Specific Area Message Encoding
Specific Area Message Encoding, or SAME, is the technique the National Weather Service uses to direct weather watches and other EAS messages to certain geographical areas. Individuals with properly programmed SAME-capable radios only hear alerts that may directly impact them, thus cutting down on unecessary alarms.
There are about 650 NOAA Weather Radio stations around the US and each of these stations covers a radius of about 40 miles. Each site covers many counties. You may not want to be notified about an event that is taking place on the other side of a station’s coverage area. By using the specific code for your area, you limit when your weather radio sounds alerts to those alerts containing the SAME code you have programmed in to your receiver.
Recently the NWR also started broadcasting other types of Emergency Alert System (EAS) codes, a summary of this action can be found at the National Weather Service web site. The specific area code for your location (in the US or its possessions) can be found at this NOAA site.