What is a Good Emergency Radio: Check out These Features

What is a Good Emergency Radio: Check out These Features

Emergency radios used to be very straightforward. It is plainly a battery-operated AM/FM radio that you can use when there is a power outage to help you monitor the situation around you.

Back then, emergency radios that also work as lamps were already considered top-of-the-line! But with today’s technology, what makes a good emergency radio?

With the advancement of technology, what has been considered more is now referred to as basic. We may all agree that a lamp during a power outage is enough to help you read a book or a map, and a plain, old radio is sufficient to give you news updates.

Today, those are considered good but not good enough. Let’s take a closer look at the basic and added features of a modern emergency radio.

What is a Good Emergency Radio?

A good emergency radio is something that you could rely on in case of, well, an emergency. Whenever power supply is compromised, the very least emergency radio can do for you give you an update.


A handheld radio transceiver can come in handy during life or death situations. It can receive and transmit signals, meaning you could contact a channel and ask for help. If your emergency radio has this added feature, your chances of survival increases.

However, it comes at an added cost of course. Nevertheless, this feature is pretty much a winner especially if you are in or you frequently visit a remote area.


It may seem pretty basic, but we still like to reiterate the importance of having a built-in light on your portable radio. It may not be able to replace your tactical high-lumen flashlight fully, but it can still be a useful low-powered light for more visibility that leads to safety.

A good to know fact is that a low wattage LED light can be good enough to be used for reading without hurting your eye.

Built-in Rechargeable Battery

Today, built-in batteries are the default feature of emergency radios; some of the good ones are Alkaline or lithium battery-operated though they are quite rare nowadays.

Moreover, some radios have battery compartments aside from the built-in batteries, making them still operational even when all the charge is consumed. All you need is a new set of fresh batteries.

Solar Energy and Charging

During storms, floods, tornadoes, or other disasters, a power outage may last from few hours to a couple of days, which may go beyond a battery’s full life cycle. Good thing that some emergency radios are equipped with solar cells, which allows you to use and recharge your emergency radio with sunlight instead of electricity, to prolong the radio’s power usage.

AC Charging

This is still the fastest way to recharge your emergency radio so make sure to do so when the power is restored as power interruptions are a common and frequent situation during emergencies.

USB Charging

Another alternative way to recharge your emergency radio’s batteries is through USB charging. This will come in handy especially if you have a power bank, which you can also use to recharge your mobile phones.


In case of long power outage, you can use your laptop to recharge your radio since it would be highly unlikely that you will need a computer during cases of emergencies.

Manual Crank

When all of the above fail; when it seems like power would not return anytime soon, you are out of batteries, and the sun won’t show up, you are still left with one more method to recharge your emergency radio; that is through a hand crank.

Yes, there are emergency radios that come with a hand crank to make sure that, when all power source fails, you can rotate the crank to generate power for the device.

Power Output

You will be amazed at how much these radios can do. Aside from delivering you news and other relevant information you need for survival, it can also charge your mobile phone with a USB power out just like a power bank.

With the many fail-safe methods of recharging your radio, you shouldn’t hesitate to charge your mobile phone to maintain a direct line if someone must contact you. Besides, you can always crank your radio to produce power.


You might be asking, “where would I need a waterproof emergency radio?” Well, there’s the rain and the moisture that comes with cold weather. This may get into your gadget which can result in shorting the internal circuit.

In case there is heavy rain, flood, or anything that involves water splashing to your gadget, this feature can save your radio and possibly, your life as well.

NOAA Weather Station Connected

A portable emergency radio that can connect and receive NOAA weather reports can give you accurate updates about your local area and your neighboring areas. This can help you prepare for whatever disaster is looming in your vicinity.

Bonus Features

Some emergency radio manufacturers had taken things to the next level. It’s not unusual to find emergency radios with Bluetooth connectivity and memory card slots, which allow you to play music with them eliminating the high chances of you and your family being bored, hopefully not scared, to death. Aside from that, some emergency radios function as a recorder, too.

This may be a little trivial but they could come in handy. You can log what is going around with the voice recorder, and it can come useful in case you need to review some events that transpired during the emergency.

These are pretty cool features, won’t you agree?

Get The Right One For You

Using your emergency radio for other purposes can drain your battery and leave your device inoperable. Be wise in choosing the features you need so that you would not end up with a radio that has a dead battery during an emergency; the time you need it most.

What is a good emergency radio? It’s that one thing that will keep you updated and can keep you safe during emergencies. After all, that’s what they are for in the first place.

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