Your emergency supply should include emergency radios so that even when there is a power outage that lasts for a long time, you stay updated on the happenings in your area. You will need to rely on emergency radios during a natural disaster for survival. Knowing weather conditions helps you get organized and operate as a unit. Disaster preparedness gives you peace of mind knowing that you can survive during an emergency.
Over the course of the years, I’ve seen a lot of these due to where I live, and one of my friends who happens to be a “radio guy.” He is a licensed ham radio operator, and also develops all sorts of cool radios. We happen to have one of his home-made ones that he created out of a cigar box. He has developed kits for a lot of people ranging from ones that fit into an “Altoid” tin to other containers. It’s really fun to see what he comes up with!.
When it comes to emergency radios however, there isn’t much wiggle room. In my opinion, having a hand crank radio with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather bands on it is likely going to be a good bet.
1. Kaito KA249W Solar Crank AM/FM NOAA Weather Radio with LED Lantern
This is probably my favorite, found over at Survival Frog. I took a screenshot of it and placed it at the left here, shown in black, and charging a cell phone. I always love tools and gadgets that check off a bunch of boxes when it comes to being prepared, and this one checks off a lot.
For example, it charges your phone. That’s good. It is solar powered as well as hand-cranked. Love that! There’s more:
- 8 LED lights
- Besides being solar powered and dynamo (hand crank) powered, you can plug it in.
- Only 10.3 ounces – so very lightweight. Weight is always of critical importance when you’re on the go. If you have ever gone hiking or backpacking, you already know that!
- 7 NOAA weather bands
- AM/FM channels
This also gets good reviews at Survival Frog. One reviewer had a problem with it, but Survival Frog chimed in to tell the customer to reach out so they could help make it right.
(PS: Survival Frog has a number of other radios as well! I’ll add them here to this page soon! I definitely have a soft spot for Survival Frog, and you will too when you see how much they offer!)
2. American Red Cross FRX3 Emergency Radio
The American Red Cross FRX3 has a large hand crank that keeps the internal NiMH battery charged. This radio allows you to get information from both AM and FM channels. You can even charge your gadget using this radio, which is what caught my eye. The features it packs include;
• USB port
• 7 NOAA weather bands
• Solar panel
• FM and Am radio channels
Now, coming in at only $35 or so, this model is reviewed at an average of about 4 stars on Amazon. 52% are 5 stars, 19% are 4 stars, with 13% at 1-star. One of the 1-star reviewers said it’s flimsy. But, if you are short on money and just want something quick, this might do the trick. Enough 5-star reviews told me what I needed to know – it’s for an emergency, and while it charges your phone slowly, it does actually do it.
3. Epica Emergency Solar hand Emergency Radio
This one gets a bit higher rating on Amazon with over 67% 5-star ratings and over 1200 reviews. It’s also very affordable at less than $25. This digital radio comes with a flashlight that acts as a source of light when there is a power outage. It can act as a cell phone charger since it has USB ports. The Epica brand is a flashlight-sized radio that packs the following;
• Solar panel for battery charging
• Powerful flashlight
• USB port for gadget charging
• Waterproof case
• AM/FM tuner
• 7 NOAA weather bands
4. Running Snail MD-090
The Running Snail model is powered by lithium-ion batteries which can be recharged with the solar panel that comes with the radio. Superior features of this radio include;
• Solar panel
• USB port
• Strong LED flashlight
Also available at Amazon for about $30, with 65% 5-star reviews. Not a bad little radio! It is a self-charge, hand crank radio, with I think is the best way to go.
Here are a few “runner ups” in the radio sector.
5. Midland WR120EZ Emergency Radio
This radio allows you to get NOAA weather alerts so that you are in the know. It is an all-hazard public alert certified radio with digital SAME technology. The Midland WR120EZ Radio is a portable high tech radio that has the following features;
• Trilingual Display
• Alarm Clock
• Digital programming
• This is NOT a hand crank radio; it will run on 3 AA batteries
While a good thing to have in the house, I would definitely want to have a good hand-crank radio for the go bag. You can get it at Amazon for about $28. Over 2,200 customers can’t be wrong. It averages 4-stars (65% are 5-star).
6. Midland WR400 DELUXE Emergency Radio
The WR400 DELUXE is a dependable desktop NOAA weather radio. This Midland model allows you to stay connected to the rest of the world during power outages. It packs the following features;
• Digital S.A.M.E technology
• Location alert system
I didn’t find this one on Amazon, but on the company site, MidlandUSA.com. Like the other Midland model, this is not a hand-crank unit, but appears to be a good option for the house. Their customers give it an average of 4.4 stars out of 5.
I’ll add to this page as I identify more emergency and weather radios!
Disaster preparedness allows you to have peace of mind knowing you have a means of survival. Ensure you include a radio in your checklist, so you get alerts and stay updated. Personally, I’d be going for a hand-crank model. I don’t know anyone who would disagree. Yes, have a household model like the Midland or similar models, but for your go-bag, crank it up!