Emergency radios are a must in areas where natural disasters have the bad habit of striking at least once in a while, if not regularly. Staying informed on the latest events in your area can mean the difference between life and death in some cases, which is why so many people have them in their homes. Not all weather radios are alike, though, and there are some that come equipped with extra features that will help you go through such tough times easier and with better results for you and your family. Here are some features you should look for in a weather radio, if you want to consider purchasing the multi-purpose type.
Start with the basics
Remember that a weather radio has as its most important role the ability to inform you on the evolution of events in your area. An AM/FM receiver is a must, because NOAA transmits their messages via AM radio. So, stay away from radios with only FM frequencies, as these will not be able to receive the messages transmitted by NOAA. The good news is that all weather radios are capable of receiving NOAA messages, which is why a special radio is recommended instead of a standard one.
If you want to make sure that you are getting the right thing, search for the NOAA NWR All Hazards logo, as this will let you know the model is a weather radio.
A feature to look for in a weather radio is SAME, which stands for Specific Alert Message Encoding. The most important role of SAME is to deliver messages that are specific for a certain area or county. This way, the messages concerning disasters and alerts in your area will have priority and you will not be bothered with news about what is happening across the country.
Multiple power sources
It is important to have a weather radio that can be charged or powered from different sources. Some models run on batteries, and these are the most recommended. However, if you really want to be safe, get a model that comes with an AC adapter and that can also be charged manually with a hand crank. This way, even if you run out of batteries, or you do not have electricity, you will still be able to charge it and follow the latest news.
A multi-purpose weather radio can help you in many ways. Some can be used as flashlights, and this is important if you need to find your way in the dark. Models with on board battery packs are great because they allow you to charge your mobile devices, so you can keep in touch with the world. Plus, if you have to deal with a cranky kid, offering them a charged tablet filled with fun apps will keep them enough entertained. Search for models that are properly protected against falls and drops, so you do not have to worry that your weather radio might break just when you need it most – during an emergency.