Buyer’s Guide to the Best Emergency Crank Radio
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
Is being prepared that much of a big deal? Yes, it is!
When it comes to natural disasters, national emergencies or any major events that turn your life upside down, being prepared can even be a matter of life or death.
In the movies, there’s always one who takes on the role of the “hero” who is always prepared. Be like them! You might just save the day.
One essential piece of equipment you need is an emergency crank radio. Keep reading to see why investing in this useful piece of technology could be crucial to your survival.
Be Prepared for the Worst
One way to be prepared is to think negatively. We’re wired to try and think positively, but we have to be prepared for the worst. As we know major emergencies have increased abundantly in the past few years.
So-called “natural disasters” are on the rise with earthquakes, avalanches, tornadoes, mudslides, hurricanes and even tsunamis striking with little or no warning. It’s not just mother nature that strikes, but there are several man-made emergencies, such as terrorism, mass shootings, protests and more that can cause havoc in your local community.
If you find yourself caught in this kind of situation, you might be trapped inside your home, your vehicle or you might even have to flee to a safety zone.
Why Do You Need an Emergency Crank Radio?
During these chaotic times, the usual means of contact can sometimes become unusable, with phone lines jammed, power cuts or internet issues. One method of communication that never seems in fail is the humble radio. During these times you may need to rely on an emergency crank radio.
Having an emergency crank radio packed for these kinds of disasters can help you to monitor local and national news broadcasts giving you the information you need. For example: What happened? What do you need to do? Where are the safest places to go?
But before you buy, you need to know what kind of radio is best for you? Read on to find the essential features you need for your emergency crank radio.
Important Radio Features
Emergency radios are different to traditional radios, as many of them feature multiple functions.
The most important feature is the radio itself. It needs good reception of both AM and FM frequencies. The radio reception should work both inside and outside. It’s always good to buy a radio with the NOAA logo (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). This means that even if you don’t have good reception, you can still receive warnings and news from the NOAA.
SAME (Specific alert message encoding) is also a good feature to have. It allows you to receive emergency warnings specifically from your city, county, or region.
What Tools Are a “Must Have?”
The radio should also be able to run off a different power source. Not needing to be plugged to charge or running off batteries, as power and batteries may become scarce or unusable during these events. An emergency radio that can be cranked by hand or can be charged solar panels are the best kinds. If it has both features, then that’s even better!
Many radios also have a torch as part of the build. A torch is another essential piece of survival equipment. Some torches have a Morse code flash built in, in case you need to attract attention or send an emergency signal. So if your radio has a torch attached, you’ll have two in one. It’ll also make your emergency grab bag lighter!
Most hand crank radios are designed to give you alerts and one-way communication, but you can’t use it to communicate with others. Depending on your circumstances and location, you may need the extra feature of it being a two-way radio. This will allow you to contact the authorities or call for help. These kind of radios are obviously a bit more pricey, but might be worth it, especially if you live far up in the mountains or somewhere secluded.
Since these radios are specifically designed for emergency situations, they need to be sturdy and able to withstand rough conditions. They should also be water resistant, dust resistant, durable and drop proof.
Extra Features for Survival
As mentioned a flashlight is essential. But there are also some other survival tools that feature on many emergency radios. Every tool you have available during a survival situation is important.
Some have a compass, dog whistle, paracord bracelets, or a siren as extra features. Others have an auditable alarm that emits a loud tone when an alert is received, even if the device is switched off. For those who are hearing impaired, some radios feature strobe lights or bed shakers to enhance the built-in alarm.
A great bonus to have is a built-in USB PORT. This will allow you to charge up your smartphone and other small electronics. It probably won’t charge your device to full power, but it will be enough to get in contact in an emergency.
Remember to look at the overall size and weight before you buy, as you don’t want something too bulky or too fragile. Also, check the volume and size of the speakers. And always make sure there is a headphone jack.
Always make sure that it is user-friendly. No amount of features on an emergency crank radio will be helpful if it’s over complicated. Before you buy, check that the emergency radio you choose is easy for you to use. If you do pick one with extra fancy features, make sure you take the time to learn how to use it beforehand.
Preparation Is the Key to Success
As you can see, having an emergency crank radio can really help in an emergency situation. And it’s not just a radio, there is an abundance of other survival features that could even save your life.
We hope this guide will help you to choose the right radio that will fit your needs and personal circumstances.
For more useful tips and hacks about emergency radios, check out our blog!