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November 24, 2022  |  Electronics

Everything you should consider when buying an emergency radio

If you’ve ever been away from the city, you may have noticed that getting cellular reception is difficult in remote areas. Disconnecting from the rest of the world can give you a sense of tranquility, but staying disconnected for too long is not a good idea.

Unplanned events sometimes occur, so it’s best to be prepared for an emergency. An emergency radio can be a lifesaver when your phone is out of order, but there are a number of features to look for when buying one.

In this article: Esky Emergency Crank Weather RadioIronsnow Emergency Radio and Eton Emergency Radio.

Multiple power sources

A radio may be no good in an emergency if the battery dies and the only way to charge is at a wall outlet. Access to electricity is scarce in the wilderness, so your emergency radio should have several ways to draw power. The best emergency radios have a rechargeable battery, a solar panel and a hand crank. Some even let you use regular batteries if the rechargeable one dies.

Multiple kinds of channels

For music listening, you want access to FM bands. However, you need a radio that can receive AM and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration signals to get news and weather updates. The best radios have an auto-scan feature that automatically finds the station with the best signal for your area.

Power bank size and life

The larger the battery, the longer the battery life, but radios with rechargeable power banks should last at least six to eight hours on a full charge. Radio power banks can also juice up your smartphone or a small tablet, but this drains power faster.

Radio size

Compact emergency radios are best if you want to travel light, but the battery life isn’t as long as with a large radio. Also, since smaller radios aren’t as powerful, the speaker isn’t as loud, and you may find sound quality somewhat lacking.

LED flashlight

If you want to be prepared for an emergency, a flashlight is essential. It can get very dark in the wilderness, so you always want to have enough light to be aware of your surroundings. It’s best to have a separate flashlight, but most emergency radios have a built-in LED flashlight, which can come in handy if you misplace your flashlight or the battery dies.

Sirens and beacon lights

If you find yourself alone in an emergency, the first thing you want to do is find help. However, it can be difficult to contact others in a desolate area, so you need a way to alert somebody to your presence and location. The best emergency radios have bright beacon lights and can emit a piercing SOS sound to help others locate you in dire situations.

Best emergency radios

Esky Emergency Crank Weather Radio

Receive updates from NOAA and AM/FM stations with this handy weather radio. It has a large 2,000 milliamp-hour battery that can power up your phone, a bright LED flashlight and an SOS alarm. It can be powered with AAA batteries.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Ironsnow Emergency Radio

This radio lets you activate an alarm to receive updates on disaster weather conditions and warnings. It has a loud siren and a Micro SD slot that lets you to use it as an MP3 player to play your favorite tunes.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Eton Emergency Radio

This rechargeable radio has a built-in solar panel and a hand turbine power generator. The alert function broadcasts emergency weather alerts for your area, and the red flashing beacon can catch someone’s attention in the dark from miles away.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Sangean Emergency Radio

This radio has 19 preset functions, a triple LED light, a USB port for charging your phone and a loudspeaker with an emergency buzzer. It can be powered via a solar panel, rechargeable battery or a hand crank generator.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

FosPower Emergency Radio

If you want an affordable radio with a sleek build and plenty of great features that are useful for emergencies, this radio is an excellent buy. It has three separate power sources, a 2000mAh power bank for juicing up your phone or a small tablet and a loud SOS alarm.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Givoust Emergency Radio

This radio runs for up to eight hours on a full charge and has a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack on the side for private listening. It has a bright beacon light, an SOS alarm and an angle-adjustable reading lamp.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Kevin Luna writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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