Most of the time when you are in an emergency situation, you have no link to the outside world. You don’t know if it’s just your immediate area that’s been hit, cell phones don’t work, and you can’t get any directions from civil authorities. You won’t know where to go for help unless you have some contact with the outside world. If the power goes out and you need to evacuate, will you even know what to do or where to go without outside communication? It’s hard to believe, but even today the most reliable form of communication is a radio!
Radios have been the main source of information in times of crisis because the radio waves are consistent and do not require the kind of power that other communication sources do. Emergency radios can provide you with the information you need to make the best choices for yourself and your family. In many cases, a radio may also be your only source of entertainment. During stressful times, music and radio talk shows can provide an outlet for your family that will help relieve stress and keep your mind off of the situation at hand.
You need to have as part of your emergency preparedness kits a hand crank/solar powered radio. These radios generate their electricity by simply using a crank or the energy from the sun to power them. People have often learned the hard way that sometimes you just don’t always have fresh batteries for your radio. When it’s your only link to the outside world, these batteries are going to burn out quickly. Having a radio that you do not have to worry about supplying with power can save your life.
Many of these radios can have regular alkaline batteries and electrical AC/DC adapters to augment them as a power source and for charging the built-in (NiMH) rechargeable battery pack. Likewise, they will have alternative lighting options built- in such as flashlights. AM/FM radios are fairly standard, but a complete package will also include shortwave and NOAA capability.
Shortwave radio is a method of enabling world-wide transmission and reception of information. A shortwave radio can receive radio transmission on frequencies between 3 and 30 MHz. It is part of the area on your dial between the AM and FM bands. The main characteristic of these frequencies is their ability to travel long distances as they are reflected back to Earth from the ionosphere. This allows communication around the curve of the Earth is making possible world-wide communications. You can hear the news and other programs from a wide range of sources, and get emergency information by listening to amateur radio broadcasts from ham operators around the world. Many countries broadcast to the world in English, making it easier to find out what a given country’s position is on things that it finds important.
A weather alert radio has features that can be set to receive NWR warnings automatically. NOAA stands for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts National Weather Service warnings, watches and forecasts 24 hours a day. It’s an all hazards network that also broadcasts alerts of non-weather emergencies such as national security, natural, environmental, and public safety.
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