Frequencies > FIPS/SAME Codes
Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS)
Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME)
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National Weather Service, Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) System

For many years, most scanners have included an instant access feature for National Weather Service (NWS) broadcasts. Scanning enthusiasts have come to rely on this easy accessibility, especially if threatening weather might be in the forecast. The NWS' SAME technology takes this concept and expands it exponentially.

SAME is an alert system used by the NWS to broadcast weather warnings and watches to specific counties throughout the U.S. A scanner user who wants to receive these alerts can enter the specific code (Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) code) for the local county so that only alert messages applicable to that county open the squelch on the scanner.

When a SAME alert is issued, a 1050 Hz warning alarm tone is sounded, followed by the broadcast message.

Beyond weather alerts, SAME can be used for local or statewide non-weather emergency alerts. These alerts are requested of the local NWS office by the local or state entity as the need arises.

SAME also functions as part of the national Emergency Alert System (EAS) for non-weather emergencies. EAS is the system commonly tested on radio and television stations; it is a system familiar to many members of the general public.

Being designed specifically for emergency notification, SAME is ideal for local emergency officials, ham radio operators, scanner users, and others who need to be notified quickly of local, state, or national emergencies.

Explanation of FIPS codes:

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Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME)/Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) codes are provided by:
NOAA Weather Radio and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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