7 Best Emergency Radios of 2020 to Survive Any Condition


Have you ever experienced the impacts of climate? Are you one among the people living in the rural area? Have you ever heard about emergency alert signals? Are you in need of the best emergency radio?

Many regions suffer from the harmful effects of climatic conditions. The main reason behind this is the lack of warning signals regarding climatic changes. To overcome these hazards, one should use the emergency radios. These best hand crank radio communication system tracks down the alert messages from the radio station. With this, you can safeguard various needs and things from varied climatic conditions.

Need of an Emergency Radio

When the monsoon season is at its peak, there are chances of flood or storm; even tornado occur at these times. Due to this, the essential needs for livelihood tend to go unavailable. Further, the people are also in an emergency situation where surviving with food and shelter becomes a complex task.

It is hence essential to have a survival kit ready to survive the crisis periods. Most of the emergency situations arise due to adverse weather conditions. So, it is quite essential to have an eye on the weather reports or any other alerts given by the government or weather stations to keep yourself updated about the forecasting and to act accordingly.

In this regard, one of the essential items that have to be within your survival kit is an emergency radio. Emergency radios are popular devices that were a part of the life of the people in olden days. Due to the advancement in the field of communications and technology, they got vanished away.

The technically updated devices and instruments will not operate in the case of sudden power failure due to inclement weather or flood. At this juncture, using an emergency radio is a reliable resource for knowing the forecasting.

But, it is a wrong choice to choose a radio simply without knowing what to look for it. Here is an article which will explain you the necessary details that you have to consider when choosing an emergency radio.

What Is A Weather Radio?

Weather radios are simple radios designed with innovative technology. These radios track the alert signal in case of emergencies and are known as emergency radios too. At the times of natural disasters, the critical updates required for survival are being given by the NOAA through the frequencies which cannot be accessible through the standard radios.

The emergency radios are made to function without electric supply, and so they act as your helping hand when all the other technologies fail. With these radios, the updates received can be about the closure of roads, direction where the storm is about to hit, the location of the emergency shelters by the government, etc.

Only by knowing these details, you can plan your course of action and take a next step such as transporting to a nearby country or state where the weather conditions are normal. Further, the emergency radio is not the equipment that works only in the case of urgency; they are also capable of working as an ordinary radio and entertain your day to day life.

What Should You Consider Before Choosing One?

Even though all the emergency radios are designed to receive signals correctly, they are not the same always. Each radio differs with its features. It is hence necessary to purchase a radio by considering the following essential features.


In general, the frequency depends on the operating range of the radios. The operating frequencies of the radios are generated from the radio station and by the radio itself. Before purchasing an emergency radio, you must be clear about your needs, whether you only wish to receive information or you want to send and information too.

Those that want only to receive information will require purchasing a standard AM/FM receiver which is available cheaper. For others, you will have to consider buying a shortwave or a two-way device because these radios are capable of both sending and receiving information.

Alert Logos

An emergency radio is deemed to be useful only if it is capable of picking up NOAA NWR broadcasts. The signals are often sent in 7 different VHF frequencies that most of the ordinary radios are not capable of picking up.

Apart from broadcasting the weather alerts, they also give information about the necessary arrangements made by the government for surviving the disasters. Also, a radio with a Public warning label is also capable of picking up signals of NOAA alerts. Hence when you purchase an emergency radio ensure that it has a NOAA label or a Public Alert label.

SAME Alerts

SAME is the abbreviation of Specific Area Message Encoding. With a radio having this feature, you will be able to receive alerts to a specific part of a country or a particular locality for updates. For this, you will have to set your radio accordingly and is simple to program, though. So, ensure that you purchase an emergency radio which has this feature.

Quality Of Sound

When you buy an emergency radio, make sure that you get one with final sound quality, i.e. it must be capable of receiving signals from a distance of one meter away from the radio.

So, the best emergency radio should have an extraordinary speaker performance to survive. Also, if you wish to buy a radio for day to day use too, then look at the equalizer settings for indoor and outdoor use along with the option of listening sounds using the headphones or able to be connected to another source for output.


An emergency radio should provide and receive signals without the need for using electrical energy. To facilitate this, you can use power source options. These options are available, and it makes the radio to work properly. They are,

  • Solar power- Solar power is used to ignite the radio with the help of solar light. Get more details about best solar emergency radio in this link.
  • Hand crank- These are radios that operate by converting the mechanical energy into electrical energy which is then stored in the built-in Lithium- ion battery.
  • AA or AAA batteries- These are widely used and help to provide a power source to perform a function.
  • USB- The radios that come with a rechargeable battery, mostly are capable of charging it with the aid of a USB cable or an AC adapter.

However, the best emergency radio will have several power source options to be used as alternatives avoiding the need of relying on a single source.


An emergency radio must be capable of being stored compactly to fit in a BOB or to the shirt pockets to meet the emergency needs. Mostly, the emergency radios are built to be less in weight to be portable and carried anywhere when the disaster arises.

However, the smaller radios may lack special features apart from the power source options. So, consider buying a large radio so as to get more benefits. Read our article on best portable ham radios to select better.


In the emergency situations, the radios are prone to get affected by dust, wind and water splashes. So, the radios built to meet emergencies must be capable of providing resistance against the wind, water, and dust.

To be durable and to resist disasters, the radio purchased has to be built with a foldable crank and an antenna so as to fit compactly into the bag. Further, the radios that are designed with rubber exterior are considered to provide grip to handle it properly. With the help of the protective roll cages, they can be sturdy even it hits the ground.

What Are The Additional Features To Consider?

Apart from the above mentioned essential features, an emergency radio can also be chosen based on the other unique features. They include,


In case you land over a dark area when in an emergency, an emergency radio with a backup to keep the flashlight on can be beneficial to overcome darkness. The radios with flashlight are useful during power cut conditions. Further, these radios assist you greatly during climatic hazards. So, always afford a radio with flashlight in it. Read more about best emergency flashlight radio here.

Calendar And Clock

In the case of emergencies and if moved away from a particular place or country, a built-in clock or a calendar can help you in keeping track of the time and date.


A built-in app or software that can assist in monitoring the changing weather conditions and temperature by providing close readings might help you in emergency situations to safeguard yourself.


Even if the emergency radios are capable of being operated with the charge through the ports provided, make sure that your radio is compatible with standard charging output using cables.

Digital Tuning

To set the stations for receiving signals, tuning the radio has to be done accurately. As manually tuning the radio is a complex task, having a radio with digital tuning capacity adds advantage.

Smartphone Charger

Ensure that the radio you purchase comes with the power outlets that are capable of charging a smartphone or a tablet in case of emergency and lack of electric supply. With this radios, you can easily communicate to the external world during power loss conditions. Read on our reviewed article on best emergency radio with iPhone charger for more details.

What Are The Best Brands Of Emergency Radios?

Although there are several manufacturers, who market the emergency radios, only a few brands are claimed to be the best; those best brands include the following,

Eton American Red Cross FRX3

The American Red Cross is a top rated emergency radio that has hand crank design with it. This radio is multi-functional devices equipped with super smart features.

The device is capable of receiving both the AM/FM signals and all the seven weather bands. With the help of built-in alert function, the radio will automatically provide alerts in case of emergency.

This radio has a bright LED flashlight design that can help you overcome the darkness in crisis periods. Also, the red flashing beacon is useful for indicating emergencies. It also has an alarm clock that provides emergency alerts.

As it is a hand crank model, the unit has a hand turbine power generator, as a source of energy. In addition to this, it also comes with the rechargeable AAA batteries that can get energy with the help of the solar panels fixed within the device. With the aid of the USB output, you can charge your smartphone for emergency situations. For more details, read on Eton american red cross radio review from this source.

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Key Features

  • Hand power turbine
  • Solar panel


  • Multifunctional
  • Multi-powered

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Kaito KA500

The product is picked as the second best emergency radio. It comes with numerous input stations and smart features that are useful for surviving emergencies and disasters.

It is built with a brushless AC type generator that gets powered with simple hand cranks. Also, the device comes with three rechargeable AA batteries that gain energy with the help of the solar panels. These panels are attached to the radio.

In addition to this, the solar panels are capable of tilting according to the position of the sunlight. The bottom of the solar panel has 5 LED lamps that can function well in bad lighting areas. Further, the LED lights present on the side panels are capable of providing proper light to help you survive darkness.

With the aid of the USB jack, the unit can be used for charging small devices such as the smartphones, iPods, etc. electronically. The alert function is built to be useful in providing alerts and with the red colored blinking light; the emergency situations can be met efficiently. The entire product is durable, and so you can purchase it efficiently. This product is supplied with various additional features. To know about this product completely, read on our review on Kaito ka500 emergency radio review  in this link.

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Key Features

  • Rechargeable batteries
  • LED lamps


  • USB charging
  • Solar charging

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Sangean PR-D9W

The Sangean emergency radio is small radio equipped with portability feature. It comes with a public alert label and is designed to be capable of receiving both the AM and FM signals. It uses two types of batteries for recharging; the alkaline and the NiMH batteries.

It features a wide LCD which is easy to read with the help of the adjustable backlight illumination. The radio can be preset to 19 favorite channels and also has an auto-scan feature to tune and set the frequencies digitally.

It is designed with a dual alarm which can help in getting up to listening AM/FM radio and is also compatible with the manual buzzer system. The alarm clock comes with a snooze function to set it to the ring after a few minutes.

With the help of the battery selector, you can switch between the required battery types to play stations. Using backup capacitor, you can store the settings such as the clock, alarm, etc. within it and restores it after a shutdown in case of power failure.

Further, the built-in headphone stereo amplifier helps in reproducing the sound with quality and clarity. It also comes with an antenna which is useful for telescoping the signals.

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Key Features

  • Antenna
  • LCD display


  • Sound clarity
  • Snooze function

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Midland ER 200

Midland ER 200 is another emergency radio with smart features. It is capable of receiving both the AM/ FM signals and is labeled NOAA. It operates with the help of the hand power turbine crank as a primary source of energy.

Apart from the hand crank mechanism, it can also run with the aid of the replaceable and rechargeable 2000 mAh Lithium Ion battery. With the support of the USB output provided, it can be used for charging various electronic devices that are small.

It comes with a built-in emergency LED flashlight which is brilliant to be visible. Also, with the help of the alert function, it warns you in the case of future disasters and emergencies. It is a advanced emergency radio and you can read our review on Midland Er200 radio review for more information.

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Key Features

  • LED flashlight
  • Lithium Ion battery


  • USB charging
  • Bright light

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Ambient Weather WR-111B 

The Ambient Weather WR-111B Emergency radio is an innovative device designed with various important and innovative features. This emergency radio is designed with different inbuilt functions and uses. They can also track the general FM/AM signals and so the performance you can use it durable for both the functions.

This emergency radio is equipped with various control signals. All these control signals offer a user-friendly and flexible feature to all the people. In addition to this, the emergency radio uses a five-way charger mechanism. This product gets charges up with the help of solar power, Ac wall power, hand crank method, USB and DC power.

This product also used a highly durable display unit. This display unit offers complete performance, and so it can view various operations performed by the user efficiently. Further, the display unit also displays the volume level. Almost six control options are placed on the display.

Further, a high-quality LED flashlight is also used in the product. This flashlight operates on less power, and so you can store the product for a long time. Added to this, the lightweight, portable design offers complete flexibility to you.

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Key Features

  • Hand Crank 
  • Solar panel


  • Tracks weather bands
  • Flexible

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Sony ICFS79W

The Sony ICFS79W is the next important radio on the list. The brand name Sony is very common, and the flexibility offered by this product is high. This radio has sleek, simple, unique design with it. Further, the radio is compact, and so the performance offered by this will be high for a long time.

Apart from this, the entire product is equipped with various control options. All these control options are used for tuning perfect product for a long time. Further, the display unit is powerful, and it views the tracked signal effectively.

This emergency radio also can track both the weather band signals and AM/FM signals from the surrounding. Hence, you can use this radio both for entertainment purpose and weather monitoring purpose.

This radio also comes with 20 preset memory pages. With this, one can access the required FM band signals easily. This product also has a timer and preset clock with it. This clock reduces the power usage and so battery withstand for a long time.

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Key Features

  • 20 memory preset
  • Built-in timer


  • Durable
  • Wide coverage area

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Epica Digital Emergency Radio

The Epica Digital Emergency radio is a high-performance emergency radio designed especially for using it in emergency conditions. This is a triple band emergency radio that can track weather alert signal, Am/F, and signals.

 This radio is equipped with a solar panel; this panel provides the input power to the radio. Added to this, various other power options are also used within the radio, these power options include hand crank power, battery power, USB, DC power from mains, etc.

These power options add flexibility to the product. Further, various other features are also used within the product. They include LED lights, mobile phone charger, USB port, volume level, etc.

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Key Features

  • LED lights
  • Mobile charger


  • Lightweight
  • 5 charging methods

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How To Find One Based On The Priorities?

With the various brands offering emergency radios, it is quite normal to get confused between choosing the best one. Hence, you are advised to list out your priorities to enable choosing an emergency radio with best features.

  • You will have first to decide on the budget which you would like to spend on an emergency radio before looking for the products for purchasing. 
  • If you would like to purchase an emergency radio for day to day use, you will have to ensure the proper sound quality and the speaker performance to listen to the music tracks. Avoid purchasing the radio without NOAA or public alert label.
  • Even though the AM receivers are capable of receiving the NOAA signals, in extreme weather conditions, they are not capable of receiving updates. In case you own a smartphone, check if your radio has a built-in USB output so as to charge to a limit.
  • You must ensure that the product is lightweight; so that, it can be carried along with your survival kit.
  • It should be built with features and software that are easy to use and program. Purchasing a radio with many features and using it only to receive alerts is a waste of money.
  • Look at the power source options that are provided as an alternative to being used when any one fails.
  • It is better if you go with the emergency radios that come with a LED flashlight that is bright and is capable of giving light to a distance of at least a meter. It is a necessary feature as in the emergency situations; you will end up in staying in a shelter that is provided by the government and it may or may not have proper lighting.


Consider the factors that we have mentioned above, as essentials, before purchasing an emergency radio. We have listed the best products based on the customer ratings and reviews. You can also do research on your own to find the suitable product that meets your needs. Read the manual carefully and preprogram the necessary settings to avoid last minute confusions. Good luck!