Fab or flub? Spring signals need for a good weather alert radio

Unless you’ve been living under a rock during the last month or so, you have probably noticed that we’ve had our fair share of bad weather in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

Since the beginning of April, there’s been a constant cycle of rain, lightning and even tornadic activity. This has caused much anxiety for my mother, who lives six hours away and who worries about my safety.

Enter the Midland WR120 Desktop Weather Alert Radio ($29.99 at Academy Sports + Outdoors). A gift from my mom, and one she hoped would give her a little more peace of mind, the WR120 is designed to keep you up to date on weather, hazard and civil emergency advisories.

Whether there’s a flash flood warning or a tornado watch, the WR120 uses voice, display and tone alerts to ensure you are the first to know when something bad is happening.

I was grateful for the thoughtfulness that went into this purchase. However, I wondered whether my mom might have wasted her money on something likely to have a future collecting dust on my shelf.

Of course, my mom is also more than happy to call me up and remind me to turn on my weather radio when she sees weather advisories of her own, so I soon realized that I was going to get some use out of this thing, at least, initially.

First impression

While the device looks like a typical radio, you won’t be using it to tune in to your favorite station.

In fact, functionally-speaking, its only similarity to a regular radio is that it displays the time and has an alarm-clock setting.

I learned that I can program the radio to track the weather in my selected county or counties, and that I can also choose how I want to receive alerts (voice, display or tone). To set it up, I used the provided AC adapter to power the radio on and began programming in my desired specifications. (Note: The WR120 can also run off of three AA batteries).

Overall, I found the setup pretty straightforward and quick.

Fab or flub?

Fab! Despite my early suspicion that the Midland WR120 Desktop Weather Alert Radio was probably a waste of money, it has turned out to be extremely helpful.

The radio has been great about offering alerts to weather changes — and usually this happens well before the local news channel or weatherman does the same thing.

I have found it particularly convenient at night, when I don’t want to stay up to monitor bad weather but still want to be alerted should something severe suddenly develop.

Overall, I really consider this radio a great investment and a product that will continue to come in handy for years to come.