Local Broadcast Media
Broadcast Television and Radio
Local broadcast television and radio stations are a vital component of our warning system. Local television and radio stations routinely broadcast official "Watches" and "Warnings" issued by the National Weather Service as well as forecasts and storm tracks developed by on-air meteorologists. Television, in particular, is an excellent source of emergency information since graphics such as radar displays and maps can be used to describe the event in detail.
Visit the websites of the local network affiliates to find out more about their severe weather warning programs:
Emergency Alert System
The Emergency Alert System is composed of AM, FM, and television broadcast stations as well as cable television, operating in cooperation with local authorities to provide uniform and consistent information in an emergency. Participation in the local Emergency Alert System is voluntary however the following stations have agreed to broadcast local emergency alerts if requested:
WIBA (1310 AM and 101.5 FM) Radio in Madison
WOLX (94.9 FM) Radio in Madison
WXJ-87 (162.55 MHz) NOAA Weather Radio in Madison
Other local broadcasters can pick up the message from any of these sources and rebroadcast it at their discretion. You can recognize an EAS message from the distinctive tone that begins each broadcast. The announcer will also identify the broadcast as an activation of the Emergency Alert System.
In an emergency, you should stay tuned to participating EAS stations to receive emergency warnings and situation updates. In addition, commercial receivers are available to receive EAS warnings directly. The complexity of these devices varies, with some being simple monitors of one EAS source to other units that can be set to monitor multiple sources. A number of EAS monitors are designed to be connected to external alerting devices, electronic message boards, and building public address systems. Most EAS monitors are relatively expensive and are designed for commercial use.
Contact Dane County Emergency Management for more information on the Emergency Alert System.