"If you turn it on, it will be programed to be county specific," KELOLAND Meteorologist Scot Mundt said.
When severe weather hits, you want to be prepared.
"It alerts you when you have a severe thunderstorm warning, severe thunderstorm watch in your area, whatever you program it for,” Mundt said.
"When we are on the farm in rural South Dakota a lot of time we don't have access to a place where we can go for protection so we need some time to get there, so pre-warning is great," Jackie Bogue said.
"The weather radio has an alerting device, which can be beneficial at night when people are sleeping," Mundt said. "It's a good investment it's of course can save your life especially at night when we have severe weather roll through."
Some weather radio models have a belt clip and other features for easy transportation while traveling. Many are rugged enough for outdoor activities such as camping, hiking or backpacking. Mundt recommends putting one in your car for summer trips
"As you go through the different counties, it will go for the highest signal from the weather tower," Mundt said. "And if there is a watch or warning issued, the alarm will go off."
Jackie Bogue, reflects on a time when she was caught in the middle of severe weather. It happened 19 years ago but she still remembers the details.
"I was just bringing my son home from kindergarten class and they had gone to the zoo and the hail storm took the window out of the bus," Bogue said.
While severe weather strikes, seconds count. The more information one has about the storm, the better they can react.
"I have a photograph of a tornado funnel cloud above our farm it went back up into the clouds. At that time, it was coming into the farm. I didn't know where my husband was but luckily he was fine. It was a blessing that the funnel cloud did go back up into the clouds," Bogue said.
Join KELOLAND meteorologists Saturday, May 17 at 9 to 11 a.m. at Hy-Vee, 4101 S. Louise Avenue in Sioux Falls for a free weather radio programming event. Weather radios are available for $29.99 or bring your own for programming assistance.