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Emergency Radios - Reviews & Guides For 2024

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Emergency Radios buying guide

Radios are the age-old broadcast media equipment that has lost its significance in recent times. With smartphones and televisions showing up, nobody uses these modes of communication.

It won't be wrong to say that they are highly versatile because they work even when there isn't any mobile network or electricity.

This versatility probably is the reason why they were so popular at a time when smartphones and electricity didn't exist.

But nowadays, these new radios for emergencies are way more different than traditional radios. The function is, however, the same, but the appearance has drastically changed.

With an appealing visual appearance and charging ports for your gadgets, these emergency radios have set a benchmark in the world of communication.

Long gone are the days when you have to rely on the news channels and your phone for the latest news and weather forecast. These radios are the all in one solution to all your worries. While they are so essential these days, their demand is meeting the sky.

With so many variants out there, you need to pick out the best match to suit your needs and help you stay safe. So, we are here with this outstanding buying guide, which will give you a tour of the essential features to look for in these radios.

Hence, let's start searching for the best radio for emergency alerts and information without further ado.

What are Emergency Radios, and why should you buy them?

Have you heard the saying that animals sense when something wrong is going to happen? Have you seen them running to some other place, or maybe the ants accumulating in colonies in a particular area?

These animal movements signify that they have sensed the upcoming hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or another natural disaster. So, to save themselves, they move away from that place to seek a safe shelter.

While the animals have their sixth sense to save themselves, we humans don't have much sensing power. To help us stay safe from these disasters, emergency radios have been invented.

These radios are designed to receive signals from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). When this organization gives weather updates or any crucial alert, this radio delivers it to you.

If any disaster is on its way, these radios will help you to get the warnings and seek a safe place, and evacuate yourself from the area to be affected.

NOAA broadcasts the emergency information and alerts, and since no other gadget works in those times, these radios come in handy.

They also enable you to charge your smartphones for emergency calls and many other essential gadgets.

If your dwelling place is prone to such disasters or planning to go on a wilderness expedition, you should invest in these radios and take them along with you to stay updated.

Why do you need to refer to this buying guide before purchasing emergency radios?

If you love to spend time in the wilderness, then it is necessary to deem your safety. You need something by which you can get alerts in case of emergencies. Emergency radios are the perfect devices to help you out in difficult situations.

While selecting a particular model, you have to deem the size, weight, frequency, range, and other additional properties.

Looking here and there for all the details will waste your time, and you may not even find the correct information. Referring to a comprehensive guide will provide you access to all the information in a jiffy.

You will save a lot of your time and resources and can quickly analyze all the models against the pointers. With this, you can quickly pin down the one which suits your requirements.

However, before all this, you should be familiar with the product. So, to make a clear picture of the product in your mind and understand the benefits of the product, let us go through a brief introduction and then move further into this in-depth guide.

Things to deem about while selecting appropriate Emergency Radios

Size and Weight

These radios' size and weight are not so significant when you are at home, but they are crucial to consider while on a trip. While outdoors, you want to bring those items which are small and not too heavy.

If the reverse happens, you will not find room to store your belongings anywhere and face difficulty while carrying it. Emergency radios are designed, keeping in mind the traveler's requirements and convenience.

They are compact, which enables you to store them in your backpack conveniently. Being compact, these radios don't weigh much, and you can carry them with ease.

Despite being compact and lightweight, they play their role efficiently and deliver you the desired information no matter where you are.

They can also be kept in your bag or pant pockets. This less space occupancy creates enough room for other camping or hiking essentials in your backpack. It allows you to stay updated while at the same time, enjoying your trip to the fullest.

Power Capabilities

While you are using your emergency broadcasting device at home, you will have access to a power source or a USB cable to charge it fully. This convenience, however, is not found when you are outdoors, especially in the wild.

You don't have any electricity supply there and will have to look for another energy source. Solar power is the best energy source available while outdoors and can be used effortlessly.

Many of these radios include a small solar panel from which you can harvest the sun rays and charge your radio. While sunlight is abundantly available, there are times when the dark clouds overshadow it.

In that case, you cannot charge your radio, and without any charging, it won't be able to deliver you the desired information. Then what is the way out?

If you aren't aware of these radios' crank methods, it's high time you should know. They have a built-in crank feature, enabling you to charge them even when the sun is not out. This method is the most reliable for charging your radio without fail while outdoors.

Though it consumes a lot of time to power the radio, you will have a decent amount of information to know the situation you are surrounded with. Hence, while you purchase these radios, ensure that you look out for the crank feature.

Battery Capacity

These radios' battery capacity determines the number of hours or days your radio will work before the battery drains out completely. This feature is critical when you stay away from your home and live in a temporary shelter at an unknown location.

Emergency radios feature higher battery capacities. The majority of the models feature a battery capacity of 2000mAh. However, you can also find variants that have massive battery capacities. The choice of the battery capacity depends on your usage.

If you are using this radio for charging your smartphones and other devices or as a flashlight, the battery will drain pretty soon. So, to have an adequate power supply, you need to opt for higher battery capacities.


What good is a product if it cannot stand against the different weather types? Since you will stay mostly outdoors while using this radio, it is essential to have bare minimum durability to stand against the storm and light shower.

An ordinary radio has no protection against the changing weather, and so it won't be a perfect choice to be taken outdoors. The emergency radios are durable and can endure the harshness of the weather outside and stay safe.

Even if you experience a short span of rainfall, the internal components won't be affected because of their excellent durable nature. So, to invest in a worthy radio, search for variants with some durability to last long.

Additional Features

Who doesn't like some bells and whistles in their newly purchased product? Radio is no exception, and to your surprise, these radios come with many additional features. Let's look at the other features that they have and what are the benefits that you gain out of them.

  1. Charging ports

Since no power source is available in the wild, all you can rely on is your radio because that will be the only device charged by different means.

You must have a charging port on your radio to charge your other gadgets and devices using this radio as a power source.

  1. Flashlight

You cannot rely on the moon's light while camping in a forest. What if it is a new moon night? You will face trouble. Even though today's smartphones are equipped with flashlights, the light isn't adequate to see objects at a distance.

Hence, look for the radios that have big flashlights, which will enable you to see the wild animals or any other activity taking place at some distance from you.

Also, ensure that the radio has a large battery capacity, or you will drain the entire battery of the radio and have nothing to rely on.

  1. Clocks and calendars

You cannot keep on switching your smartphone to check on the date and the time. Though you have a watch too, what if it stops working midway or your phone has no battery?

In that case, having a radio equipped with clocks and a digital calendar works the best. They have large fonts and are visible even at night due to the neon lights.

  1. Thermometers and humidity meters

The best way to smell trouble is by looking at the temperature of the environment. Whenever a storm or heavy rainfall occurs, the temperature drops, humidity increases, and the surroundings become dark.

These changes predict that you will most likely be hit by a storm, hurricane, or tornado. To stay safe and prepared beforehand, invest in radios which have thermometers and humidity meters in them.

  1. Colors

The color of these radios is not a very significant aspect of consideration, but it can help in some or other way. You can pick a color based on your taste or color code it with the place you are going to.

Besides, opting for a highly visible fluorescent or neon shade of orange or red will help in case you get hurt and stuck somewhere. The rescue team can find out where you are with your radio's color, which will attract the focus.


When you go shoe shopping, you don't go to a local vendor; instead, you go to the shops with glass doors and windows with full air conditioning and good service. This appealing service and appearance are found only in shops with a big brand name.

Similarly, emergency radios are manufactured both by big brands and small local vendors. While the ones manufactured by the reputed brands are authentic and worth using, the other vendors make copies that look the same but don't work that way.

This malfunctioning can cost you heavily, and the investments you will make will flow down the drain. You must look for the reputed brands' variants and not the copies manufactured by the local vendors.

Though they are cheaper, the quality is terrible, and it won't function properly. Hence, to invest in a quality product at a reasonable price, check out for the established brands.

Safety Features

These radios' primary purpose is to alert you and deliver essential information to evacuate the place surrounded by danger and move to a safer site.

If you opt for regular radio, you will not get what you desire because they only deliver information but not as efficiently as the radios for emergencies.

When you opt for these radios, make sure that they have access to all the radio stations that update you about the weather and alert you.

It is recommended that you invest in an NOAA radio because they broadcast the latest updates and crucial information on weather and upcoming disasters.

The second essential safety feature is an alert alarm. This feature is vital because if you get buried under the debris, and the rescue team comes to find out, you can press this alarm and ring it. This ringing sound will help those rescuers to find you in time and not get delayed.

SAME Technology

Specific Area Message Encoding or SAME is a new technology that many of these radios have.

This feature is beneficial because it alerts you about any upcoming disaster that is likely to occur in your area. Moreover, even if the device is powered out, it will still alert you about the same.

It is because of the "SAME" technology that you are alerted, and undeniably it has saved so many lives. It alerts you by flashing a light on its LED screen, which says 'EMERGENCY' so that you can see it and run asap to a nearby safe shelter.

Besides, this feature also enables you to turn off the notifications that are not relevant to your city or country or the location you are traveling to.

This function reduces the number of notifications that you get and thus doesn't spam your notification folder. You can quickly look at the important ones and then act accordingly without any unnecessary hassle.

Ease of operation

When you are alerted about an unhappening event coming your way, you panic and don't understand what to do next.

Here comes the ease of operation of these emergency radios. As the name suggests, these radios are specially designed for emergencies where you need to understand the instructions and respond to them.

If you opt for a radio which is hard to understand and follow, you will be putting yourself in trouble. The language and the notifications will be difficult to understand, and you won't understand what is happening with the device.

Thus, it is always recommended that you opt for the good radios with all the safety features in them and are easy to understand. With the simplicity of alerts and notifications, you will understand the messages faster and will be able to save your life from the dreadful disaster.

Help and Support

While purchasing a radio, you should ensure that you get the best help and support during emergencies. If the communication is low and you cannot understand what's been said, your money and life will perish.

Having the easy-to-use and understandable radio is crucial mainly when it's being used for tackling any emergency. You should be satisfied with its functions and should be able to understand everything without any hassle or panic.

These radios have excellent functionality, and they don't disappoint you. You can use them effortlessly and will be able to get the desired help and support on time. Once you start using these radios, you will never look back at any other model.

Also, ensure that you invest in one with decent years of warranty to ensure that it doesn't get damaged pretty soon.


These radios are not restricted only to NOAA but also catch frequencies from AM, FM, and many more short radio waves. When there is an emergency, you cannot stick to only one service.

What if that service fails? To have another source of information, these radios support other stations also.

AM is a widely preferred radio station used by many news channels to deliver updates to the listeners. The popularity is because of the strong signal caught by most devices, even in distant places.

AM is more powerful than FM and can be used as a reliable source of information when facing a crisis. Besides, short wave radio can also be used to listen to international updates.

However, it depends on your current location and the catching power of your device. You can also get access to some entertainment stuff like television audio, etc. and stay entertained when feeling bored on your trip.

Range and tuning ability

Emergency radios are versatile because they have different tuning options, can catch other stations in no time, and have a wide band range, which is a crucial feature of any radio.

You will find a telescopic antenna in them, which helps catch the signals coming to give you a clear output no matter where you are on land. There are two types of tuning systems, one is digital, and the other one is analog.

The digital tuning system gives ease of operation, but you may find it challenging to obtain the messages while stuck in an emergency.

On the other hand, the analog tuning system is hard to operate, but it provides the ease to catch the signals which don't reach your location quickly.

It depends entirely on you which one you want to opt for. Still, you can find variants that offer both the features, which are ease of operation and catching the harder signals.


  1. Is it important to buy a radio with an alternative power source?

Yes, It is quite crucial to get a radio with an alternative power source. It will help you to operate even if its primary power source is not working.

  1. When to use emergency radios?

Emergency radios are handy whenever you get a disaster update, and there is no way to get any signal from anywhere. Being loaded with all the excellent features, they are your accomplice whenever you need.

  1. What is the function of a crank on the battery?

A crank is used to provide power to the battery so that it can work properly. It is an important part of the battery winded to it, just like a hand-powered generator.

  1. Is listening to music an essential part of these radios?

Yes, Emergency radios are well-equipped with all the necessary features like that of a normal radio. They have the FM, and AM features inbuilt to offer you listening audio features that include both music and news etc.

Final Verdict

Emergency radios present a simple and portable way to get all the alerts in case of challenging situations. No matter the geography, these radios will cater to all your needs and can save your day.

In this guide, we have presented all the pointers that will aid you in sorting out the best option. Arm yourself with an elite radio and enjoy safe travels. / - © Copyright 2020