7 best hand crank radios of 2021
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A renewable and versatile source of vital information, electricity, light and even entertainment, the hand-crank radio is an indispensable part of any emergency scenario. “These devices don’t depend on access to power or WiFi to function,” says Stephanie Fox of the American Red Cross, so they “can provide you with potentially life-saving emergency information.” Most hand-cranked radios are what are known as NOAA weather radios, which means they can receive weather and emergency updates from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association’s 24-hour radio station. And there are two types of weather radios: weather band radios, which must be turned on and set to the correct station to receive alerts, and weather alert radios, which give you emergency alerts regardless of the weather. station you are on, even if the radio is turned off. For obvious reasons, survival experts recommend the type of alert, so these are the only ones we’ve included here.
There are a number of ways that the best weather radios can be powered, which experts like John Ramey of Prepper, the Prepared recommend. In addition to a hand crank, they usually use regular batteries and have internal rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, and often have solar panels as well, and once charged they can be used to charge other devices like your phone and your computer. Additionally, some double as flashlights, come equipped with compasses and thermometers, and can send SOS signals and play music. And of course, they make great radios, which can provide not only emergency information but also much-needed entertainment during long power outages. But with so many models and options available, it can be intimidating trying to pick out this emergency essential on your own, so we asked six experts to give us their favorites.
Our experts love Kaito radios, and Michigan’s popular YouTube Prepper called Prepper Potpourri calls this his favorite. She loves that it can be powered in 5 ways (by hand crank, solar panel, AA batteries, 5V AC / DC, built-in replaceable and rechargeable NiMH battery) and has a USB port to charge your devices. “It receives the NOAA weather alert station, regular AM / FM channels, and shortwave (international) channels,” she says, and she also likes that “if the radio is set to” Alert “mode, you will be automatically notified of weather alerts. And, says survivalist EJ “Skullcrusher” Snyder, whom you may know from his numerous appearances on Naked and scared, “It has a five LED reading light, an LED flashlight and a red LED SOS beacon.”
Mykel Hawke, a former US Army special forces captain and author of several survival books, keeps plenty of weather warning radios around, “one for each vehicle and family member,” in fact. This one from Kaito, one of his favorite brands, is small enough to be used in a vehicle and can double as a hanging lantern as well. It has five power sources (hand crank, solar, batteries, a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a USB input), has Bluetooth, an MP3 player and a siren.
Hawke also recommends Running Snail radios, like this sleek and budget friendly one, which has an LCD display that shows you how much battery is left, station info, volume, and more. It has a crank, a solar panel, a slot for AAA batteries, an internal rechargeable lithium-ion battery, a USB port to charge your devices, an AUX socket to read music, a flashlight and an SOS alarm.
Midland, a favorite brand of survivalists and endorsed by Hawke, makes this little weather alert radio that can be powered with a hand crank, solar panel or the 2000mAh rechargeable battery. Its 130 lumen flashlight can be used on the SOS setting to call for help, or on a lower setting to save power. It also has an LCD screen and a USB port and cable.
Stephanie Fox of the American Red Cross says there are three basic principles of emergency preparedness, and they should “build a kit, have a plan and stay informed.” A weather alert radio like Eton’s should be part of your kit and will keep you informed when all other sources fail. It receives AM / FM and all 7 NOAA channels and Canadian emergency weather. You can crank it or power it in the sun and charge your phone with the USB port. It also has an LED flashlight and a flashing signaling beacon.
Another Kaito, the KA7000 can be charged in three ways (via a hand crank, a patented 180-degree adjustable solar panel, and a rechargeable 2000mAh lithium-ion battery). It has a bluetooth speaker, recorder, USB charger for iOS and Android devices, bright LED flashlight, red LED SOS beacon and flashlight 5 LED reading light.
Thomas Coyne, owner and lead instructor of Thomas Coyne Survival Schools, loves the tough, water resistant Kaito Voyager Mas KA900. The grandfather of all, the KA900 is Bluetooth enabled and has stereo speakers for excellent sound, as well as a built-in recorder. It can be powered by hand crank, solar panel, DC wall power adapter (which is not included), built-in 2000mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery and USB port. In addition to receiving AM, FM and NOAA weather radio, it is shortwave, which means it receives broadcasts from around the world. âIn an extreme global situation,â Coyne says, âan entire country may be off-grid, but someone, somewhere, will be broadcasting. Â»It has an extra sensitive antenna, a flashlight and a reading light, as well as a backlit LCD display with an alarm and a countdown timer.
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