What to Look for in an Emergency Radio?
Finding the right emergency radio for your needs will depend on the type of situations that you might find yourself in. Communication during a disaster is critical for your survival. Getting timely, accurate information from local authorities will more than likely come through either your radio or TV. Here are some items to consider when deciding on what type of emergency radio to purchase:
- Start with a dependable AM/FM radio – It is easy to go overboard with your purchase of an emergency radio. While some of the other options on a radio might be useful, make sure that you have access to a reliable AM/FM radio. Most emergency broadcasts are going to happen on those readily available frequencies. Make sure that the radio has a tuner on it not just a scanner. Don’t get a “scan” FM
radio. You want to make sure that you can pick up even the weakest signal and to do that you will need to have a tuner on your radio and
not just a scan radio that stops only on a strong signal.
- Multi-band radios – A multi-band radio includes AM/FM, shortwave frequencies, TV channels and NOAA weather bands. These types
of radios can help you receive signals from greater distances. Shortwave radios are especially helpful if the disaster is spread out over a large area and local radio towers are knocked out. This will help you get information outside of the disaster zone. If you can afford it, I would recommend having a multi-band radio on hand. Keep in mind that radios that currently receive UHF/VHF TV channels will longer
work after the switch to digital TV in the summer of 2009.
- Dynamo, Hand crank and solar – Make sure that your emergency radio can be powered in multiple ways. The most important feature is that the radio has a dynamo or hand crank feature. This will allow you to use the radio when you don’t have electricity or battery power. That will be critical in a disaster where power and batteries may not be readily available. Remember that radios use very little power so a little bit of cranking goes a long way.
- A caution about solar radios – Solar radios (and everything else for that matter) sounds great, but just a bit of caution. You will need time to charge the radio if you are only using solar power. Anywhere from 5-10 hours to charge the radio. You may not have that kind of time. Also, you can’t charge them in cloudy weather or in the dark. Solar radios require you to plan ahead and you may not have that luxury in a disaster.
- NOAA radios – If you live in an area that experiences severe weather, then you should have a NOAA radio somewhere in your emergency supplies. Hurricanes, tornados, flash floods and blizzards are some of the weather that you will want to receive regular alerts on through your NOAA radio.
Listed below are some of the radios with their various features that are offered at www.TheReadyStore.com:
Frequency Reception: AM/FM, Shortwave, Weather Radio (NWR)NOAA Weather (NWR)
Power/Fuel Source: Dynamo/Crank, Solar, Battery, AC/DC Adaptor, Cigarette Lighter
Light Source: L.E.D.
Battery Life: 48 hours
Features & Functions: Light, Reading Lamp, Radio Receiver, Siren, Cell Phone Charger, Blinking Light, Headphone Jack
Power/Fuel Source: Dynamo/Crank, Solar, Battery, AC/DC Adaptor, Computer USB Light Source: L.E.D.
Frequency Reception: AM/FM, Shortwave, Weather Radio (NWR)NOAA Weather (NWR) Battery Life: 12 hours
Now if you just would like to pick up a AM/FM radio and you don’t think you really need a multi band radio then there are a few good options plus most of them do come with additional options (flashlight, Dynamo/Crank, Solar) and to not have to worry about tracking down batteries or worried if they have leaked battery acid can bring a peace at mind.
Features & Functions: Radio Receiver
Power/Fuel Source: Battery
Frequency Reception: AM/FM
Features & Functions: Light, Radio Receiver, Siren, Blinking Light,
Headphone Jack Power/Fuel Source: Dynamo/Crank, Solar, Battery, AC/DC
Light Source: Incandescent
Frequency Reception: AM/FM
Features & Functions: Light, Radio Receiver
Power/Fuel Source: Dynamo/Crank, Battery, AC/DC Adaptor
Light Source: L.E.D. Frequency Reception: AM/FMUpdated March 24, 2009