Don’t get caught in an emergency without a radio!

Yeah I know… radio is like, so … twentieth century. You might have stopped listening to radio in your car a few years ago, and chances are you stopped listening to the radio in your home decades ago (if you ever listened at home at all.) After all, you have Sirius XM, Pandora, Spotify, iTunes Radio, plus all those music channels on TV and of course everyone has a massive music collection now. Why listen to the radio?

In an emergency, your internet is very likely to go down along with your power. All those fancy services won’t do any good. Remember too, that none of those web-based services are required to give you emergency information for your area. The best source for emergency information is often Twitter, but if your smartphone goes down, or if the cell towers are down, that’s out too.

In a crisis, you need to get seriously old school. There’s a technology that delivers multicast information using a receiver that lasts months on a set of batteries, that takes so little power that it can be operated by crank, and whose operators are required by law to give you emergency information. Sound like a miracle? Nope… sounds like a radio.

Radio may not be “all that” when the lights are on but you need one in the house for when the lights are off. The best ones can be hand-operated so there’s no worry about running out of batteries. For example, this Midland ER210 will give you AM, FM and weather alerts and can be charged with a hand crank. How awesome is that, especially if you’re looking at weeks without power. Add to that it’s got a USB port to charge your cell phone! Win-win, and that’s just what you need in the middle of the night when the power’s off.

A hand-cranked radio like this really should be part of your emergency kit… and you have an emergency kit, right? Come on, put on your big kid pants and get that emergency kit stocked. Just because you have it doesn’t mean you’ll need it, doesn’t mean that you’re jinxing things or anything. Just get it done. And… don’t forget the radio of course.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.