What’s A Weather Radio?
A weather radio is an essential emergency preparedness tool that receives up-to-the-minute information on the weather conditions in an area. It receives the information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is the United States’ environmental intelligence agency. NOAA’s National Weather Service offices broadcast the weather conditions on an automated, 24-hour network of radio stations across the United States. When the weather conditions are adverse, it issues severe weather radio statements, watches and warnings. A weather radio will receive the alerts and signal you with an alert sound, followed by the official report.
Why Do I Need A Weather Radio?
There’s no question about it. You are not prepared if you don’t have, at the very least, a weather radio in your home. Knowledge is power and fore-knowledge is protection. Protection for you and your family against any number of natural or civil disasters. If there’s a hurricane or tornado coming to your area, for the safety of your family, it’s vitally important that you are able to make plans ahead of time. If there is any other kind of civil emergency, you need to be able to tune-in to the law enforcement and emergency channels because that is where you will hear real-time information about what’s going on. With the up-to-date information, a weather radio or scanner can provide, you can make important decisions ahead of time like whether to evacuate or to shelter-in-place. Forewarned Is Forearmed!
There are quite a few options in the radio and scanner department out on the market. Now, let me tell you about the ones that I really, really like. These are a few of the weather radios and scanners that I recommend, both handheld and base. These are systems that me and my co-workers use in our own homes so, you can rest assured they are electronics that you can count on.
Uniden Base And Mobile Scanner
My favorite, without a doubt, is the Uniden Base and Mobile Scanner
because it can be used at home or on-the-go and it has an AC adapter, DC power cable and an automotive power outlet plug. If you needed to evacuate quickly you can just grab it, plug it into your vehicle and go. Uniden’s own innovative “Close Call” RF capture technology instantly tunes your scanner to signals from nearby transmitters, so that no matter where you are, you will quickly be tuned-in to your immediate area’s happenings. This scanner’s impressive frequency coverage includes 300 bands on which you can listen in on area law enforcement, EMS/ambulance, fire, amateur radio, public utilities and weather. Not only that, but it has an impossibly fast 100 channels per second scanning speed! The Uniden Base and Mobile Scanner is really easy to set up and easy to use for anyone. I’m not very electronic savvy, so I can vouch for how easy it is to use.
Uniden Bearcat 500-Channel Scanner
The Uniden Bearcat 500-Channel Scanner
is just an all-around great bedside table scanner or at least that’s where I have mine. This is the one that I started out with before I got my Uniden Base and Mobile Scanner. It’s perfect for beginners because it’s very user friendly with the buttons, dials and other controls arranged for ease of use, so there’s no fumbling around in the dark. Also, it’s easy to read at night because of the backlit LCD display. It includes 500 channels for scanning local public safety bands like law enforcement, fire departments and EMS; a weather alert scan that lets you listen to local weather reports and receive alerts when hazardous conditions arise; and a traditional FM radio, which has 30 channel presets. A rare feature the Bearcat offers is the built-in alarm clock that lets you wake to your favorite radio station and a snooze button lets you grab a few more minutes of shuteye, while the sleep function automatically turns off the Bearcat at a time you set. Folks, there’s a lot packed into this sleek little scanner!
Kaito Voyager Classic Solar Radio
The Kaito Voyager Classic Solar Radio
is the perfect bug-out and camping or hiking weather radio because it will never run out of juice. It offers five different methods of powering its built-in rechargeable Ni-MH battery pack including the dynamo hand crank, USB cable, adjustable solar panel and you can use three AA batteries (not included). This radio receives a wide range of broadcasting including AM, FM, shortwave and seven pre-programmed NOAA weather stations. It also has the NOAA alert function, which allows you to receive emergency broadcasts in the event of any severe weather conditions in your area. The Voyager Radio is also user friendly and is packed with functions like a built-in wide-range speaker, a headset jack socket with included earphones to plug in, a five LED adjustable reading lamp, LED flashlight and a SOS emergency light. One of the best features is that it can also charge cell phones, iPhones, Blackberry and iPods/MP3 players by utilizing the USB port. So, having this on-hand, at home, in case the power goes out is a smart idea.
BugOut NOAA Weather Radio
Another great portable system is the BugOut NOAA Weather Radio
. It really is built to take out into the elements with its tough, ABS and rubberized construction. One of the features that I really like is the bright LED flashlight that’s integrated into the design, basically, giving you another source of light when your lights go out at home. It receives seven NOAA channels, plus, NOAA weather warning alerts. It’s powered by a 2,200 mAh rechargeable lithium battery that can also be used to charge electronic devices via a USB port. The battery can be charged with the included USB cable, the solar panel and the hand crank. The weather radio also has a telescoping antenna, an audio output and a wrist lanyard. As well as having it in your home, the compact little BugOut NOAA Weather Radio makes a great addition to your camping and survival gear, bug-out bag and hurricane survival kit.
Uniden Two-Way Radio Set
I’ve included the Uniden Two-Way Radio Set
because, as they say, “communication is key”, especially in the event of an emergency. This two-way radio set allows you to stay in touch with loved ones or reach out for assistance during a crisis. They are rated at a 16-mile range and have a total of 22 FRS channels to use, plus, NOAA weather channels to tune-in to for the latest weather developments. They’re also great for camping, biking, car caravanning and other activities with family or friends. You can use them in place of your mobile phone to save on minutes or to save your phone’s battery. The included micro USB charging cable and dual charging cradle lets you charge the radios between uses. From pleasant family outings to serious emergencies, Uniden’s Two-Way Radio Set is a must-have communication tool!
Any one of these radios and scanners are a great choice to put you that much closer to being fully prepared for the worst. Once again, forewarned is forearmed. On the other hand, though, they are also pretty fun! Just sit back on a Friday or Saturday night and tune-in to the local law enforcement channel. If your city is anything like mine, it can get pretty entertaining!