Emergency radios are radio receivers that are designed to remain operational during power outages or when stranded in isolated areas. They can function with less or renewable resources, like solar energy or power.
Normally, emergency radios cover both AM and FM broadcasting bands. Also, they provide weather radio services in countries offering such solutions. Even so, the standard shortwave radio coverage (during situations where local radio is not available) is not as popular.
Now, all kinds of emergency radios are developed to maintain power for the longest time possible during power failures. They use minimal battery power, rechargeable batteries, and electric generators. The rechargeable battery (also, known as the clockwork radio) stores the generated energy.
Emergency radios vary from other types of radios. Yes, they broadcast emergency alerts even when your radio is switched off. They come handy during natural disaster situations such as tsunamis or hurricanes or tornadoes or other rapid-breaking emergencies. Some models of emergency radios can recharge mobile phone batteries and MP3 players as well.
Surely, you will agree that technological developments have made in recent years, though smartphone apps are not sufficient when facing the wrath of Mother Nature. In fact, emergency radios came to the rescue of many when Hurricane Harvey struck in Texas. They provided critical information for people to tide through the crisis.
However, owing to the availability of a wide range of solar radios, finding the one that suits your purpose can get confusing. So, here are some aspects to consider when looking to purchase solar-powered radios that will cater to your emergency needs. And here we go.
Solar Powered Emergency
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This multifunctional radio from the house of RunningSnail is a wonder in itself. A mandatory item for an emergency, it is an AM/FM and NOAA weather alert radio. Emergency weather alerts are broadcasted for storms, floods, and hurricanes. It helps in taking necessary preparations for people. The radio also comes with SOS alarm with flashing red light.
There are multiple ways of charging the radio – solar charging, hand crank system, 3 AAA batteries, and USB cable charging. The radio has 2000mAh rechargeable battery, which helps in providing 4-hours of radio time or 12 hours of light. You can also charge your smartphone or iPhone via the USB ports for retaining connectivity.
This RunningSnail radio also acts as a table lamp and 1W LED flashlight, which seems to be very useful during a power outage. The dimensions of the radio are 6.2 x 2.1 x 2.9 inches and it weighs 0.68 lbs. It also comes with a warranty and great customer support.
RunningSnail brings to you a device which is a radio with innumerable other functionalities. The crank radio has the capacity of receiving AM/FM/7 NOAA weather channel so that you can remain updated regarding the latest weather forecast. This helps in preparations in case there are chances of natural calamities like tornadoes, storms, floods, etc.
The smart radio has dimensions of 5 x 1.8 x 2.4 inches and weighs about 7.8 ounces. There are three sources by which the radio can be powered – solar charging, electric as well as manual hand cranking for winding up internal battery.
The radio also has a strong 1W LED flashlight, which can be really useful during a power outage. The flashlight is also useful during outdoor activities like hiking, camping, backpacking, etc. The radio acts as a 1000mAh power bank for cellphone and iPhone charging via a direct micro-USB cable.
This excellent radio from RunningSnail comes with a 12-month warranty and great customer service.
When you need an emergency survival device that serves more than one purpose, go for this solar-powered radio. This Emergency weather radio is handy to know weather updates round the clock and you can be prepared when a heavy storm and cyclone is about to hit your region. It is always better to have a device which can be used to get weather alerts and you can be prepared in advance.
This versatile device also has a 2000mAh battery inbuilt that will last you for a long time in power outage situations. Using it, you will be able to charge your phone or other USB powered devices in such a tough time. The device also has an embedded SOS alert feature as well. It features a powerful flashlight which is handy in finding your way in night or power outage situations.
You can charge this solar radio in many ways. You can use solar power as well as USB charging to keep it juiced up for emergency situations. The device is quite portable, and you can carry it to many places easily.
Greadio offers a portable and versatile solar-powered radio that is handy in coping with a disaster like situations. This solar radio can be used to AM/FM and 7 NOAA Weather channels to get weather alerts any time. This is ideal for staying prepared during severe storms and similar natural calamities. It has a rechargeable Li-ion battery inside and that be charged using the Micro USB cable, solar panel and 3 AAA batteries. This ensures you always get enough flexibility to keep the device charged .
The device also packs in a flashlight which is useful in times of long power outage. Once the battery is fully charged- the radio can run for 10-12 hours and the flashlight can be set on for 15 hours. The 2000 mAh power bank in it is useful for charging USB devices and cell phones. The device is quite portable, and you can carry it outdoors without hassles. To salvage the users in emergency, the radio comes with an SOS alarm along with a flashing red light.
Intipal offers a versatile and solar-powered radio that can be your best companion in times of disaster. The device ships with an embedded 2000mAh rechargeable battery. This can be used to charge multiple USB devices and the majority of Smartphone models. This ensures even in long power outage situations; you can stay in touch with others. It catches AM/FM channels along with NOAA weather radio broadcasts.
The nice thing is you can charge its rechargeable and inbuilt Li-ion battery can be charged in multiple ways-which makes things flexible for the users. You can use the solar panel and using the USB cable is an option too. You may also use 3 AAA batteries and hand crank. You get a powerful LED zoom flashlight and LED reading lamps in it. The device also features an inbuilt SOS alarm. At 0.68 pounds, it is very lightweight, and you can take it out for trips and camping too. An adjustable metal buckle and the wrist strap are also given. On top of all, you get one emergency mylar thermal blanket with it. The brand offers a money-back policy valid for 30days.
In times of natural disaster, you need to be prepared in every way. Try MD-055, a versatile solar-powered radio that also serves many other purposes. It is compact and well built- making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor usage. The 2000mah Li-ion battery can be used to charge a number of USB devices and smartphone. The radio catches the top AM/FM channels as well as the 7 NOAA channels and so you can stay updated on weather hazards and developments.
The device can be powered in many ways which are flexible for the users. The device takes 5 hours to be charged by micro USB cable. The solar panel and hand cranking can also be used to charge it as an alternative. The device also crams in a powerful LED flashlight which can be used in power cut. To seek help, you can make use of its emergency SOS feature. You get the radio, instruction, Micro USB cable, with an 18-month warranty when you place an order for the unit.
There are many ways to stay safe during a natural calamity but buying an emergency broadcast device or radio is handy. You can try the Crazyfire making radio which is a versatile device. It can be charged in three ways- hand cranking, solar power, and USB charging. So, you can keep this charged at all times- even during long power outage situations.
The solar radio supports popular AM/FM channels and the NOAA Weather Alert Radio channels. Apart from the radio which can be used to obtain weather updates, the device also contains one super-bright flashlight. The flashlight is useful in prolonged power outages. Additionally, there is an inbuilt SOS alarm too. This can be used to seek help when you are stuck in a crisis. This radio comes with a 1-year warranty. It is portable and ruggedly made and so you can take it outdoors without any hesitation.
To salvage emergency and disaster situations smoothly, you can use Kaito KA500 5-way Solar Powered Emergency Radio which can also be used for other needs. The solar radio can be charged in several methods- giving you amazing flexibility. Firstly, you can use the solar panel to charge it and the option to use USB cable is also there. Besides, you can resort to use hand cranking or use 3 AAA batteries. These batteries need to be bought separately.
Its 2000mAH rechargeable battery can be used to charge many types of USB devices in times of long power outage. Kaito KA500 5-way Solar Powered Emergency Radio comes with a handy flashlight that can be bliss when you are coping with an after-storm blackout situation. You may even use it to send out emergency distress alerts as it has an SOS alarm feature embedded. There is an inbuilt clock in it too. It features earphone jack and a hidden antenna for radio reception. You will not face any hiccup in using the device, but the company bundles in a user manual.
OnLyee offers a handy emergency weather radio that also serves many other needs. It offers support for the AM/FM radio channels and also for 7 NOAA channels. This way you can receive weather alerts and stay prepared for severe storms like cyclones. There are many ways to keep this device powered up-which makes things easier for you eventually. You can use solar power to charge it or the USB cable is also there. Hand cranking the device is another option. You also get a bright flashlight in it which can be used when you have to spend a long time in a power cut. You can listen to your favorite channels by using the ear port.
The device is shipped with a powerful 7 NOAA channels rechargeable battery which is enough to power your USB devices when there is a long power cut. The device weighs only 0.64 pounds and so you can use it anywhere outside when you need to power up the Smartphone or similar USB gadgets. It can be carried in a backpack easily. The company offers 30-days money-back scheme along with a 12-month warranty to make the deal more awesome.
RunningSnail offers a versatile and powerful all-weather emergency radio MD-093O that packs in additional features to serve the needs of various types of users. It receives AM/FM radio stations and the 7 NOAA Weather channels. You will be able to stay updated on impending weather hazards by using this radio. The device features an LCD screen for time display and there is an SOS alarm feature. You can use the Earphone Jack to listen to the radio channels.
This versatile portable radio also doubles up as a LED flashlight. It can be quite useful when you are dealing with long power cuts for any reason. It can be charged by many methods- making things easier and flexible for you. You can use solar power or the bundled micro USB cable to charge its rechargeable battery. You may also use AA batteries which have to be bought separately. The company offers 12 Months Replacement Warranty and an additional Money Back Guarantee valid for 30 days. You can try the user manual if using it poses any difficulty.
Esky offers a portable solar-powered radio that can also be utilized in other ways to deal with emergency or disaster situations. The device comes with 3 charging methods which ensure you can use it even during long spells of power cuts. You can use a solar panel or USB port to charge it up. You may also use hand-cranking as an alternative charging method. The device also serves as a power bank and using it, charging your phone or USB gadgets is simple. The USB port has a cover to ensure longevity and save it from accidental spillage.
The Esky Weather Radio looks pretty but it is built ruggedly. You can use it outdoors without woes. It can be used in moist areas as it is water-resistant. To ensure you stay safe in long power cut spells, it comes laden with a 140-lumen flashlight. It supports NOAA radio channels along with regular AM / FM radio. The radio is quite small, and you can pack it in backpacks easily. It weighs only 0.49 pounds. You get a user manual with the radio.
Benefits of Solar Radios
Emergency Information At Your Finger Tip
With emergency radios, you can know about the latest weather conditions and other emergency information. Subsequently, you can decide whether to evacuate your house or stay put.
Gets Charged Directly from Sunlight
Besides, in the cases of solar radios, you can charge them under direct sunlight. Thus, you need not worry about where to plug them, or the back-up batteries, for their operation.
Low Operation Cost
Solar-powered radios absorb sunlight and convert into energy as part of their charging process. Thus, their costs of operation are low. Also, they can be used in areas not having electric generators because they do not need to be plugged in. In turn, they can serve people living in remote areas while giving them access to news and updates.
Solar Powered Radios Buying Guide
Refer to the following details to learn about the important points to consider when shopping for your ideal solar radio.
Do they have Public Alert stickers?
As part of the selection process of emergency radios, you must also check if they contain the ‘NOAA NWR All Hazards’ and ‘Public Alert’ logos. If yes, then go ahead and buy them. Both the standards are different and have been devised after receiving inputs from the National Weather Service and NOAA.
The ‘Public Alert’ sticker is an assurance that your solar-engineered radio complies with the mandatory technical standards, with the inclusion of features that deliver specific alerts after a particular tone.
What are your emergency messaging needs?
When choosing emergency radios, first decide whether you require one for communicating with others or you only want to receive emergency warnings and updates. The standalone AM/FM radio receivers deliver National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) warnings and other important alerts. However, you can opt for shortwave or two-way radios for meeting your two-way communication needs.
The general recommendation is to opt for AM radios for receiving NOAA alerts. Of course, you can tune into FM stations for receiving the latest updates with them too. But, in cases of severe disasters, you may be unable to tune into FM stations; and, here, the extended range of AM radios can help to get the much-needed info.
Do they provide Specific Alert Message Encoding (SAME)?
Opt for solar radios that offer Specific Alert Message Encoding (SAME). Using this technology, you can receive area-specific emergency messages. In turn, you will be informed about any disaster warnings relating to your particular city or state.
Can they connect to external devices?
Solar-based radios that are connectable to external lights constitute wise purchases. As such, you should be able to connect the radios to vibration gadgets for the visually-impaired groups and / or lights for the hearing impaired. You never know when such features will come handy during emergency situations, right?
Do they have extra features?
Having other additional features in your emergency radio is also beneficial. Among the extra features, an on-board battery pack is useful for charging your tablets, phones, and other devices.
Further, you can avail solar radios having a variety of features. These include multiple programmable locations and stations, flashlights, and shock-resistant exteriors for surviving drops. Also, solar radios that are equipped with in-built speakers and usable via earphones should be your pick. In turn, you can lower your power consumption.
In all, take into account your individual requirements and opt for the ones having extra features for adding to your disaster kit.
Are they waterproof and weatherproof?
Keep in mind that not everybody requires ruggedized disaster radios that are functional even after falling off mountains. Now, if you primarily need a solar radio for getting emergency broadcasts, then flashlights and other add-on features may not be that important. However, if you live in areas that are prone to floods, then go for the waterproof models; they can withstand tough weathers.
Can they connect to multiple power sources?
Solar-powered radios that support multiple power sources are a good buy as well. For sure, battery-operated radios are handy devices, though only as long as you have additional batteries with you.
Nonetheless, solar radios that are charged from external sources should be considered too. You should be able to charge them with an AC adapter when you have power; and in cases when power is not available, you can use a manual charger.
In general, solar radios do not need much power for their operation. Though, if you add new features, more power is needed to charge them. Also, if you want to add extra add-ons to your solar radio, then the varieties that are chargeable via multiple sources can come to your rescue. At the least, ensure your chosen solar radio can be charged via hand-cranks. Then, you can continue receiving emergency alerts.
Solar Radio FAQ
Q: When Will I Need An Solar Radio?
Ans: You will need an emergency radio when the power grids fall and you don’t have access to any other source of energy to power your electronic radio to keep yourself abreast with the latest happenings in such difficult times. Seasonal flooding, earthquake, terrorist attack on power grid or wildfire can cut your access to traditional source of power and in such times, an emergency radio can prove handy.
Q: Why Can’t Smartphone be Used As Solar Emergency Radio?
Ans: Because smartphones consume a lot of energy and since in a cataclysmic event, you will most probably have no access to a reliable source of power, it will soon die. In such difficult time, an emergency radio can save your day.
Q: Can I use Solar Emergency Radio to Charge my Phone?
Ans: Some solar powered emergency radios do allow users to charge their smartphones. Usually, you just to plug the smartphone to one of its USB ports and it will get charged.
Q: How long The Battery of a Solar Powered Radio Last?
Ans: Technically, the battery of most solar powered radios should last at least 8 to 10 hours. However, the good thing is you can recharge the battery by taking the solar powered emergency radio outside. Just keep it under the sun for an hour or tow and the battery will replenish itself again.