FORT MYERS, Fla.-- Up-to-date information is key in any storm but when the power goes out you'll need to stay informed.  You can still listen to WINK News on a battery operated radio.  During emergencies we simulcast our broadcast on the New 96.9 WINK FM just as we did during Hurricanes Charley and Wilma; but there other tools to get information too.

When a storm threatens a NOAA weather radio can alert you instantly to any danger.  The radios get their information directly from the National Weather Service and you can get that information when the power goes out because it also operates on batteries.

"It will actually turn on if there's a watch, there's a warning, any information that's pertinent to your area and you can set it specifically for your county," says WINK Skytracker Meteorologist, Lauren Casey.

In addition to the latest information during a hurricane, weather radios can also alert you to many other emergency situations which you can control.  For example, you can set your radio to alert you to severe thunderstorm warnings, tornado warnings, or storm watches.

But what if you really want to stay tuned into our broadcast when the power is out?  You'll have to buy a battery-operated digital television set.  The digital television transition will make it impossible for your older, analog portable sets to work without a powered-up converter box.  So now retailers are offering new portable sets with a digital tuner built in.

Stores are now offering different models with small screens and antennas but they come at a slightly higher price tag.

A Best Buy employee, Daniel Goldsmith, tells us, "The ones we have now, because they have the digital tuner in them, they run about 100-150 dollars."

But the higher price isn't stopping people from making sure they're prepared for a storm.

"They're thinking about it ahead of time, they're getting them now.  They know it's convenient to have access to what's going on with the weather in case a hurricane does come by," says Goldsmith.

IF you'd like to learn more about how to set a location or set up alerts on your weather radio, just click on the links below:

Programming information


Coding information

All hazards alerts information