Any emergency survival kit that lacks an emergency radio is a joke. There are several reasons you may be considering buying one of these precious devices. For individuals that reside in areas that are prone to extreme weather conditions and disasters, emergency radios are necessities. It may seem unlikely that some individuals will ever need weather/emergency radios but you can never be too prepared.
If you are an adventurist or your profession/hobby involves venturing into places that are prone to emergency situations, you certainly need these devices in your survival kit. They are potential life savers and you need to get the best ones. With the right device, you will have access to up-to-date weather information that will help you make decisions that will affect your chances of coming out of emergency situations in the best possible condition.
Here, we’ve researched extensively to put together the best emergency survival radios rated according to key features that determine their performance. Check them out.
Top 10 Best Emergency Survival Radios
1. Kaito KA500
This is a reliable machine that will always be there for you. It has a good reputation for wide-ranging functionality that makes it ideal for daily use as well as a great tool for emergency situations. Even when things become unpredictable, you can rely on this well-designed lightweight radio to help you pull through. There is even a powerful LED flashlight to help you if the environment gets dark.
One of the key features that make the Kaito KA500 an amazing emergency radio is the range of band reception it can receive: they include AM, FM, shortwave and NOAA weather channels. The 7 weather channels, which are potential life-savers, are preprogrammed. With the tuning knob, you can easily and conveniently tune into the stations numbered accordingly. There is an alarm mode that will automatically be activated when there is an alarm from any of the NOAA weather stations.
This radio is powered by an in-built NiMH battery that you can charge through solar panels, hand cranking, USB input, or wall outlet. You can also use AA batteries to power it. This makes it almost impossible for the radio to be dead under any circumstances.
2. RunningSnail MD-088s
This is another highly versatile weather radio that you can trust to help you through tough weather conditions. It is well constructed and very reliable. The MD-088s can recive signal on different band options including FM, AM and the 7 NOAA Weather channels. This means that you will get up-to-date information about weather conditions and be in a better position to respond the right way during an emergency situation.
The alarm features will get you ready for any emergency situation once the NOAA stations broadcast. The radio also has an emergency flasher that will help rescuers locate you if there is need for that. There is also LED flashlight that will help you not to get lost when it gets dark.
Another impressive thing about this weather alert radio is that it has different ways you can charge it. You can charge through hand cranking, solar panel or through USB cable. The device can also be powered by 3 AAA batteries if you have any at hand.
3. Midland WR120
This is an all Hazard alert system that can be very helpful in emergency situations. With the radio, you can receive weather alerts directly from the 7 NOAA weather stations so that you can prepare for such situations as flood, tornadoes and thunderstorms. Thanks to the SAME programming, the WR120 can automatically lock on your county’s NOAA weather radio signal and alert you only when your county is threatened.
This midland emergency radio has several other essential features that will make using it easier and more enjoyable. It is pre-programmed with 60+ alerts including hurricane and flash flooding. Custom programming also let you set up to 25 different counties: you can use the built-in alarm clock or select the alert you want. The only downside to this radio is that it is focused on weather alert and all hazard public alerts but does not receive from FM or AM bands.
4. Midland ER200
Midland has an incredible reputation in building very important radio equipments and this is one of such. It is definitely built with emergency situations in mind. It is also ideal for daily use as it can receive signals from AM and FM bands. You will listen to your favorite radio stations during normal days and also have the perfect device for emergency situations.
Some really important features that make the Midland ER200 radio the perfect emergency device include the LED flashlight with adjustable buttons; the SOS flashing beacon; and access to all 7 NOAA weather channels. There are also multiple power sources including hand cranking, solar charging, and the 2000mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery that can serve you for up to 25 hours nonstop.
5. Epica Digital Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio
This is another very versatile weather alert radio that you should consider buying even if you live in an area that is not prone to tough weather situations. It is a multiband radio that will receive signals from AM, FM and all the 7 NOAA channels. This means you can get all kinds of news and up-to-date information about weather conditions at all times. Epica emergency radio is constructed in a rugged manner, making it one of the best camping radios. There is even a built-in flashlight for when things get dark.
There are some other important features like the ability to charge your phone with this emergency radio. To charge the emergency radio itself, there are five different options including AC, hand cranking, solar charging, USB and DC charging.
6. Kaito Voyager Pro KA600
This is arguably the most beautiful weather radio you will ever see. It is beautifully constructed in an attractive manner. Do not be fooled by the emphasis on aesthetic appeal, this weather radio is designed with the most advanced technology and functions exceptionally well in different emergency situations. Though it looks more like something that will fit right well in your home or office, you can use this radio in an outdoor setting too.
The Voyager Pro KA600 gives you access to all NOAA weather channels pre-set for 24/7 instant update. This means you will get the right alert that will help you get ready for any extreme weather issue. It provides 4 tuning methods including manual, direct digit entry, ATS and memory tuning with 335 memories for easy access to favorite stations.
7. Esky ES-CR02
This is a compact wonder that will serve you every normal day and also be your best friend during serious emergency situation. It is a compact multiband device that will receive signals from FM and AM bands as well as NOAA weather channels. It is one radio you will love to have in your survival kit.
In addition to giving you up-to-date weather information, the Esky emergency radio has a 50 lumen LED flashlight that will help you find your way if the environment gets dark. The fact that you have different options to power the radio makes it impossible for you to be stranded during emergency. Even when solar charging fails, you can use hand cranking to get your device running. You can also charge through USB ports. It also uses 1 Lithium Polymer battery.
8. Sangean MMR-88
This is a public alert certified radio that has earned serious reputation as a reliable emergency radio. In terms of design, this radio is well constructed. It is compact and truly durable. It is also easy to use thanks to the bright backlit LCD display. It equally has adjustable LED flashlight, stereo headphone output, built-in speaker, built-in clock and emergency buzzer.
Sangean MMR-88 Radio is basically a digital AM/FM Public Alert Certified Radio. Though it doesn’t broadcast from the NOAA stations, it will keep you safe during emergency weather situations. It has some really important features that make it awesome. The multiple charging options (solar power, USB and Hand cranking) mean it is perfect for emergency situations.
9. Sangean H201
This is a portable radio that is ideal for daily home use and can also serve as the perfect weather radio to keep you prepared for serious weather conditions. It is perfectly built for indoor use as well as for outdoor activities. It can be your best camping radio when you love to stay connected and listen to your favorite FM and AM stations while away in a remote area. It is made with JIS7 standard which means it is perfect for shower time and harsh conditions.
There are some other impressive features that will make you enjoy using this device including LED flashlight, clock, emergency buzzer and battery level indicator. The large, easy-to-read backlit LCD is also very attractive. It is powered by 2D batteries only and this is the only major drawback.
10. Sony SRF-M37W
Sony is a well established brand and you can always expect them to come through with very reliable products. This is exactly what this walkman is all about. It is a multiband digital device that will let you receive clear and crisp sound signal from your favorite AM and FM stations as well as the 7 NOAA weather channels. The package also comes with interesting accessories including stereo headphones and belt clip.
This Sony radio has 20 stations preset memory with easy one-button tuning for 10 FM bands, 5 AM bands and 5 weather bands. There is also digital clock and battery indicator to keep eye on time and battery level. This device runs on a single AAA battery that will last for hours.
Factors to consider when buying Emergency Survival Radio
There are some critical factors you need to consider before buying any survival radio communication systems and we will briefly discuss them before reviewing our top picks. They include the following:
Before considering the option to pick from the numerous emergency radios in the market, it is important to define the purpose first. While there are radios that are suitable for indoor use, there are some that are most suitable for outdoor activities and adventures. You can’t use even the best alert radio as a military survival radio. A weather radio for your home of office, for instance, can be a desktop communication system but when you need an emergency radio for such activities as hunting and hiking, you will need a portable or handheld emergency radio. By considering purpose first, you will be able to buy the most suitable radio for any specific situation.
It is important to consider how the emergency radio is constructed. In every instance, you need a machine that is solidly built to last so that you won’t get back in the market for a new one few months after buying a radio. Also, if you need an emergency radio for outdoor activities, it needs to be rugged to withstand harsh environments. There are several survival radios that are dust and water resistant to let you use them in severe weather conditions.
The different models of weather and emergency radios come with distinguishable specifications. These specifications describe the abilities of these devices in different departments that will matter when you actually need to use the radio. Some of the most important specifications include number of weather channels the device can broadcast; the sort of notification or warning the device employs; the alert feature of the radio; as well as the receiving antenna the device uses.
You need to consider the way the radio you want to buy is powered. For a weather radio that will just sit at your home or office, it can be acceptable if it is powered through AC adapters. For a emergency radio you may have to use for such adventures as hunting and hiking, you will have to invest in portable radios that use batteries. Some have rechargeable batteries while others are powered by traditional disposable batteries. There are equally some models that combine rechargeable batteries with AA or AAA batteries. You may need them if you are going to be using your survival radio often.
There are a number of other functions or features you should also consider when buying emergency radios. There are some radios that have extra features like flashlights, emergency lights, special alert features, built-in mobile charger and other such features that will improve user experience.
It is understandable that you will like to buy the best emergency radio but you also need to consider the cost of the radio and your budget. If you are buying a weather radio that you are unlikely to use all the time, you may have to go for the lower-priced options. If, on the other hand, you need the survival radio all the time due to the nature of your profession or hobby, invest in a quality emergency radio no matter what it will cost.