Why Radios Matter During Disasters

6 features to look for when choosing a radio

When the unexpected happens, we’ve gotta be able to reach loved ones, contact emergency services, and stay up-to-date with emergency information. Reliable communication and information are so incredibly important!

Unfortunately, when disaster strikes, our ability to use our phones often becomes one of the first things that fail us. That’s because phones are heavily reliant on cell towers and the power grid.

Take, for example, Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Due to strong winds and flooding, which damaged cables between cellular towers, at least 17 emergency call centers and 320 cellular sites were disrupted.

The result? Over 148,000 people were suddenly left without access to cell service, Internet, or TV. Some counties even had cell-site outage percentages of up to 95 percent!

This is why in times of crisis, an oldie but a goodie is the most effective method of communication:

The Radio

Thing is, not all radios are built the same. Here are some key features that you should look for:

#1. Multiple power sources:
The best emergency radios will have a number of power options so you’re covered when the power goes out. Examples of alternate charging options include solar, hand crank, and batteries (rechargeable or regular).

Check this one out. It’s powered in 5 different ways: AC, battery, hand crank, solar, and even your computer!

Voyager Classic KA500
Voyager Classic KA500
Voyager Classic KA500
Voyager Classic KA500
Voyager Classic KA500
Voyager Classic KA500
Voyager Classic KA500
Voyager Classic KA500
Voyager Classic KA500

Voyager Classic KA500

$49.98

Specifically designed for emergency situations, the KA500 offers different methods to power itself including AC/DC adapter (not included), three AA batteries (not included), the built-in rechargeable Ni-MH battery, and the dynamo hand crank. Includes an internal generator that recharges the internal replaceable Ni-MH battery pack and powers the radio, flashlight and reading lamp. This radio also features a USB port, which you can use either to charge your radio with a PC or charge other electronic gadgets with the hand crank. 

Standard accessories include earphones, user manual and bonus multiple adapter tips for charging select models of Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and LG phones.

Features:

  • 5-way powered emergency radio, AC, battery, hand crank, solar, computer
  • AM/FM/Shortwave radio and 7 pre-set NOAA weather channels with alert
  • 180-degree adjustable solar panel
  • Impact resistant and water resistant
  • Works like a battery - plug your phone charger directly into it

 

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#2. Extended battery life:
Disasters are unpredictable and who knows how long you’ll be without access to other communication methods. You want to have a radio that gives you at least 12 hours of performance when fully charged.

#3. For all things related to weather look for the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) logo:
If you live in a place where big storms or sudden tornadoes are common, you’ll want a radio with the NOAA label. NOAA certified radios broadcast the NRW (National Weather Radio) which keeps you up to date with weather warnings, watches, forecasts, and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These broadcasts cannot be heard on a simple AM/FM radio.

#4. Water resistance:
Having a water resistance radio is essential in extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes, floods, and tsunamis. Water and moisture may get into your gadget which can result in shorting the internal circuit. Plus, electric shock is not fun! This feature can save your radio and possibly, your life as well.

This one has a waterproof level of IPX3 and can be used during rainy weather!

RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio
RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio
RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio
RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio
RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio
RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio
RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio
RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio

RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio

$46.00

A Must For Emergency. Keep your household prepared with this AM/FM & NOAA weather alert radio, broadcast emergency weather alerts for your area such as hurricanes, tornadoes and severe storms.

Features:

  • Table Lamp & 1W LED Flashlight: It can be used in emergency and survival situations to light up dark spaces and areas or to keep your room nice and bright after a storm cuts off your power.
  • Hand Crank Self-charge for Outage: 2000mAh rechargeable battery provides up to 12 hours of light or 4-6 hours of radio time.
  • SOS Alarm With Flashing Red Light: Ask for help in case you have an emergency or you want to warn somebody.
  • Multiple Ways to Charge: Hand crank, solar charging, Micro USB cable and 3 AAA batteries(not included). It can be charge USB port devices such as smart phones, to keep you connected and powered.

 

Details:

  • Multifunctional crank radio, receives AM/FM/7 NOAA Weather Channels
  • SOS Alarm with flashing red light 
  • 1W Bright LED Flashlight, zoom adjustable
  • 4 LED Reading Lamp
  • 2000 mAh Battery will provide long lasting hours of radio time and flash light time;
  • Solar panel will provide continuous power to the radio, your battery will never die;
  • Hand crank self powered system
  • Micro USB, to charge the radio via USB cable;
  • Support AAA dry battery for backup(not included);
  • Waterproof Level: IPX3, can be used during rainy weather.
  • Provides up to date weather information. (AM:520-1720Khz;
  • FM:87-108MHz; NOAA:162.40-162.55MHz)

 

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#5. One-Way vs. Two-Way:
It’s basically what it sounds like. One-way communication allows you to get real-time emergency information from local authorities. A two-way radio is a fast and easy way to communicate and, unlike cell phones, you can use them anywhere without worrying about network restrictions. All you have to do is tune in to the same channel. Plus, don't worry about a cracked screen; quality 2-way radios are built to withstand all kinds of battles.

Check these two-way radios out:

Kenwood PKT-23
Kenwood PKT-23
Kenwood PKT-23
Kenwood PKT-23
Kenwood PKT-23
Kenwood PKT-23
Kenwood PKT-23
Kenwood PKT-23
Kenwood PKT-23
Kenwood PKT-23
Kenwood PKT-23
Kenwood PKT-23
Kenwood PKT-23
Kenwood PKT-23
Kenwood PKT-23

Kenwood PKT-23

$145.00

The PKT-23 LT is the smallest and lightest UHF two-way radio from Kenwood at only 3.9oz. Easy to handle and operate, this 1.5 Watt, 4 channel transceiver packs a solid punch that fits in your pocket and is smaller that a credit card.

Kenwood PKT-23 radio highlights

  • Analog only transmissions
  • 4 preprogrammed channels (99 presets available)
  • UHF (451-470 MHz) frequency band
  • 1.5 watt max power output
  • 2 programmable buttons
  • 15 hours of battery life
  • Lightweight 3.9oz (110g) design
  • IP54 rated - splashproof and virtually dustproof
  • 2 year warranty

Model number

ProTalk LT PKT-23K

Supported system technologies

Simplex radio to radio only

Included PKT-23 accessories

Shop all PKT-23 radio accessories

Fixed UHF Antenna  
Battery KNB-71L
Belt Clip
KBH-20
Charger
KSC-44

 Resources

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#6. Bonus features:
Today’s emergency radios are often designed to serve multiple purposes. Our favorites are those that have a built-in flashlight, cell phone charger, and panic/SOS button. However, be wise in choosing the features you need so that you don’t end up draining your battery.

This one has an SOS Alarm with flashing red lights, 1W Bright LED Flashlight, and 4 LED Reading Lamps.

RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio
RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio
RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio
RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio
RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio
RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio
RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio
RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio

RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio

$46.00

A Must For Emergency. Keep your household prepared with this AM/FM & NOAA weather alert radio, broadcast emergency weather alerts for your area such as hurricanes, tornadoes and severe storms.

Features:

  • Table Lamp & 1W LED Flashlight: It can be used in emergency and survival situations to light up dark spaces and areas or to keep your room nice and bright after a storm cuts off your power.
  • Hand Crank Self-charge for Outage: 2000mAh rechargeable battery provides up to 12 hours of light or 4-6 hours of radio time.
  • SOS Alarm With Flashing Red Light: Ask for help in case you have an emergency or you want to warn somebody.
  • Multiple Ways to Charge: Hand crank, solar charging, Micro USB cable and 3 AAA batteries(not included). It can be charge USB port devices such as smart phones, to keep you connected and powered.

 

Details:

  • Multifunctional crank radio, receives AM/FM/7 NOAA Weather Channels
  • SOS Alarm with flashing red light 
  • 1W Bright LED Flashlight, zoom adjustable
  • 4 LED Reading Lamp
  • 2000 mAh Battery will provide long lasting hours of radio time and flash light time;
  • Solar panel will provide continuous power to the radio, your battery will never die;
  • Hand crank self powered system
  • Micro USB, to charge the radio via USB cable;
  • Support AAA dry battery for backup(not included);
  • Waterproof Level: IPX3, can be used during rainy weather.
  • Provides up to date weather information. (AM:520-1720Khz;
  • FM:87-108MHz; NOAA:162.40-162.55MHz)

 

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In addition to having a powerful 3 LED flashlight, this one also acts as a power bank so you can charge any device.

iRonsnow Solar Emergency Power Bank
iRonsnow Solar Emergency Power Bank
iRonsnow Solar Emergency Power Bank
iRonsnow Solar Emergency Power Bank
iRonsnow Solar Emergency Power Bank
iRonsnow Solar Emergency Power Bank
iRonsnow Solar Emergency Power Bank
iRonsnow Solar Emergency Power Bank
iRonsnow Solar Emergency Power Bank
iRonsnow Solar Emergency Power Bank

iRonsnow Solar Emergency Power Bank

$17.90

 

One of the most compact and lightweight emergency radios available, the iRonsnow Solar Emergency Power Bank weighs less than half a pound and only two and half by five inches. 

Features:

  • Compact AM/FM NOAA Weather Radio and a powerful 3 LED flashlight, with cell phone charger. iRonsnow Official focus on making emergency equipment. Your creditable emergency expert.
  • Offers a choice of self-charge, solar and external recharge power options. 1000mAh battery.
  • 3 ways to charge: micro usb/hand crank/solar.Dimensions: 5" x 2.4" x 1.6" .Weight: less than 0.5 lbs.
  • Very compact, light, and easy to carry, good survival kit when cellphone powered off or disaster weather.
  • Light brightness of 5000lux @120mm, 0.25W/7 Lumen.
  • Range is approximately 60KM (38 Miles) for FM, 100KM (62 Miles) for AM. 

Included:
iRonsnow IS-088 Radio
USB Charging Cable
Wrist lanyard
USB Converter
DC Cable
User Manual



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No matter what, remember:
don’t worry. be ready.