Best radios to use in an emergency
It is a common conception or misconception that the more moving parts that something has the more it may unreliable that something could be. This is true but, on the other hand, we’ve become more and more reliant on smartphones and service-based communication. A walkie-talkie or a CB radio is a fantastic alternative to consider. Here are some options for AM/FM use and closed-loop or closed network communication:
1. Running Snail MD-088P:
A standout among its competitors, the Running Snail is extremely useful as a radio, a light, and can even receive emergency broadcasts from the NOAA. It can be recharged by the hand crank or the solar panel. It also runs on batteries. The only downside is that it is not waterproof.
2. FosPower Emergency Radio:
Another option that is worth considering is the FosPower Radio. It is a good portable piece of gear and can function as a light and radio and can be charged by a USB, an internal power bank, AAA batteries, and a hand crank. It also has a quality design for travel and is waterproof. It can also emit an SOS by light or by sound.
3. American Red Cross Emergency Radio by Eton
This type of Emergency radio is the simplest and still affordable. Although, it is not as cheap as the first entry on this list. It has marginal features such as a three-way power and will give automatic emergency alerts and has a flashlight and power bank functionality.
4. Motorola Talkabout T800:
As far as functional and multi-use gear goes Motorola is always a good choice. The Talkabout is a well-made Walkie-Talkie radio. It has the specific feature of providing a mesh network that can be connected to your smartphone for texting functionality which is impressive and innovative. It also has many privacy codes and off-grid location sharing that can work as a beacon. A big issue is a lack of waterproofing with the materials.
5. Midland T75 VP3 X-Talker:
Another great option for go-to no-nonsense use. Midland makes old school yet, very accessible to anyone. The T75 comes in Camo, black, and black/silver colors. It boasts a range of 38 miles in clear conditions whereas most other walkie-talkies are sometimes in the 30- miles range. It also has a weather scan and NOAA alert feature.
6. Retevis RT49P
This radio is well suited for long-term water exposure and can even float. An interesting feature is a fact that it has light near the antenna end which could be useful if dropped somewhere in the dark. It has great sound quality and can access weather alerts.
(Side Note: All CB radios mentioned have FRS frequencies)
Overall, each radio has its strengths and weaknesses. Both Emergency radios and CB radios are good options to have together. In times of immense hardship and just everyday life, these communication devices will be more than valuable, provided you have batteries and or a way to charge them.
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