Why Everyone Should Have a Hand Crank Radio in Their Emergency Kit

There are a lot of things, such as a flashlight, food, water, and a communication device, you need to have during emergency situations. In cases of typhoons, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters, you can expect that your primary power source would be out. It means there is no source of power in your house, and you need to bring items with you that can function even without a power outlet.

A hand-crank radio is one of the highly recommended items to have handy. There are several specific reasons why everyone should have a hand crank radio in their emergency kit. Thus, we will share some of the benefits of having one in your kit.

Why Everyone Should Have a Hand Crank Radio in Their Emergency Kit

Most of you might think that hand-crank radios are pretty old school with all of the gadgets that we have right now. Little do we know that even if communication is easier nowadays, hand-crank radios are beneficial in times of emergencies.

During emergencies, there are instances where mobile phone networks and WiFi don’t have signals, and this radio is definitely useful. Hand-crank radios today are multi-functional, as well. They have features that would really save you if you suddenly run out of power, as well as when you are outdoors camping, hiking, and the likes.

1. NOAA Weather Alerts

A hand-crank radio is considered as a weather alert radio, and you don’t need to turn it on to receive the alerts. Weather alert radios will also send a warning to you even if you are listening to a different radio station.

These weather alert radios are “All Hazards NOAA” weather radios, which mean you will receive weather and civil emergency alerts instantly. This is the primary reason why you need to have a hand-crank radio in your kit. If you are always updated with the latest emergency news, you can better prepare yourself in case of an emergency.

2. Better Than Mobile Phones in Times of Emergencies

If there is an emergency, most people rely on their mobile phones. It’s not a problem since the main function of mobile phones is to allow you to communicate with other people, and it will serve as an excellent device to ask for help.

However, there are weather conditions that can disrupt or cut off the services of cell towers in your area, which means your mobile will be useless. You might be able to send a text, but the receiver might not receive or receive it at a later time. Also, if there is power interruption in your area, your phone will lose power in time.

A hand-crank radio is more reliable during emergencies because it has different charging options. First, during regular days, you can plug the radio in a power outlet and fully charge its battery.

In case power is interrupted during a natural disaster, you can use it to get weather reports. It can also be used as a form of entertainment since most models today have AM/FM radios.

Once the battery dies, there are three other ways to power the radio, including:

  • AA or AAA batteries: If you have AA or AAA batteries, you can use them to power up your radio. The batteries needed for the hand-crank radio depends on the brand you are using, so make sure that you check it and have a stock of the specific battery.
  • Solar power: Some radios can be recharged through solar power so that you can just bring it outside when the sun is high and let it recharge. It has solar panels that would revive the battery inside the radio and allow you to use it for a while.
  • Hand crank: This is the best feature of this type of radio because you just need to use the hand crank on the radio and you can recharge it. It means that even if you are inside the house and there is no sun, you can still use the radio because you can recharge it manually.

3. USB Charging

We did say that mobile phones are useless in case of emergencies, but if you have a portable charger where you can charge your phone, it is the best communication device which you can use.

Most hand-crank radios nowadays are modernized to support other gadgets. With the USB charging functionality, you can charge your mobile phone through the USB port. This is extremely useful if the mobile phone signal is still active and your phone only runs out of batteries.

With that in mind, hand-crank radios don’t have a lot of battery to charge your phone fully. At the least, it can only restore around 30 to 40 percent of its battery. That is good enough to call for help in case of emergencies.

4. LED Flashlight

You don’t need to bring another flashlight because a hand-crank radio can be used as a flashlight as well. This is one of the most useful functionalities of your hand-crank radio. It doesn’t use too much power so that you can use the flashlight for a long time.

5. SOS Flashlight Beacon and Dog Whistle

These two features may or may not be present on your hand-crank radios, but if you plan to get one, make sure that you look for them. They are critical during rescue operations.

The SOS flashlight beacon can help the rescuers find you easily if the rescue would be done at night. The dog whistle can also be used to assist the rescuers in finding your location.


A hand-crank radio is definitely one of the best items you need to have on your emergency kit. It is not just a radio that would deliver weather news and alerts, but it also has other vital functions that would help you survive in case of a calamity.

The fact that you won’t need any power supply to use it makes it one of the best emergency items that you need to have. These are the main reasons why everyone should have a hand crank radio in their emergency kit.