Important Features To Consider In Your Next Emergency Radio
Few people ever consider buying an emergency radio until after a disaster has happened to them or someone they know. Statistics have shown that after the Tornadoes in Alabama, Oklahoma and Joplin, the demand for emergency radios surged as did the demand for storm shelters. Before buying a cheap radio marketed as a weather radio, here are some important features you want to look for in your next emergency radio.
First off, how many power sources does it have? What will happen if the electric goes out at your home? All good emergency radios have several power sources. When I’m looking at a radio, I want at least two different types of power sources. A 110v plug-in with an option to run off batteries should be your minimum standard. I look for one that has both of these plus the option to charge a built in rechargeable battery with a hand crank and I also prefer one that has a small solar panel on top to charge the batteries during the day.
Another feature I look for is the ability to pick up more than AM and FM radio bands. I also want the radio to be able to pick up Shortwave band. Shortwave can pick up HAM radio operators. After the Tsunami in Japan and other natural disasters around the world, HAM radio operators were the first ones to get the news out to the world. This is a good example of why you need a radio capable of picking up the Shortwave radio.
The other radio band you want your radio to receive is the NOAA weather radio band. But don’t stop there. Make sure your emergency radio has the ability to issue alerts from the National Weather Service. The better radios will also have the S.A.M.E. feature. This just means that you can set the radio to only alert you to the weather warnings in your immediate area instead of getting all alert for your region. Trust me, you don’t want to be awaken at 2 a.m. by your radio about a Thunderstorm Watch halfway across the state from you!