, 2022 563Z”> Updated on October 05, 2022
Scott P. Pentapati
I was very disappointed with the condition of this item and its packaging when we received it, not to mention that it was badly packaged, which could be the reason his condition. BUT I gave it 2 stars because it works even though it looks bad. Unfortunately they are no longer in production, or at least this particular one is no longer in production and we needed it for our building, otherwise I would probably have asked for a refund. But if it comes and works, then 2 stars for it.
good radio, unless you live in a house with metal walls
Sean S Spence
I bought a Midland 74200 Digital All Hazard Monitor on November 24, 2003.