Radio stands for a device that receives wave signals sent from a far away source. It becomes the most convenient and essential apparatus during emergency especially for weather forecast. So you should opt for the best emergency weather radio if you plan to take one.
Radios have been receiving emergency signals be it natural disasters or manmade disasters like war or terrorist attacks. It is off late that radios are broadcasting news and entertaining programs are quite a new addition. The government of the respective countries also uses this medium to spread emergency messages through radios to make people aware and prepared. But with the advent of satellite channels by the end of the last century, Radio as a broadcaster has been sent to the back foot. Now live news and events are telecast rather than only audio news.
Despite all that facts, the role of a radio in emergency is still paramount. In a crisis period – whether inspired by man or imposed by nature- the electricity becomes the first victim leading all the live telecast of various channels to a halt. Then a portable and rechargeable radio becomes the only source to get connected with the world and collect information with.
Mobile being a highly portable device runs out of charge in emergency as power cut is the rudimental crisis casualty. Therefore, we may find several and high-capacity information collector in normal time but in an emergency radio is the only and best solution. But a faulty one with compromised design and features may bring us inconvenience rather than guiding to get out of calamity.
To make the long story short, we have conducted a hair-splitting research to make the best recommendation list in this review guide. These top 10 emergency weather radios will address the issue with extreme ease and effect.
Comparison Table of Our Top Choices
What is the Best Emergency Weather Radio?
Prior to answering to that question I will again take you to the beginning section of this article. The radio and emergency weather radio is defined there the clearest way possible. Now we will discuss the features that can make our emergency radio serve its purpose the most effective way doable. The features include the level of notification, channels, alert signal, SAME, and emergency antenna.
Besides the basic features stated above, several features are preferable depending on the purpose of use and capacity required. The upgrade features embrace the power options, portability, flashlight, alarm clock, and above all two logos – Public Alert and NOAA logo. It is the preferable features that determine the popularity and the price of the radio. But you should not take only high price granted for quality service and features.
You need to be focused first on what is the alarm type you want to be warned by. There are some versions providing only with emergency warnings and designed to be an outdoor option. You will go for radios that offer both emergency warning service and general message too.
Emergency weather radios come with specific number of channels and bands. Now it's completely up to you whether you will go for the max channels and bands to enjoy the entertaining programs and get alarmed beforehand in time of emergency or keep limited only to the channels and bands that only broadcast weather forecasting and disaster warning.
There two types of alert processes – flashlight or audio warning. Flash light as a warning signal is not that effective as you can miss the light flash if and when your attention is elsewhere. So the best warning system is audio in the format of a voice message or siren bell. The later is the preferable option as the chance of missing the siren bell calling is minimal.
This feature lets you fix the custom areas or the entire geography you want to know the weather condition of. So far the alarm program is concerned you can just fix it for the specific areas crucial for you otherwise the ceaseless warning bell will drive you crazy.
Dedicated or Optional Antenna
The wave frequency is not same all over the geography that reality requires you to go for an antenna with high reception capacity or an optional aerial to use when the signal is weak.
The features covered above are the basic ones an emergency radio should not be lacking. But with time radio manufacturers have introduced features that the people have become well adapted to. Custom features are preferable but a lack of one is not a compromise. If an emergency radio comes equipped with those features you will feel best entertained, informed, and protected in emergency condition.
As it is an emergency radio we are focusing on, it should be backed both by the power grid compatibility and also by a portable charger. Radio batteries tend to last long but when you are outside and power connection is a far cry, you need a rechargeable battery to charge in crisis period. And in emergency, the power loss is the inevitable scene. So you weather radio should be compatible with both an AC adapter and external power bank.
As connectivity and communication is the main issue in emergency, a weather radio with the capability to charge mobile phones and emergency flashlight is the foremost priority.
Portability and Rugged Design
Unlike a radio for regular use, an emergency radio should be compact in size and lighter in weight. You may need to leave your home in a crisis period and so a radio, designed lightweight and compact, in this time will be the greatest convenience.
If you live in an area where the cold is freezing and ice may pile up on your personal tools. A radio with a rugged design will fight the ice and prevent the water damage too in a flooded region.
Alarm Clock and Flashlight
An alarm clock is an urgent piece of tool in normal time and in disaster, it becomes even more crucial. You need to maintain tight time schedule when in odd situation. So a timely warning will keep you ahead in such circumstance.
Next to an alarm clock comes crisis period equipment that is a flashlight. You may have to face a night under pitch dark, nothing than a flashlight can come to your rescue then. Inevitable power loss in emergency makes a radio with a built-in power light more convenient.
Logos are Quality Testimonial
NWS and NOAA suggest the radio manufacturers of America to adopt several emergency features to be inevitable in radios. These features include the interior technology that can receive even the fade wave spectrum, notification feature, and some special features targeted for visually and hearing impaired people. A radio taking care of these suggested features are certified to carry these two logos – "Public Alert" and "NOAA All Hazards". These two stickers attached to the exterior of an emergency radio are the go-to feature.
Top 10 Emergency Weather Radios - Reviews
1. C. Crane CC Pocket AM FM and NOAA Weather Radio
What about a 4 ounce weight radio? I was totally shocked when I saw C. Crane CC Pocket Weather Radio. It was really unbelievable for me to accept a radio with all important features as an emergency kit of this size. But the surprise did not end here. It allows formidably convenient feature. You can use the earphones as antenna for FM. It is a premium quality weather radio supported by NOAA weather band.
C. Crane NOAA allows both AM and FM band and 5 presets memory permits you to select your chosen stations that only cover the climatic zone you live in. The LCD display with comfortable backlight shows the real time clock. The charging function is absent rather than 2 AA batteries are enough to tune it for 75 hours. The acumen selective capacity enhances the sensitivity when the signal is weak. Audio is clear and sonorous enough to increases its preferences and popularity.
The emergency match sleep timer and weather alert function puts this radio above the basic-grade. But the downside is when you switch on alert function FM won't continue. The advanced feature of switching off the LCD back light reduces the power consumption. This is beyond doubt the best emergency radio you are after.
- Ultra-light audio device;
- Strong selectivity to maximize sensitivity of weak signal;
- Support both AM and FM band;
- Allows 5 preset memories along with NOAA weather bands;
- Advanced features of Switching off the backlight of LCD display reducing the power consumption;
- Rubber coated sides for firm grip.
- No chance to customize;
- Don't support SAME technology;
- Only one charging capability.
2. Esky Solar Weather Radios Self Powered Emergency Radio
Usually, a weather radio is an important kit in an emergency condition. But manufacturers have added pretty much features that has made this product to utilize wherever your home is. Weather radio was planned to alert people in urgent crisis that requires some usual features to warn people ahead of danger. Esky weather radio has also specified couple of usual factors such as: NOAA and NWS certification as well as support of AM and FM band.
But this emergency radio also comes with other specification unlike a mass-produced one. It is exceedingly light-weight and slim enough to fit into your pocket. Three types of charging facility improve the quality of Esky Solar Weather Radio. You can recharge using USB jack; but if you are out off electricity you will get power backing supplied by the solar panel or hand crank.
LED flashlight will lighten your night and 1000mAh battery backup will revive your phone from low power. Rainy weather won't hurt because of its water-resistant durability. Don't forget that it has an alert system which will always update you with the latest weather forecast. But it shares a limited customize feature and does not offer a must-have emergency feature – SAME technology support.
- NOAA and NWS certified with AM and FM band support;
- Extremely lightweight and water resistant;
- LED flashlight and battery of 1000mAh which might be used for charging phones;
- USB, Solar and hand crank charging facility.
- No SOS alarm system;
- Doesn't support SAME technology;
- Poorly customizable.
3. iRonsnow Solar Emergency NOAA Weather Dynamo Hand Crank Radio
Weather radios are emergency survival kit and iRonsnow is among the best emergency radio in the market. iRonsnow is famous for manufacturing emergency kit. When you will tailor through the weather radio features it will be mostly identical to the product already reviewed except one or two difference. But the immense customer response of iRonsnow Solar Emergency Weather radio on Amazon has tempted me to focus on its features. The most enticing attribute of this weather radio is its 6-way charging capacity. iRonsnow Solar Emergency Weather Radio can be powered up by hand turbine, solar panel along wita h compartment for 3 AA batteries, and default rechargeable battery, AC/DC enabled power adapter and a USB input.
This emergency kit is endorsed by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) and National Weather Service (NWS). Both AM and FM band fill up the requirements for unwanted stormy condition provided all the updated news of weather forecast. So it can very aply be tagged as the best AM FM emergency radio. All the 7 broadcasting channels coverage might assure the alert in all kinds of hazardous surroundings.
Bright LED flashlight, Telescopic Antenna, SOS alarm system, Water resistant feature will fulfill your need even if you live in a remote or disaster prone area.
- Bright LED Flashlight and water resistant;
- Supports all the channels of NOAA and keep you updated;
- 6-way power up capability;
- 1000mAh power Bank;
- SOS alarm system along with telescopic Antenna.
- No SAME technology supported.
- Nothing mentioned about memory system.
4. Kaito KA500RED AM/FM/SW Weather Alert Radio
Kaito KA500RED Weather Radio is also a positive reviews-rich Amazon product. Though it shares several identical features which are the priorities of a weather radio, it has come with a bit difference that put far above the stock radios. The most mesmerizing feature can be the 5-way powered emergency charging function. In a disaster prone area it will be proved to be the most effective attribute to follow.
It contains High quality AC type brushless generator. The solar panel assures of collecting the charge from the ever sustainable power source – The Sun.
The solar panel might tilt to strengthen the sunlight collecting more energy at daylight. The bright LED flashlight renders adequate power to light up a dark room. 5 LED reading lamp will be considered as the source of light for your camping. If the LED light description goes in full swing, reader may mistake this article to be the best emergency radio flashlight reviews.
This device also supports NOAA broadcasting channels to present the weather updates preparing you to take the precaution in a catastrophic condition. The weather alert function might ensure the signal when a storm attacks. It supports both AM and FM bands. It is also featured with USB output where you can connect your CD or MP3 player to radiate in odd circumstance.
- 5-way powered charging capability;
- Bright LED reading lamp;
- AC type brushless Generator;
- Built in Solar panel and Hand crank added;
- External USB output;
- Supports 7 NOAA channels.
- Weather alert system.
- As a power bank it doesn't get up to the mark;
- No LCD display;
- Limited to customize the alerts.
5. Midland WR120/WR120EZ NOAA Weather Alert All Hazard Public Alert Certified Radio
Weather radio is a must have emergency tool both during unwanted natural disaster and manmade crisis. MIDLAND WR120/WR120EZ Weather Radio will empower you in such catastrophically emergency situation. It keeps you alert when you are in a disaster prone area with its huge coverage of almost 25 counties. The sole purpose of a weather radio is enabling emergency broadcasts while your locality has a cut off from all networks. This stand out aspect has earned MIliband Weather Radio to be the best weather alert radio.
The MIDLAND WR120/WR120EZ Weather Radio is rigorously specified for such condition even if you are out of major electrical connections. This device comes with both AM and FM bands. AM band plays the principal part tuning the 7 channels of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association). It is rechargeable, provided with AC adapter and also powered by 3-AA batteries. SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding) technology will filter the alert only for your area from All the Counties. The memory system might be useful to know the conditions of almost 93% area of USA.
- Enriched with both AM and FM bands which ensures the contact with NOAA;
- Rechargeable by AC adapter as well as powered by 3-AA batteries.
- Loud Alarm system;
- Enhanced by Advanced SAME technology;
- Memory system enables it to cover the 25 counties;
- Well written manual;
- 90 Decibel Alarm systems with color contrast.
- Somethe of features are dated and some alerts cannot be altered.
6. RunningSnail Emergency Hand Crank Self Powered Weather Radio
You are out for hiking or camping and out of any electrical source in a dark night. RunningSnail Emergency Radio is your best solution. This lightweight compact design device has no need of any electrical source or batteries to run. You can recharge it by turning the hand crank on. 2 minutes turning of hand turbine ensures the 20 minutes service. In daylight, just remember the power of sun.
This RunningSnail Emergency Radio has solar panels for optimum charging from sustainable power source. It has a default battery with three years of life if you use it three hours in a day. It has a DC enabled cord to connect with computer or recharge your cell phone in crisis period. This radio is also NOAA certified and called the best NOAA weather radio. A very identical emergency aspect is that RunningSnail supports both AM and FM bands. All the 7 broadcasting channels can be covered by this RunningSnail Emergency radio.
It stands out like a tower with a rugged construction and water resistant features. Either design strengthens and increases its durability. The built-in flashlight will help you walk in the pitch dark.
- NOAA certified;
- Support both AM and FM band;
- Tuning capacity of all 7 broadcasting channels of NOAA;
- You can choose or customize the alarm you want to receive or not;
- Lightweight and Compact Design;
- Rugged Construction and Water resistant;
- Rechargeable without any electrical source.
- Does not support SAME technology;
- Lack of built-in storage for accessories.
7. Motorola Outdoors MWR839 Desktop Weather- Alert Radio
Motorola Outdoors MWR839 Desktop Weather-alert radio has appeared at the scene with several towering features. First of all it comes with NOAA certification and tuning of all 7 broadcasting channels advantage. It also supports FM band and features an adjustable alert system. You can simplify the alarms you want to receive. The memory system is pre-programmed to collect data from 25 counties and storage up to 20 messages.
LCD scrolling display with great backlight will always help you stay updated. You can adjust volume and snooze it while you are sleeping. But it will automatically alert louder during a bad weather, hurricane, tornadoes or other disasters.
SAME technology custom selects your warnings if you want to avoid alerts for the counties you don't live in. Motprola provides an external antenna port to extend frequency for weak signal or remote areas. You can also connect your CD or MP3 player using external jack. The auto-shutoff function always shut when a SAME event expired. It features only one downside and the recharge function of this Motorola Weather radio is limited.
- Certified by NOAA and support AM and FM bands;
- Presets with 5 AM and 5 FM Channels;
- Adjustable alarm system;
- Pre-programmed to code manually 25 counties;
- SAME technology Supported;
- Auto-shutoff functionality;
- Alarm with 3 LED indicators, advisories, watches and warnings.
- Limited Charging system;
- Angled display creates problem to see the message if it's on top of eye-level. But in the eye,-level it works great.
8. RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Emergency AM/FM Radio
RunningSnail Weather Radio performs as a survival kit as well as Flash light or Reading Lamp. You can also recharge your iphone in an extreme condition of power drainage using its 2000mAh power backup. As a weather-radio it supports both AM and FM bands with all the 7 NOAA broadcasting channels.
It always keeps you super alert in natural and manmade crisis. It offers SOS alarm system with LED indicator. RunningSnail Weather radio contains a collectable solar panel. This feature enriches RunningSnail with rechargeable ability from sustainable power source. It can be charged by USB cords and with hand crank. It also has AAA battery system for power backup. It contains 4 LED reading lamp who allow reading or other chores.
The 1W flashlight offers adjustable features including zooming capacity. The built in battery provides 12 hours of light and 4-6 hours of radio service. RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio is an ideal kit for Camping.
- NOAA Certified and Support AM and FM bands with coverage of 7 NOAA broadcasting channels;
- Powerful and bright table lamp and 1W Flashlight with zooming capacity;
- Rechargeable by Hand Turbine, USB, Solar as well as AAA batteries;
- 2000 mAh battery backup can be used as a power bank;
- SOS alarm system with flashing red light for emergency alert;
- Water resistant.
- No SAME technology supported.
9. Sangean CL-100 S.A.M.E. AM / FM-RBDS Alarm Clock Radio
Customers mostly review this Sangean CL-100 because of its fully customizable alarm system which is really loud and clear. The impressive speaker system is pretty big and powerful. It also is certified by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and enriched by SAME technology. Moreover, Sangean CL100 supports both AM and FM tuning.
The big display shows the message and memory system supports alerts from 25 counties. You can adjust the brightness and color contrast of display if you are not happy with the built in mode.
The two types of alarm systems provide Siren or Voice command as your preference. The EOM system ensures the automatic snooze after the end of message. The LCD scrolling display provides the S.A.M.E event in severe weather conditions.
Digital signal processing presets the 5 station for each AM and FM bands. The auto shutoff features help you fall asleep in harmony. The Sangean CL-100 has a 3.5mm stereo auxiliary socket enables it to connect extra CD or MP3 players. The two ways antenna system has extra capacity to add magnetic spiral antenna making up for weak signals in remote areas.
- Bigger and louder speaker;
- Fully customizable alarms and alerts;
- Two ways antenna system. You might pan urchase extra antenna for strong signals;
- NOAA certified and presets to tune 5 channels;
- Dual Alarm with auto shutoff systems;
- LCD scrolling display.
- You can't adjust the voice mode volume.
10. Sangean H201 AM/FM Digital tuned Waterproof Weather Radio
Sangean H201 Weather Radio is a marine-standard water-proofing device. It is designed for extreme and unwanted weather condition. The loud siren function in emergencies allows you to stay update about all kinds of weather condition. It receives signals of all NOAA supported channels and empowers you in bad weather or snowstorms. The bright and well contrast LCD displays the message about hurricanes, tornadoes as well as the clock timer. It provides an automatic SOS alert system for emergencies. You can adjust timers with the time you will fall asleep in or busy in any other jobs.
The speaker volume and alarm system is easily customizable. AM and FM band has been backed up by 20 memory presets which will cover all your preferred stations. The LCD display shows you the station you are in. The Sangean H201 Digital Tuned Waterproof weather radio can be charged up by 2 D-cell batteries or AC Adapter. This ultra-light weather radio might be effective to carry in any environment – wet or dry.
- Marine grade waterproof weather radio;
- Allows all the NOAA supported channels;
- 20 memory presets help to tune through favourite stations;
- Auto-seek functions;
- Powered by 2 D cell batteries or AC Adapter(not Included);
- SOS alarm system with louder siren function;
- DSP tuner allows easy tuning;
- Bright LCD display;
- Real time clock along with adjustable sleep and snooze timers.
- No SAME technology applied;
- Limited charging system.
How to Choose the Right Emergency Weather Radio for You?
With all the crucial factors, critical features, and innovative designed illustrated so clearly, nothing much is left to learn to make an informed choice. To make a good deal of the best emergency radio on the market, you will just check the features it is provided with. An emergency weather radio presenting the preferable quality and aspects may claim a hefty price. In this regard, you should consider the fact that you are paying one time and making up for all time secuthe rity. And version with just the basic aspects and design will be cheaper but may fathe il you in crisis period.
Now let us judge the products we have reviewed in this article. We have short-listed 10 emergency whether radios for you that will be a friend in need. All the products stick to the root features and are conveniently featured with the advanced and preferable style, design, and benefits. They can very justly claim the prestige of the best emergency radio.
The very easy criteria to reach the best emergency radio is picking the one having two stickers stuck on the radio surface - NWS and NOAA logos.
One thing you should never forget to read and reread - the warranty features. If you buy online, be sure of the shipping and return policy before making the order.
What do NWS, NOAA, and SAME stand for?
NWS stands for National Weather Service and NOAA means National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And SAME refers to Specific Area Message Encoding. The first two are organizational bodies associated with weather forecasting and crisis management. And the third one is a feature an emergency radio must stick to.
What is a hand-crank feature?
Hand-crank feature is an emergency radio-only feature that refers to the additional power source – a power bank or generator. Being an emergency apparatus, a weather will accompany you outdoor also and may run out of charge when a power connection is absent or cut. In this case, you better be with an emergency radio supported by a built-in generator – termed to be a hand-crank feature by the radio industry.
What is a Mobile Device Charging feature?
The best hand crank emergency radio comes with a built-in generator. This is an extra-power source to get your radio powerethe d by when power grid is absent or cut for safety. You can charge your mobile devices too with this – the devicea s include smartphone, flashlight, portable speakers and Bluetooth.
With such detailing about an emergency weather radio in the main article body, you are now well aware of the basic features to stick to, advanced features to prefer, and the crucial buying factors to make a good deal. A premium quality emergency radio backed by the basic and upgrade features will surely come in exchange of a high price but not necessarily a robust one. But the trade of here for the reviewed brands is that they all offer the modern style, design, and quality materia ofls. On top that, all are not claiming as high a price as high-end feature they present.
You can and should go for one of them even if you are in such a hurry that reading a lengthy article proves time-consuming for your hectic schedule.
I am Leo Evans, the founder of trollingpowersolutions, and your guide to solve any query regarding to electronic and power devices. I have to stay updated about different aspects of latest electronics for my living. Now I feel obliged to share my learnings and experience to others with similar interests. If you have the similar interest, then this is where you belong.