Living in the city, you don’t really need to think of having an emergency kit. But get out into remote areas and having a well-stocked emergency kit is a necessity. You need things like flashlights, fresh batteries and a good first aid kit. One thing you may not have thought you’d ever need is an emergency radio. This is one item you should always have in an emergency kit, especially if you go camping or live in a remote area.
Emergency radios are a crucial contact with the world at times when phone lines and mobile networks aren’t functioning. These events could be the result of severe storms, blackouts or any number of unexpected events. The too, they are a must for campers and hikers, particularly where mobile networks are simply out of range. The best emergency radio is one that will keep you in contact with civilization no matter where you are. We’ll look at a section that will definitely be useful when you need to stay in touch with the outside world.
The Best Emergency Radios
This Running Snail emergency radio will be your best friend in a storm. It will keep you up to date with NOAA weather alerts and it has a handy reading lamp. There are a number of ways to charge this radio. You can install batteries, use solar emergency, portable power bank or hand crank it to last you for several hours. This is a solar crank radio that can help you survive any emergency situation.
NOAA weather alert radio
Table lamp & 1w led flashlight
Hand crank self-charge for outage provides 4-6 hours of radio time.
Sos alarm with flashing red light
Multiple ways to charge
- Weight8.8 ounces
Stay in touch with family or even emergency services with this battery operated emergency radio. There are other power sources too, such as hand cranking and an AC Adapter so you won’t lose your connection to the world. Midland – XT511, 22 Channel Emergency Crank Base Camp Radio also has privacy codes so you decide who can hear your communication. The NOAA weather scan will also ensure you stay out of harm’s way during storm season.
Walkie talkie features the 22 GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service)
121 CTCSS/DCS privacy codes
5 types of power
NOAA weather scan + alert
- Weight1.2 pounds
This solar powered radio from Kaito has everything you need in an emergency. Kaito KA500 5-way Powered Emergency Alert Radio has built-in, rechargeable batteries and all you need is the energy from the sun to charge them. It also has a built-in flashlight (you can use if you don’t have a tactical flashlight handy) and you can tune into NOAA weather channels so you’ll know when the coast is clear.
Perfect radio for emergencies and disasters
High quality AC type brushless generator.
Solar panel powers and charges the radio by itself
- Weight1.25 pounds
Staying alert can make all the difference when you’re enjoying time in the wilderness and this portable emergency radio will keep you updated on adverse weather changes and other potential emergencies. Eton Emergency Weather Radio is easy to carry and you can charge it by solar power, batteries and AC adapter. You can also connect your smartphone or tablet to this radio so you can keep in touch with civilization or enjoy your favorite music while camping.
AM/FM/NOAA weather digital radio
Rugged and reliable
Can connect to any smartphone or tablet
Multiple charging options means you can power it all day
- Weight1.6 pounds
Sangean have come up with this great little hand crank radio that is the ideal camping companion. Sangean Weather+Alert Emergency Radio has a bright LCD display and is simple to use. Most importantly, you will be able to stay informed of all drastic weather changes so you can decide to cut your weekend short, or stay put until the weather settles down. You can plug in a variety of devices and you have multiple charging options including a hand crank and solar energy. It is as necessary for camping as your large camping tent.
Public Alert Certified Weather Alert Radio
DSP Digital AM/FM/WX Tuner
19 Pre-sets (mixed AM/FM)
USB A to Micro B Cable and Hand strap included
Bright Backlit LCD Display
- Weight13.8 ounces
An NOAA weather radio is an essential emergency radio for those who live in areas where crazy weather is a frequent event, especially when you are camping out. Real NOAA Alert Weather Radio with alarm can be charged in a number of ways, with the most important ones being solar panel or hand cranking. It also has an emergency siren so you’ll be easier to find if you get lost and you’ll be advised of all adverse weather changes so you can seek appropriate shelter if the weather turns nasty.
Can be charged by micro usb port, hand crank and solar panel.
Convenient handle and reading lamp
Real NOAA Alert Weather Radio
Loud emergency siren
Wide range of reception: AM/FM/SW1/SW2/7 NOAA Weather channels
- Brand iRonsnow
- Weight1.2 pounds
The American Red Cross has come up with this fantastic hand crank emergency radio that is a must for most households and campers. There are a number of power options with the all-important hand crank system and you can charge your smartphone or other devices via USB. There is also a handy LED flashlight and emergency beacon. Stay informed of all drastic weather warnings and stay in touch with the world beyond.
Receives AM/FM & Weather band Alerts
Charges your smartphone via USB
Multiple power options
LED flashlight & emergency beacon
- Weight1.33 pounds
This Midland emergency crank weather radio has all the features you could ever want in an emergency radio and a few more you’d never have thought of. It has all the channels you need, including NOAA Weather Scan and it stays powered thanks to multiple power sources like hand crank, solar power and rechargeable battery. It also features an emergency flashlight and beacon so you can be found by emergency services, and as an added bonus it also includes an ultrasonic dog whistle which is also great if search crews are looking for you.
Noaa weather scan + alert
Multiple power sources
Rechargeable 2600 mah battery
Emergency flashlight & sos beacon
Charge external devices
Ultrasonic dog whistle
- Weight1 pounds
This survival radio from iRonsnow is the perfect radio to get you through the dilemma of disconnections, particularly during snow storms and other nasty weather conditions. It is compact and light so you can take it with you anywhere and the main channel features NOAA Weather Radio so you’ll know what’s going on around you. You can charge this radio via micro USB, hand crank or solar energy so you’ll never lose touch with the world around you.
Compact AM/FM NOAA Weather Radio
Powerful 3 LED flashlight, with cell phone charger
3 ways to charge: micro usb/hand crank/solar.
Very compact, light, and easy to carry
- Weight7.2 ounces
This is the best hand crank radio to have in an emergency. You can stay connected to all the major NOAA weather stations and you can charge this radio via hand crank, battery or solar power. Once fully charged, Buzz 4000 emergency weather radio will stay operational for up to 12 hours. Also included in an LED emergency light and a reading light to keep you out of the dark and there is an SOS alarm if you need to alert recuse teams to your location.
7 NOAA weather stations
Up to 12 hours of playtime on a full charge.
Dedicated USB port in case of a power outage.
LED emergency flashlight& LED reading light
- Weight1.21 pounds
Emergency Radio Buying Guide And FAQ
How Do We Choose Our Selection Of Emergency Radios?
Brand – Our section of emergency radios includes brands that have a trusted background in producing radios. These manufacturers understand the importance of having a reliable emergency radio with you at all times and also know which features need to go into the best emergency radios.
Durability – Considering the purpose of these radios is to get you safely through emergency situation, you have to be prepared for everything. That could mean a lot of rough treatment. In an emergency situation you need to stay connected so you need a strong, durable emergency radio that will keep you update on weather changes and allow you to communicate with family or emergency crews.
Reviews – Customers these days generally know what they want and aren’t afraid to voice their opinions about the quality and performance of a product. We look at the reviews for every product in our section and in particular, we take a closer look at some of the negative reviews. That doesn’t necessarily mean the emergency radio isn’t a good one, it just draws attention to a design feature or flaw that we may need to take into consideration.
Price – Our section of emergency radios come in a range of different prices, started from relatively inexpensive to some at the top of the range. Everyone should have an emergency radio in their homes and cars and some people may consider buying several radios and keeping them everywhere they are needed. There is a suitable price for every budget in our section and most of the main features are present in all models, regardless of their price.
Features To Look For In Emergency Radio
Power Sources – A good emergency weather radio will have a number of power options. Some can be recharged via an AC Adapter, but the main power sources should include batteries, solar panels and hand cranking. Hand cranking, in particular, is a crucial feature as it will ensure your emergency radio is still powered, even when the sun is no longer shining and the batteries drained several hours ago.
Battery Life- Regardless of how the battery in an emergency radio is powered, battery life is an essential feature. Look for a battery that gives you up to 12 hours of performance when fully charged. That should give you ample time to do what needs to be done before a storm, or ensure you can communicate with rescue teams for many hours if you need to be found.
Range and Tuning – The range and tuning of your emergency radio can make all the difference when you are caught in a storm or lost in the woods. The range should be sufficient enough so that you can communicate and call for help even though you may be several miles away from assistance. Tuning should be simple and the main channels should be preset so you don’t waste precious time searching for them.
Ease of Use – The whole purpose of an emergency radio is to get help or information fast. That means the radio should be simple to use. Look for a radio that can switch functions easily and with simple instructions to operate all the necessary features.
Dimensions – An emergency crank radio should be light and compact enough to take with you anywhere. You’ll especially appreciate a small radio when you are hiking up a mountain. It should be small enough to fit in your backpack, yet not to small so that you can’t see which features you are activating. Look for a light one too, so that you aren’t tempted to get rid of it.
SAME Alerts – Specific Area Message Encoding is all about having the right channels available to the public at all times. As an example, if an area is prone to earthquakes, such as in Mexico, then the SAME Alerts would be connected to the Mexican Seismic Alert System. For adverse weather in the US, the NOAA emergency radio frequency is the one to look for. These alerts should be preset into emergency radios so that they are readily available at all times.
NOAA – This stands for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and they are the agency that monitors the weather over the oceans, other waterways and changes in the atmosphere. They are the best link between people and the environment and are generally able to give out adverse weather warning s giving citizens ample time to seek shelter. NOAA have their own radio frequencies and channels so when you are looking at purchasing an emergency crank radio, make sure it has the NOAA channels (or those within your local area) preset into your radio.
Emergency Radio FAQ
Q: What is an emergency radio?
A: An emergency radio is a device that allows you to communicate and stay up to date during emergency situations such as severe storms or periods of civil unrest. Such radios often feature flashlights, two-way radios and can be charged by solar panels, battery power or hand cranking.
Q: Do I need a two-way radio?
A: One of the worst things to endure during an emergency situation is not being able to contact family or emergency services. An emergency crank radio should also double as a two-way radio so that you can be contacted in an emergency, and you can also reach out to let people know where you are and seek assistance if necessary.
Q: My reception isn’t good, what can I do?
A: If you’re not getting adequate reception from your emergency radio, there are a few things you can do. If you are in a building, try different areas or rooms until the reception is better. Windows are a good place to try and higher floors are also a good option. If you are in the woods, walk around until the reception improves. You may need to get to higher ground to get a significant improvement in reception.
Q: What is All Hazard? Do I have to have it?
A: The National Weather Radio, or NWR, is part of an All Hazards radio network that offers continuous weather alerts via radio frequency. Every country has their version of this service and if you have already decided to add an emergency radio to your home emergency kit, it would certainly be a necessity to have such a channel preset into your emergency radio.