Emergency Radio Comparison: A Guide

Emergency Radio Comparison: A Guide

There are a few things in life you do not compromise on or look for the best deal. When buying an emergency radio, you only look for the best.

It has to be reliable, ultra-durable and powerful. Whether it is part of an emergency kit or a job site, when you need it, you need to be sure it is up to the job.

Lives are literally at stake, and time and the information are of the essence. In this article, we’ve compiled a guide that will assist you in doing an emergency radio comparison.

An emergency radio is something you will hopefully never have to use or, at the very least, use it to get information to guide you from entering a dangerous area. But if and when you do need it, you want to be sure you got one that will do what is needed.

It is an essential piece of equipment, and a big part of any emergency or disaster is communication. If you are cut off from all forms of communication, the danger is much worse.

Access to information will be able to help you plan a safe way out of the emergency, without communication, the situation is perilous. Alerts and reports from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are essential in an emergency.

The information will allow you to prepare and plan a safety and survival strategy. You will be able to get alerts on such things as tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, chemical spills, amber alerts and other relevant disaster information.

Like all products in life, not all emergency radios are built the same. Features are important, but durability, reliability, and power are the most important factors to consider.

They have to be built tough to handle the stress and shock they are going to be put on during transport and use.

Furthermore, they need to stand up well to water, dust and other things that might harm them. They obviously need to be reliable and dependable, and you need to know that they have sufficient range to receive clear communication from remote areas at all times.

You get some really good, top quality emergency radios that you know you can bet your life on. They are rugged and will not let you down when you need them most. Sadly, you get some that are not quite as durable and dependable.

It is important that you do good research and do not rush into buying one that might let you down in an emergency. You cannot afford to put your own life and the lives of those around at risk when danger is near.

Emergency Radio Comparison: Things to Consider

While we said the main things to look for are durability, reliability, and range, the features many emergency radios come with can come in very handy in an emergency situation. Look at and compare features to see what you need.

Rather be prepared and have more than you need than face a disaster and be without features that could have been a great benefit.

The very first thing you have to consider with an investment like this is what are your specific requirements and needs. In most cases, people simply require a radio that will allow them to receive NOAA alerts and other danger warnings.


If you need shortwave radio or two-way radio, these are considerably more expensive. Determine if you really require the additional bands.

While an emergency radio should not be skimped on, it is pointless spending unnecessary money on things you do not need and are unlikely to use.

If two-way communication is required then obviously you will have to consider those options, but for NOAA alerts, a powerful AM radio is what you need. An AM/FM radio will allow you to tune into local FM stations if the disaster is not so severe that they are also down. The long range of the AM radio is the really important feature when receiving the alerts and warnings.


There are two different standards you want to look for and ensure the radio complies with them. These are the “NOAA NWR All Hazards” and the “Public Alert” certifications.

The standards are independent but both were developed in conjunction with the National Weather Service and the NOAA. The radios will be branded with stickers denoting they meet these standards.

The Public Alert standard is verification that the radio meets the required technical specifications and is capable of receiving relevant alerts. A tone will alert you of an incoming alert, and the equipment also has the ability to be used for the visually or hearing impaired through the use of vibrations and lights. This feature requires additional components that plug into the radio.

Specific Alert Message Encoding

Another feature to look out for is Specific Alert Message Encoding (SAME). This lets you receive warning and alerts for specific areas, so you receive messages relevant to your location and not the areas that do not directly affect you.

Power is a big issue in a disaster or emergency situation so look for a radio that supports a range of power sources. Batteries are the standard form of power, and you will obviously need to carry additional batteries.

You also want the option of using AC power when that is available to save on batteries as well as a manual charging option such as a crank for when there is no alternative power available.

Added Features

Finally, look at the additional features that would be useful in an emergency. Options range from a light source or flashlight which is extremely handy to solar panels for charging, mobile device charging capabilities and multiple programmable locations and stations.

These are conveniences that might make life easier when you are in an emergency situation but be aware that they will use the power faster than the radio alone. Always ensure you have sufficient power for the radio as that is the most important aspect you need.

Build quality is also important, it must be capable of handling some rough treatments as well as dust and water.

In conclusion, there are some great emergency radios on the market, and we hope this guide will help you make an emergency radio comparison easier. Always remember to just take your time, do the necessary research and choose wisely.

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