The weather has a history of being uncertain, monstrous, and often natural disasters hit when we least expect it. It can catch people off guard and have severe consequences. There’s no way you can evade a calamity.
But what if you can equip yourself with all the precautionary measures before the disaster dawns on your head? The digital world has enabled us to get a detailed weather forecast on our cellular phones. But harsh weather condition may collapse the cellular network.
So, what can we do when we’re heading against a natural calamity?
Well, weather radio comes handy to help you in this situation. But there hundreds of weather radio devices available. We have to make sure we grab the best emergency radio to overcome this issue. Before getting into this topic, let me explain to you more about the emergency weather radio.
What is an Emergency Weather Radio?
An emergency weather radio is a device that relays local weather updates and offers broadcasting services such as AM and FM. Whenever a disaster such as a Tornado, Cyclone, Thunderstorm, Hurricane, Flooding is about to hit the city, the government-owned radio stations would broadcast information on the emergency weather radio. This will put the listener on guard.
The emergency radios receive the information about approaching disasters first hand and can be relied upon to paint the accurate picture for the locked-up people.
The national authorities of a country relay all the relevant information about the disaster through radio waves. Computers, Cellphones, Televisions cannot render such services during a weather emergency because the weather condition might hinder their network.
Therefore, with a stock of food supplies during a weather emergency, a weather radio or emergency radio is an equally must-have device. Once you decide to purchase the best weather alert radio, there is one question that arises on your mind is - Which one to choose?
Hence, we purchased several so-called best emergency radios in the market and analyzed each one of them with particular functionalities. After hours of research, here is the list of the Best Emergency Weather Radios for you to choose from!
10 Best Emergency Weather Radio
Best Emergency Radio Reviews in 2021
1. FosPower FOSPWB-2376 - Best Emergency Radio 2021
Overall Rating - 4.75/5
The FosPower Emergency Solar hand radio is incorporated with all the basic and advanced features which make up as the best emergency radio. This weather alert radio comes with an LED flashlight with the zoom feature, a 2000 mAh power bank, 2 LED lights, and an SOS alarm.
It can be charged by three power sources when the radio needs a boosting or simply a recharge viz the solar crank emergency radio’s AAA batteries, a solar panel, and a crank lever. This emergency weather radio will give you access to the emergency NOAA weather broadcasts. Apart from giving emergency broadcasts, it also gives access to AM and FM broadcasts.
2. Midland-WR400 - Best NOAA Weather Radio
Overall Rating - 4.5/5
This launch by Midland has the feature of NOAA weather scan, which scans through various weather channels to relay information or to alert the listeners about the approaching flood, tornado, thunderstorm, hurricane, and other disasters. It is highly reliable for accurate news reports owing to their source being the strongest weather channel for weather information.
You can also choose the method with which you want to be alerted. Be it a loud siren alarm or a silent LED flasher. The 4 AA Alkaline battery enables this best emergency weather radio to operate even during power cuts. Although the weather radio does not come with a battery, it is sold separately. It also has an inbuilt Alarm clock to wake you up to local weather updates.
3. Kaito KA500 - Best Emergency Crank Radio
Overall Rating - 4.4/5
This portable emergency radio comes with a hand crank generator, solar panel, battery compartment which requires 3 AA batteries, a USB port, 5V AC/DC input, a power adapter, and a rechargeable battery pack. This emergency radio not only covers weather updates but also provides channels for entertainment, sports, talk-shows, worldwide breaking news, and all-day-long weather forecast.
Imagine having this much awesome in one little instrument. It has a USB port to function as a mobile battery charger too. Hence, in case of a power outage, a dying phone can be replenished to keep you connected with the outside world in an emergency. Apart from charging phones, it is also capable of charging MP3 players, digital cameras, etc. All these features make this device one of the best weather radio.
4. Runningsnail MD-088s - Best Emergency Radio Under Budget
Overall Rating - 4.4/5
Runningsnail MD-088s multi-featured emergency radio offers entertainment services such as AM and FM along with the NOAA emergency weather updates. The entertainment feature includes live updates of sports, reality shows, music, and worldwide breaking news. Therefore, it is not only wonderful during the storm but also useful during the calm.
It comes with a 1W long-lasting LED flashlight and 1000mAh power bank which can come in handy while being out in the wilderness. There are three methods to charge this best emergency radio viz Micro USB charging, Solar charging, and Manual hand crank. The USB port can help charge your phones and MP3 players. It also comes with a 12-month warranty.
5. RunningSnail MD-090 - Best Solar Emergency Radio
Overall Rating - 4/5
RunningSnail MD-090 provides various essential features of the best emergency radio. This weather radio comes with AM/FM services and NOAA weather updates. So you will be immediately alerted if your area is about to be subject to Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Thunderstorms, etc.
During a power outage, it can be used to light up the room using its 1W LED flashlight. The charging option includes Hand crank, solar charging, and USB charging.
Smartphones can also be charged with USB port feature of this weather radio, which helps to keep you connected with the outside world in the time of crisis. It also comes with an SOS alarm. In case you need help due to an emergency, the SOS feature will summon a red light and get you help.
6. Midland ER310 - Best Emergency Radio for Outdoor Activities
Overall Rating - 4/5
Another great production from Midland is ER310 Emergency Radio. With a 2600mAh rechargeable battery, it can be charged in three ways viz the hand crank, solar, and the USB cable. It can also be powered by AA batteries.
The USB port can also power up your low battery phone, and it is necessary to not let your phone die. That will be your sole connection with the world outside.
The ER310 emergency radio has an inbuilt 130-lumen flashlight to assist you at night or in the dark. Along with NOAA weather updates, it also has access to AM and FM radio. It has the SOS feature in Morse code to get you the necessary help in the time of dire need.
Many users have appreciated the sound quality of this weather radio. And if you’re often engaged in outdoor activities, it is an essential commodity. These outstanding facilities of this device made me put this device on the best emergency radio list.
7. Eton FRX5BT - Best Dynamo Emergency Radio
Overall Rating - 4/5
This Eton emergency radio is a versatile device useful either for a long-planned hiking trip or a backyard camping night. The weather radio provides entertainment services as well as a 24/7 weather report. The device is built in such a way that it tries to reach every need of the user. Getting this will ensure the safety of oneself and the entire family.
With an extremely good sound system, it broadcasts AM/FM and NOAA weather channels. The alert feature automatically warns you if something sinister is approaching. It is charged from 3 sources and has a built-in alarm clock.
You can carry it anywhere you go as it is a very handy instrument. The USB port lets you charge your Mobile Phones, laptops, and Digital Cameras, so you’re practically never out of power. With all of these features this weather radio featured as one of the best emergency radio.
8. iRonsnow TS-IS-088-R - Best Weather Alert Radio for Easy Operation
Overall Rating - 4/5
iRonsnow TS-IS-088-R compact emergency radio offers a choice of self-charge, solar charge, and other recharge options with 3 LED flashlights, iRonsnow’s launch offers every essential thing of the best weather radio could offer.
There are three ways of external charging viz Micro-USB, hand crank, and solar. It weighs less than 0.5 lbs with dimension 5” x 2.4” x 1.6”. This light-weighted beauty can be carried anywhere, including hiking trips and outdoor activities.
It is highly compact, light, and easy to carry on hiking and excursions. It was a very popular product in the United States during the time of major weather crisis. It was given highly appreciative reviews only because of its accurate information and incredible assistance.
9. Bonpro BY042 - Best Emergency Radio with Flashlight
Overall Rating - 3.7/5
This production of Bonpro is the epitome of the Best Emergency Radio. It alerts the listeners as soon as it receives the weather warning. It offers entertainment services via AM and FM, along with giving weather updates round the clock through seven NOAA weather channels. It warns the listeners about the approaching life-threatening weather crisis.
There are five ways to charge this weather radio viz Hand crank, Micro USB cable, and solar. It can also be powered by LR03 AAA batteries as a backup. It has 5-LED reading lamps, LED flashlights, and SOS features. Having this emergency weather radio in your backpack and close by will ensure your utmost safety. Its USB port can also charge Mobile Phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, etc.
10. Esky ES-CR01 - Best Emergency Radio with Cell Phone Charger
Overall Rating - 3.65/5
Always be armed with this best weather radio if you want to keep yourself on guard and safe in the time of crisis. This small size emergency radio can be packed in a backpack or can even be clipped on your belt. It can also function as a mobile charger during a power cut.
Keeping your phone alive is essential during a storm. Its three methods of charging enable it to be charged even with no electricity. The 1000mAh battery can be charged by a USB cable, solar panel and hand crank. It can withstand even severe weather conditions and will always be there to assist you.
This lightweight instrument will keep you fully updated about the prevalent weather conditions and also gives entertainment updates. It also comes with an inbuilt 140-lumen flashlight to always light up your way!
Best Emergency Radio Buying Guide
Types of Weather Radio
All the weather radios receive the same broadcast information provided by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration). There are only two types of radios you can choose weather radios or weather band radios, and emergency alert radios.
Weather radios are not very helpful in saving lives, while weather alert radios are specifically designed as alert-giving radios in an emergency.
The weather alert radios broadcast an emergency alert even when it is turned to a different channel; it will interrupt the other channels and automatically switch back to the NOAA channel temporarily. It can keep you safe before any tragedy, but the weather band radios change into a local weather radio when you listen to the music and do not provide any emergency alert to warn you when it is issued for your safety.
Do you need a desktop weather radio or emergency radio? Which one is the best?
The desktop weather radios are the best for all the purposes as well as places like your home or office. You can also use these desktop weather radios as a bedside alarm clock when they do not have any alert for weather in your area. It will broadcast weather alerts when they are issued in your local area.
The desktop weather radios are not designed to be used as portable one. But they have a backup alternative after the batteries runoff.
Emergency radios are the best product you can use and invest your money for the best qualities and features. This radio is the essential product for your family to be prepared before a disaster. The emergency weather alert radios are specially designed to alert you in the night even when it is turned off.
The importance of having a survival radio for harsh weather:
If you are living in a place where the weather conditions can go bad at any moment, you will need a weather radio to keep you alert. It becomes an important part of the emergency preparedness kit.
I know that you are wondering why we need a radio when we have a smartphone which gives us all the information we need in just seconds. But these emergency survival radios work in every weather condition, even when the signals could not reach your cellphones.
This device uses the low-frequency mode to travel a long distance other than the LTE signal. These radios also come in portable and solar powered, so that they can be used easily.
Who should buy an emergency radio?
The people who love adventure and live in an area with extreme weather conditions will need this emergency radio. This radio provides every alert that is issued by the NOAA broadcasting station in the quickest time. So, you can be ready ahead of any dangerous situation and keep your family and yourself safe.
These radios are more relevant than any other weather alert device. They do not only alert you but have a multi-feature built in it. These emergency radios work on solar energy and can have long-lasting battery life. We all are vulnerable to cell phones at this age because, in bad weather conditions, the signal towers do not provide any internet and could not even give you any information.
Factors need to consider before buying an emergency radio
You should check first if the radio has AM/FM and a shortwave option built in it. You can also consider how many stations this radio can receive and the quality of the transmissions from afar.
NOAA uses high-frequency waves in emergency radios. And some of them also use light and sound to alert you whenever the emergency broadcasting takes place. The NOAA also uses the S.A.M.E. (Specific area messaging encoding) to transmit emergency alerts.
2. Sound quality
The emergency radio must have a high alert sound to make you alert at the right time. And how much area does the maximum volume of the radio cover.
If you are looking for a radio to use daily but a little for emergency purposes, you can consider buying an indoor radio in which an optimized setting is built to listen to music genres and much more.
The size and weight of the radio are the most important while traveling. So, you should check that the emergency radio you are buying weighs less. An emergency radio generally weighs less than a pound, and some are that small in size to carry them in a pocket.
4. Battery life
This point has to be considered your top priority because if you are not at home but on an adventure or camping, you cannot have a charger point with you anytime. So, whenever you are looking for a weather radio, consider its battery life can be used for a long time with only one charge. Some of the emergency radios provide your solar panels in them so that they can charge by using the weather itself.
5. Easy to use
Whenever we are ready to buy any product, we think about how to use them, which sometimes becomes more difficult. While the more features it has, the product always looks so appealing, but the main thing that you need to be sure of is that you are comfortable using this product.
Frequently Asked Questions About Rain Gauge
1. What stations does an emergency radio be able to pick up?
A good quality emergency radio can use the AM, FM, or Shortwave stations, but some emergency radios do not include these stations because they need an optional antenna.
2. Why is it important to have an emergency radio?
An emergency radio can give you the latest news and updates even in a situation when the internet does not give you proper information or the servers are down. It can save you from critical and life-danger situations by giving alerts on time.
3. How often should I charge my emergency radio?
The emergency radios have a Li-ion battery inbuilt in them, and these batteries are known for their high temperamental behaviors. So, they suggest you charge them once in 3 months or so.
4. What happens to a weather radio during an emergency?
During an emergency, the National weather service forecasts interrupt your radio signals and give out the signals that connect them to the weather alert special tones in your listening area.
5. How many stations does the National Weather Service have?
The NOAA weather radios have 750 transmitters that covers up to 90% of the 50 states along with some other coastal areas.
Nobody likes to be in the middle of a life-threatening weather crisis. But natural processes of the Earth cannot be halted by anyone. It is impossible to prevent calamities like Tornadoes, Earthquakes, Cyclones, Flood, Hurricanes, and Thunderstorms from knocking at the gates of our cities. But what can be done is, ensure the safety of yourself and your family.
To fulfill that, a product like a weather radio is highly important. It alerts you of the crisis, and you can prepare yourself for whatever is going to come your way. However, before purchasing a weather radio, your desires should also be taken into the equation. Each type of radio has a specific feature that the others don’t have.
Hence, studying all the radios and then making a final decision is an act of a wise. The above article is there precisely to assist you in that sphere. Once you have equipped yourself with a reliable weather radio, you can keep yourself at guard and minimize the damage of the calamity.
About the Author
I am Tim, a weather enthusiast who loves to watch hurricanes and all other harsh weather conditions. I studied B.Sc(Meteorology) at the University of Miami. With excellent knowledge of Weather Forecasting, Meteorology, and Environmental Science, I am currently working in San Francisco as a Meteorologist. Also, I am a member of The Weather Channel and AccuWeather. In this blog, I will write a detailed review of Weather instruments that you need for survival and other activities.