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Best Emergency Radios in 2022.

What type of radios are best for emergencies?

Emergency radios have become a quintessential part of survival kits worldwide. Everyone from everyday people like you and me to the rescue personnel and military use emergency radios.

There are many emergency radios available in the market. Some are multi-functional, while others are designed to fulfil specific requirements.

Therefore, you might be wondering, how can I find the emergency radio best suited for my needs?

Short Answer: Do the research before the purchase. 

  • Understand what an emergency radio is,
  • Browse for portable emergency radio options,
  • Know what the military is using, and;
  • See if there are any quality radios made in Australia.  
Emergancy Radios

What is an emergency radio?

Emergency radios are radio communication devices/ receivers designed to remain functional in emergencies such as power outages, losing one's bearings in the wilderness, or escaping a hostile environment.

These radios stand out as they are designed to operate on minimal and renewable power sources.

The best survival radios can pick up radio signals from dozens of miles away.

Portable emergency radio options

In the modern day, we rely heavily on our mobile phones, computers, and TV to keep us updated on what's going on around us.

But if the power grid is knocked out by a storm or a freak weather incident, the everyday tech we rely on may not be up to the task. On such occasions, it is time for the emergency radio to shine and get you to safety.

We have researched and scoured the internet, and these are some of the best portable emergency radios money can buy in 2022.

  • Best Overall: 
    • Midland ER 210 Emergency Company Crank Weather AM/FM Radio
  • Runner-up
    • C Crane CC Solar Observer
  • Best Budget  
    • RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio
    • Esky Hand Crank Radio with Flashlight
  • Most Durable
    • Kaito Ka500 Voyager Emergency Radio
    • Eton Scorpion II Emergency Radio
  • Most Versatile
    • Midland ER310
  • Best shortwave radio
    • Kaito KA500 Emergency Radio
  • Best Features
    • Eton FRX3+

Midland ER 210 Emergency Company Crank Weather AM/FM Radio

Specs

  • Weight: 15 ounces
  • Power Source: Rechargeable Battery Pack (six AA batteries), Solar power, Hand Crank
  • Radio Receiver: Digital
  • Size: 7.5 in. x 5.25in x 2 in

Pros

  • Aside from the standard AM/FM signals, the radio also receives signals from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).
  • The radio consists of a 2000 mAh battery that offers 25 hours of continuous service when fully charged.
  • Alarm for weather alerts
  • Bright LED Light (130 lumen- LED light) 
  • SOS Beacon
  • Durable, Water-resistant

Cons

  • However, the radio lacks Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME), which allows users to program codes specific to their country. (the lack of the feature could mean a user may get alerts that do not affect their surroundings) 
  • Not cost-effective. 
  • No dog whistle.

C Crane CC Solar Observer

Specs

  • Weight: 6.5 oz.
  • Power source: AA batteries, rechargeable battery pack, solar, hand crank
  • Radio receiver: Analog
  • Size: 7.25 in. x 5.5 in x 2 in

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • The radio can run up to 60 hours on three AA batteries. 8 hours in the sun can charge the battery for 4-6 hours Hand cranking for 90 seconds can grant 30 minutes of listening time.
  • Clear reception 
  • Tunes into AM/FM radio and weather bands via a backlit analogue tuner
  • USB Adapter to externally charge devices

Cons

  • No automatic weather alert function. 

RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio

Specs

  • Weight: 11 oz.
  • Power source: AAA batteries, rechargeable battery pack, solar, hand crank
  • Radio receiver: Analog
  • Size: 6.2 in. x 2.1 in x 2.9 in

Pros

  • Ability to tune into AM/FM and NOAA weather station frequencies.
  • It can set alerts for tornados, severe weather, and hurricanes.
  • SOS signaling (flashing red light)
  • Low Price
  • USB Adapter to externally charge devices

Cons

  • Slow solar panel charging

Esky Hand Crank Radio with Flashlight 

Specs

  • Dimensions: 5 x 1.8 x 2.4 inches 
  • Power Source: Micro USB, solar panel, hand crank
  • Transmission Type: NOAA, AM/FM
  • Durability: Not listed

Pros

  • Multiple power/charging options
  • Compact and Portable
  • Estimated 7hrs of operations provided by a 1000 mAh lithium-ion battery

Cons

  • No shortwave/ weather alerts
  • Non-premium construction (the frame comprises primarily of plastic)
  • No durability or water-proofing ratings are attached to the product. 
Emergancy Radios

Kaito Ka500 Voyager Emergency Radio

Specs

  • Weight: 1.4 lbs.
  • Power source: AA batteries, rechargeable battery pack (600 mAh), solar, hand crank
  • Radio receiver: Analog
  • Size: 8.82 in. x 5.79 in x 2.83 in

Pros

  • Multiple power sources
  • Water and impact resistant
  • It consists of an "Alert mode" that automatically turns on when it receives emergency notifications on weather alerts and NOAA broadcasts.
  • It consists of a reading lamp, flashlight, and red blinking emergency lights.  

Cons

  • Small battery

Eton Scorpion II Emergency Radio

Specs

  • Dimensions: 2.5 x 1.9 x 6.5 inches
  • Power Source: Micro USB, solar panel, hand crank
  • Transmission Type: NOAA, AM/FM
  • Durability: IPX4 splash proofing, rugged casing

Pros

  • Multiple charging options (hand crank, solar panel, and Micro USB Cable)
  • Bright LED Lights
  • Built-in Carabiner and Bottle Opener
  • IPX4 Water-resistant rating
  • Supports FM/AM and NOAA frequency detection

Cons

  • Low battery capacity
  • Costly

Midland ER310

Specs

  • Weight: 1 lb.
  • Power source: AA batteries, rechargeable battery pack, solar, hand crank
  • Radio receiver: Digital
  • Size: 8 in. x 2.4 in x 3.4 in

Pros

  • Variety of charging options: rechargeable and disposable batteries, solar power, hand crank
  • 2600 mAh battery that can last up to 32 hours before the need to rely on secondary options. 
  • SOS Strobe Beacon
  • Ultra-sonic dog whistle
  • Grants access to AM/FM radio and all NOAA weather channels.

Cons

  • Lack of water-proofing
  • No reading lamp 

Eton FRX3+

Specs

  • Weight: 15 oz.
  • Power source: AAA batteries, rechargeable battery pack, solar, hand crank
  • Radio receiver: Digital
  • Size: 6.9 in. x 5.8 in x 2.6 in

Pros

  • Backed by the American Red Cross
  • Visually distinct appearance
  • Multiple charging options (USB Adapter, Hand Crank, Solar Panel)
  • Weather alerts
  • Good Audio Quality
  • Glow-in-the-dark locator/ LED Flashlight

Cons

  • Does not support SAME Functionality
  • Solar Panel charging is slower than other models.
  • Large form factor. 

What are the best military-grade radios?

The military deploys many radios and walkie-talkies when deploying troops in conflict zones. It has become an integral part of the soldiers' tool kit and can mean the difference between life and death.

Here are some of the best tactical walkie-talkies and radios used by the military.

  • Motorola CP200
  • Cobra CXY800
  • Midland LXT600VP3
  • Baofeng BF-F8HP
  • Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radio

Are emergency radios made in Australia?

Several family-owned and operated companies construct top-quality emergency radios and walkie-talkies.

Emergancy Radios

Related Questions:

What should you consider when buying an emergency radio?

An emergency radio is an integral part of a disaster management kit. When all else fails, you rely on an emergency radio to get you to safety. Therefore, there are several factors you should consider before purchasing your very own radio. 

  • Battery Life
  • Charging options
  • Alert Types
  • Emergency features
  • Durability

Battery life

The longer the battery lasts, the better, especially in survival situations.

Batteries of larger radios are in the range of 2000-2600 mAh. Smaller radios contain batteries in a field of 850-1000 mAh, making them ideal for short emergencies and camping trips.

Charging options

In emergencies, there is no guarantee that power will last. Therefore, any emergency radio that you purchase should have multiple charging options. 

Most emergency radios consist of multiple charging options. The charging options include USB cables, Solar Panels, Hand Cranks, and Batteries.

While multiple products can have similar charging methods, they are not guaranteed to be equal in quality. So make sure to check for the quality of the charging options and cross-reference it with your requirements before purchasing the radio.

Alert Types

At a minimum, emergency radios are equipped with FM and AM functionality. Most radios can also listen to NOAA weather broadcasts in the United States. 

A few radios also contain the SAME functionality, which is the most useful. 

Emergency Features

Emergency radios are often equipped with additional features that could be extremely useful in disaster situations and outdoor excursions.

LED Flashlights, SOS Signalers, Reading lights, and sometimes ultra-sonic dog whistles are some of the additional features that are a part of emergency radios.  

Durability

You usually purchase a radio to become your means of communication during emergencies. Therefore, the emergency radio needs to be sturdy and durable. 

Therefore, it is recommended that you purchase radios that can withstand the elements and that all the essential components of the radio are protected.

What is the SAME standard for emergency radios?

SAME refers to Specific Area Message Encoding. It is a technology found in several emergency radios that allows them to give weather alerts relevant to a specific location.

If your radio does support the SAME functionality, you can find the SAME regional code and program it into your device.

Takeaway: 

The world we live in can sometimes be dangerous and unpredictable. When disasters strike, the technology we so heavily depend on may fail. In such circumstances, the emergency radio's job is to get us out of a jam.

Therefore, consider all possible circumstances and purchase an emergency radio that suits your requirements. Sometimes it can mean the difference between life and death.

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