The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.



The Importance of an Emergency Radio

 September 21, 2020 |  Safety |  electrical, home safety

When an emergency strikes, you need to be prepared to keep you and your family safe. You’ll of course need a solid safety plan, then you’ll need to make sure you have the right tools at the ready. One often-overlooked device you should include in your kit is an emergency radio. Keep reading to learn more about why an emergency radio is one of the most important gadgets in your arsenal.

Why Do You Need a Radio?
In the age where information can be accessed instantly in the palm of your hand, you might be asking yourself why you need an “older” piece of technology. The answer to your question is simple: phones don’t always work. If you experience a storm with high winds, cell towers could be damaged, hindering service in your area just when you need updates the most. Plus, if you experience a lengthy power outage, your phone could be dead for days without a backup charging solution. The same applies to your TV, which you might be tempted to rely on for updates.

Receive Accurate Information Before and After
During an emergency situation, it’s important to know where to go and what to do. With the growth of social media, news outlets can typically get this information out to mobile users in a fast and effective manner. But if you lose power or service, you’re virtually cut off from any communication. This is where having an emergency radio comes in handy. By tuning to local stations, you can receive weather updates, evacuation routes, and other breaking news.

Hand-Crank vs. Battery-Powered
When it comes to the radio itself, there’s a wide variety of options to choose from. The first of these choices is either going with a battery-powered radio, or a hand-crank model. There are benefits and drawbacks to each of these styles. For hand-crank radios, you don’t need to worry about extra batteries as you power it. However, they tend not to last long and you may find yourself constantly turning the handle. The benefit of batteries is longer usage, but you need to make sure you have enough replacement batteries on hand. You’ll also need to remember to periodically rotate older batteries out of your emergency supply kit since they can expire over time.

Weather Radios
Weather radios are exactly as their name implies. This type of radio gives you information on storm movements and warnings in your area. They come in two options that are similar in pricing. However, there is a difference in the type of alerts you’ll receive. 

  • Weather Alert radios notify you of a developing storm no matter the time of day, what station you are listening to or if the radio is turned on. The emergency alerts are sent out by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Because they are sent by NOAA, you will receive updates even if your local radio station is out of commission. 
  • Weather Band radios work much the same as a normal radio. You have to be tuned into a station to receive the information that you need. They are also reliant on local channels, so if they are down you won’t be receiving updates.

Simplicity or Accessories
As previously mentioned, you have the choice in what kinds of attachments you want for your radio. To further extend the life of your radio, you can spring for a solar powered option. A few other add-ons include:
- An attached LED flashlight or glow-in-the dark body
- Charging ports for your phone or other devices
- Water-proof coating
- Alert tones that play to help rescue crews find you
- Signaling beacon
- Digital as opposed to dial display
- And more.

Picking the Right Radio
What should ultimately guide your purchasing decision are your specific needs. Do you have multiple people in your home with devices that will need charging? Does a larger or smaller model work best for you? Do you live in town where you can be back up and running quickly, or in a rural location where it may take longer for help to reach you? You may need to test a few styles at your local store. No matter which option you end up going with, check it off your list sooner rather than later. Anything can happen in an instant, and preparedness is everything.

Is Your Home Storm-Ready?
Make sure that your home is ready for whatever gets thrown at it. A storm, flood or other emergency could cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. A home inspection from NPI will help give you the peace of mind that your home can withstand it all. Contact your local NPI inspector to schedule a home inspection today.

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