How well are you prepared for the day a hurricane, earthquake, or a tornado threatens your home?
The REAL truth is that up to 60% of Americans aren’t prepared for any emergency. Most of them fail to understand that a disaster happens unexpectedly and anywhere—even if you live in an area that historically has not seen adverse weather events.
Luckily, owning an emergency weather radio can keep you a step ahead. The handy device will inform you of an impending storm (the moment the NOAA issues the alert) to help you prepare well in advance.
That being said, it’s worth noting that the market is crowded with different shapes and sizes of emergency weather radios—making it pretty hard for you to pick a reliable product.
BUT…the good news is that we have designed this encyclopedic guide to show you the tricks to finding the perfect emergency alert radio.
Our team ventured into the market and spent two straight weeks researching and testing various types of radios. We eventually settled on 8 top-notch products that we guarantee will serve you reliably.
Discover the 8 best weather radio reviews below (plus our exceptional buying guide on how to pick the best radio easily and quickly).
What’s an Emergency Weather Radio?
An emergency weather radio refers to a specialized type of radio for receiving emergency alerts for dangerous/severe weather events, natural disasters, and even terrorist threats.
The alerts are broadcasted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The weather radio acts as an essential part of your emergency kit that helps you prepare for an impending disaster or storm in advance. It’s a handy device that we strongly urge everyone to get, even if you don’t live in the areas prone to natural disasters and severe weathers.
In addition to playing their primary role of keeping you informed on what’s going around you, most of the models come with flashlight and smartphone charger. These extra functions will become handy during a power outage or any other form of emergency.
Amazingly, most of them can also receive AM/FM radio stations, so they can double as portable entertainment devices.
Who should buy the best emergency radio? The special device is a necessity for ALL. It’s crucial that every home own this truly convenient device to help you plan ahead and keep connected with the authorities in times of disasters and storms.
If you really love your family, and want to keep them safe during the emergencies, then you’ve every reason to invest in one of the 8 most popular emergency radios we’ve reviewed below.
Our 8 Best Emergency Weather Radio Reviews:
RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Emergency Weather Radio
Opening our list of the top-rated weather alert radio reviews is the RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio. This is an AM/FM NOAA radio that features an SOS alarm to help you keep tabs on important announcements and everything that’s happening around you.
Ideal for all households, this radio also acts as a good source of light when a disaster cuts off the power. It comes with table Lamp & 1W LED that will keep your room well lit in all emergency and survival scenarios.
What if you have an emergency and want to warn others? In that case, you’ll find this radio a convenient device to help you do so. You’ll be able to use its SOS alarm with red flashlight to relay your message easily and quickly.
It boasts of a 2000mAh rechargeable battery that gives you up to 4-6 hours of radio time or 12 hours of continuous bright light. Not to forget you can also charge your smartphone using the radio battery.
The most amazing part about this radio is that you can charge its battery life using multiple methods. These include hand cranking, Micro USB cable, or solar charging. Where convenient, you can also run it using 3 AAA batteries.
- A must-have device for all households
- Table Lamp & 1W LED Flashlight
- Hand crank self-charge for outage
- SOS alarm with flashlight red light
- Multiple charging options
What Users Are Saying
The users like the emergency radio. It has a long lasting battery life and great volume they said. All the radio bands worked well and hence people were pleased with the purchase.
RunningSnail Emergency Hand Crank Self Powered AM/FM NOAA Solar Weather Radio
Next, we have another product from RunningSnail—the Hand Crank Self Powered AM/FM. This particular radio comes as an upgraded version of the previous models from the brand. Interestingly, it comes with a crazily low cost to make it accessible to all families who want to keep prepared for an emergency.
The first thing that led our team into picking this radio is its ability to receiver NOAA alerts. It’s actually an AM/FM/ 7 NOAA Emergency Weather channel that will reliably relay all the current weather and hazard alerts information for your area.
Some of the key improvements you’ll get in this new model include a 1000 mAh bank that will help you directly charge your smartphone via the included micro-USB cable, with no adapter required. You can charge this integrated battery using several methods—which include hand cranking, solar charging, and micro USB charging.
You’ll also notice that this radio comes with a pretty compact size, which makes it ideal for anyone looking for a radio they can walk around with. It also features a 1W longer lasting powerful LED that will act as your source of light during an emergency.
Oh! And the radio is water resistant to IPX3, so you can use it in the extreme outdoor weather without worrying about possible damages.
- NOAA Solar Weather Radio
- AM/FM & NOAA weather radio
- 1000 mAh power bank
- 1W longer lasting powerful LED
- Multiple recharging options
- 12-month warranty plus friendly customer service
What Users Are Saying
Users loved this product as it comes with great value for money. It has 1000 mAh battery power bank that is a great option as a backup, they mentioned.
However, people faced issue with the solar charging.
Midland NOAA Emergency Weather Alert All Hazard Public Alert Certified Radio
For a long time, Midland has been known as a world leader in the weather radio technology. And when we came across this Midland WR120/WR120EZ NOAA Weather Alert radio, we knew for sure that it’ll meet your needs and expectations.
The first thing you thing to know about this radio is that it plays its primary role well—it receives weather and hazard alerts directly from the 7 channels to keep your family fully aware of an incoming storm.
Even better, the radio features the SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding) technology. For those who don’t know, this is an advanced technology that allows you to set your radio only to receive alerts that are specific to your country, state, region or city. This is a highly recommended feature for folks who live in high disaster-prone areas.
Another reason we featured this product on our list is its 25-county memory system. This is to mean that it can accept weather alerts of up to 25 counties, allowing you to monitor a wide range of counties at the same time.
In the event of an alert, the radio will notify you using up to 3 warning systems namely—a 90dB siren, flashing LED light, or voice alert. The siren system would be ideal for larger homes, schools, businesses premises, or people who aren’t always near their homes. The flashing LED is perfect for hearing impaired people.
Additional features that give this radio a status symbol in the highly competitive market includes a clock w/alarm, emergency power backup, and external antenna & alert jacks.
- SAME programming enabled
- Ability to receive the 7 NOAA channels
- 25-county memory system
- Built-in clock with alarm and snooze
- Public-alert certified monitor
- Measures 6.0 x 1.5 x 5.0 inches (W x H x D)
- Backed by a 1-year warranty
What Users Are Saying
Users liked this emergency radio as it is super simple and easy to read and set up. They loved the volume of alerts and emergencies.
However there were some common issues faced regarding the display of the screen. They mentioned, it isn’t enough and has an annoying tone to it.
iRonsnow Solar Emergency NOAA Weather Radio
If you’re looking for the best portable model weather radio, the iRonsnow Emergency Weather Radio is a sure bet! Featuring a compact size (5″ x 2.4″ x 1.6″) and weighing less than 0.5lbs, this is one of the most portable, easiest to carry radio you can get on the market today.
The highly affordable emergency radio is also capable of receiving the NOAA weather and disaster alerts. As with all the other emergency radios, it remains off and only activates whenever there’s an alert to broadcast.
It comes with an integrated 1000mAh battery that you can charge using multiple re-charging methods. These methods include the self-charge, external recharge, and solar charging options.
Like most of the top weather alert radios out there, this device also provides you with a powerful 3 LED flashlight to help you find your way through darkness if a power outage occurs in an emergency situation. Besides, it features an integrated cell phone charger to help you power up your handheld devices.
The manufacturer guarantees that this product will serve your specific needs and expectations. If you find it doesn’t, they give you the option of asking for a refund within 30 days. In addition to that, it has a 12-month replacement. Clearly, this is a 100% risk-free product that you can buy without any fears or worries.
- AM/FM NOAA Weather Radio
- Powerful 3 LED flashlight
- Comes with 1000mAh battery
- Integrated cell phone charger
- Up to 3 charging options
- Super-compact, light, easy to carry radio
- 30-Day Money Back Guarantee; 12 Month Replacement Warranty
What Users Are Saying
Users found that this radio does not run out of battery easily. They mentioned the working of flashlight was great.
It is a great product within the price range. This was the most loved feature among many users.
Sangean MMR-88 AM/FM/Weather+Alert Emergency Radio
At the 6th position, we feature the Sangean MMR-88 AM/FM/Weather+Alert Emergency Radio. This is a super-rugged digital AM/FM radio that’s Public Alert Certified. It lets you listen to your favorite radio shows or music while keeping up to date with the latest weather alerts and forecasting from the NOAA channels.
The radio has a built-in alert feature that comes alive immediately it detects an NOAA alert of severe weather and other hazards. Because it also comes with a built-in flashlight and loud emergency buzzer, you’ll always be safe with this radio wherever you go.
This weather radio is powered by a built-in high power 850mAh Lithium-ion rechargeable battery which you can charge using several methods. These include the USB, built-in Hand Crank/Dynamo Power, or the Sangean’s state of the art Solar Panels.
Similar to other top radios we’ve featured on this list, this device also offers you a great deal of flexibility. It comes with USB ports to let you easily charge your mobile devices or attach your media players. It also has a built-in-clock and speaker.
- Public Alert Certified weather radio
- DSP Digital AM/FM/WX Tuner
- 19 Pre-sets (mixed AM/FM)
- USB A to Micro B Cable & Hand strap included
- Bright Backlit LCD Display
- Multiple charging methods
- Extras: LED flashlight, clock, cell phone charger
What Users Are Saying
The users loved the hard crank usage of the radio. The loved the reception of both AM and FM compared to others.
User’s loved this practical design however, they did not like preset software.
Eton The American Red Cross FRX3+ Emergency Weather Radio
Eton FRX3+ Emergency Weather Radio will also keep you prepared for emergency situations. The AM/FM radio excellently receives all the NOAA station channels and produces you with alerts immediately NOAA releases them. All you have to do is toggle the Alert option and wait for the device to automatically broadcast emergency reports to help you prepare beforehand.
One thing that puts this radio a giant step ahead of its rivals is the superior audio quality it delivers. This allows you to clearly hear every word of the NOAA weather band. This is unlike other radios that usually deliver distorted, static-filled audios.
The easy to adjust digital tuner also makes it easy for you to find your preferred frequency easily.
Another thing we liked about this machine is a superior battery that provides you with 8.7 times longer playback time compared to other models. The fact that you can recharge this battery using a couple of methods makes the radio even more convenient. These methods include hand cranking and solar charging.
Additional convenient features offered by this radio include an integrated flashlight, USB smartphone charger, built-in solar panels (for supplement power), and a mini-USB cable.
- Plays AM/FM/7 NOAA channels
- Alert function for emergency weather alerts
- More than one charging options
- USB smartphone charger
- Long-lasting LED flashlight
- One red LED flashing beacon
What Users Are Saying
The users loved the glow in the dark locating option. It was easy to in dark conditions, they mentioned.
It is a great medium weight radio that is sturdy and easy to handle. However, many people had issues with the Ir-replaceable batteries.
Midland Consumer Radio ER310 Emergency AM/FM Digital Weather Radio
The Midland Consumer Radio ER310 takes up our second last position of our emergency radio reviews. Like the previously discussed Midland, this model was also designed with emergency situations in mind.
The AM/FM NOAA Emergency alert radio will receive all the 7 NOAA channels to ensure you stay up to date with all the weather alerts, forecasts, and other emergency reports. Immediately it detects an alert, the radio will activate an audible siren to warn you to get ready for severe weather. In addition to the siren, the LED backlight will also flash on and off for up to 60 seconds, to ensure even the hearing impaired users receive the reports.
We also note that this radio can store any alerts it receives for up to one hour, so if you’re not near your radio during the broadcast, you can still get the message within the next 60 minutes.
Other than getting alerts, the radio can play AM/FM stations, allowing you to listen to your favorite music and radio talk shows.
Regarding the power source, this digital weather radio comes with a large capacity 2600mAh Rechargeable Li-Ion battery that can power it for 32 straight hours under normal use. You can recharge the battery using common methods like solar charging, hand crank, or by attaching to a USB power source.
Alternatively, you can run it using 6 AA batteries.
Other features worth a mention in this radio include a telescopic antenna for better reception, Ultra Sonic Dog Whistle that you can activate to help in search and rescue missions during emergency situations, and headphone jack.
- AM/FM NOAA Emergency alert radio
- Extremely bright Cree LED light
- 2600 mAh Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery (replaceable)
- USB output for charging handheld devices
- Ultrasonic Dog Whistle
- SOS flashlight beacon
- Large, backlit LCD w/digital clock
What Users Are Saying
Users loved the three set stations of band in the radio that can be accessed with a toggle button.
They loved the various charging option for the radio. However, many of them did not like the solar charging option as it take too much of the time.
Kozo NOAA Weather Radio For Emergency
Our emergency radio reviews come to a close with the Best NOAA Weather Radio For Emergency By Kozo. This radio also presents you with all the essential features and functions we’ve seen in the other top-rated radios above, but at a more affordable cost.
Its key features include the NOAA alert service which automatically detects and broadcasts disaster and severe weather alerts from NOAA. It comes with a quality inbuilt speaker that delivers the message loud and clear for you and your family.
Unlike most of the emergency radios which are usually too big and clumsy, this model comes with a compact size. This means that doesn’t take up much space in your storage bag and you can actually take it around with you to any place.
The weather alerts radio comes with a 500 mAh Lithium battery. Though this battery has less power capacity than most of the models we’ve reviewed in this list, it will still provide you with a sufficiently long playtime under normal usage. You can opt to charge the battery using hand cranking or solar methods.
Where it’s not convenient to recharge the battery, you can simply operate the radio using 3 AAA batteries.
On top of it all, the radio comes with 100% money back guarantee. This shows confident the manufacturer is with the quality and functionality of their product. If you find that it doesn’t meet your needs, you can send it back to them with FREE shipping, no questions asked!
- Compact and easy to carry
- Rechargeable 500 mAh Lithium battery
- Multiple charging options
- Quality signal reception
- 100& money back guarantee
- Smartphone charger (USB input)
- Flashlight included
What Users Are Saying
Users loved this little unit of radio. They mentioned solar charge works great and charges up very efficiently.
Users also loved the reception, it was clear and loud.
What Factors To Consider Before Buying a Weather Radio?
As we told you at the beginning of this guide, the market is saturated with weather radios of all shapes and sizes.
With this in mind, you DON’T just walk into a store and pluck one weather radio off the shelf and expect it to live up to your expectations. It’s very easy to get lured by a piece of junk!
So, what should you do to ensure you pick the best weather radio that matches your specific needs and preferences?
You just need to focus on the following KEY aspects that go into a good, highly reliable radio:
Ability to Receive NOAA Disaster Alerts
This is the most crucial aspect as it directly relates to the primary role an emergency radio plays.
The “alert” function allows your radio to remain silent and only turn on when it detects an emergency alert broadcast. On detecting an alert, the radio will activate and produce a working tone and then deliver the full emergency alert.
When looking for this feature, you should keep in mind that some weather radios on the market don’t have an alert function and remain on always and play weather broadcasts from all radios, including the regular broadcasts.
It’s pretty easy to get confused by the later models, so be careful when making a selection.
The next important feature you should look for in an emergency weather radio is SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding).
This is a relatively new technology that allows you to program your radio to receive alerts that are specific to your country or the region you reside in.
The biggest advantage of having this feature is that you’ll get warnings and alerts when there’s an impending disaster specific to your city, region, or country, instead of receiving alerts from multiple countries that are way far from you.
We strongly advise people who live in areas where disasters have a high rate of occurring to look for a radio with the SAME technology.
Public Alert & NOAA NWR All Hazards Logos
These are the two weather radio standards recognized by NOAA as well as the National Weather Service.
In particular, the Public Alert logo means that a given radio meets the set technical standards—like being able to receive area-specific alerts, producing a tone before the alert is broadcasted. A radio with this logo should also feature a plug-in for external devices like lights for the hearing impaired users or the vibration devices for the visually impaired people.
When making a purchase, ensure the device you pick comes with any (or both) of the above-named logos.
You should also check the type of power options that the radio you plan to buy comes with.
The best radio should come with a healthy battery in addition to multiple charging options. Any radio that accepts all power sources—including hand crank generator, solar panel, AC adapter, and the batteries, will be more reliable in an emergency situation compared to the ones that use battery opting only.
Note that emergency radios generally don’t take in much power as most of the remain off and only activate when they detect an alert. If you add more features to it, however, the power draw will significantly increase.
Nobody wants to invest their hard-earned cash in a device that doesn’t last for long. This is especially true if you’re buying an outdoor device that will get exposed to all the harsh weather elements out there.
In the light of this, you should make sure the emergency radio you go with is durable enough to stand the test of time.
If you plan to use it outdoors, make sure it’s 100% weatherproof and shockproof so that it doesn’t get easily damaged while out there.
What do you intend to use your new emergency radio for? Asking yourself this question will help you in choosing a radio that suits your specific needs.
If you’re looking for something that you can easily carry around, then you want to make sure that it has a compact size and feels lightweight.
If you’re looking for a radio that should only activate when an alert gets detected and played, then a large desktop radio will be the best option.
During our research, our product experts concluded that the best overall price range for a fully functional and reliable emergency radio should fall between $20 and $60.
Within this price range, you’ll get a model that comes with all the basics as well as a built-in extra feature, like the flashlight.
If you go below $20, you might end up with a piece of junk that doesn’t meet most of your expectations. Above the price range, you’re likely to get even more advanced features in a radio, like the SAME.
If you don’t have much to spend on this emergency device, just plan your budget to fall between the above price range, and you’ll get a good radio.
99% of the weather emergency radio brands offer a warranty of 1-2 years to their products.
As you already know, choosing a product that’s backed by manufacturer warranty is a sure way to ensure investment as you continue using it.
Make sure you go for a radio that offers you maximum warranty period.
Now that we’ve covered the basic features that a good emergency weather radio should have, let’s look at some extra features you might be interested in.
- Flashlight: comes in handy when a power outage occurs during an emergency and you want to find your way through the darkness
- In-Built mobile charger: this will help you power your handheld devices in emergency situations.
- Easy-access tuning: this is digital LCD tuning which is much easier to use than the traditional tuning method.
- Multiple programmable stations as well as locations
Types Of Weather Radios
Now that we have discussed how to choose the best NOAA weather radio, let’s get to know the various types of the radio.
The radio can be classified into two main categories—namely desktop and emergency weather radios.
Desktop Weather Radio
A desktop weather radios are exactly what its name suggest. It’s designed for placing on top of the desk and connecting it to AC power source.
The radio does the job of automatically detecting severe weather alerts and other hazards from the NOAA and broadcasting them to you. Aside from this, you can also use it as a bedside alarm as it comes with integrated alarm clock and buzzer.
When there’s no power, you can also operate this type of radio using dry cell batteries.
Other features you’re likely to find in a desktop radio include the SAME technology that we’ve discussed earlier and ability to play AM/FM radios. Some models will even feature a large LCD display where you can read type of emergency being reported and the level of threat.
A desktop weather radio is suitable for use in homes, schools, and businesses premises where AC power is easily accessible.
Emergency Weather Radio
The emergency weather radio refers to a specialized type of weather alert radio that’s more portable than the desktop model.
Like the desktop type, this radio also plays all the NOAA weather channels to keep you updated on the incoming storms and other hazards about to occur in your area.
The main reason behind its highly portability revolves around a more compact size, lightweight design, and internal power. Actually, most of the products we’ve covered in our weather radio reviews above fall in this category
Most of the models feature a rechargeable battery that you can recharge using the two most popular charging methods— AC, DC, hand crank, and solar power.
Like the desktop models, you can also power them using batteries (mostly the AAA type) where convenient.
Most of these radios also come with a waterproof design to enable them to withstand the harsh outdoor weather conditions. They feature a durable and shockproof design to ensure they don’t get damaged if you accidentally drop them while out there.
Some of the top-rated emergency weather radios will also provide you with extra features for your own convenience. These include a built-in flashlight, reading light, and ability to charge your smartphone or any other handheld device.
This type of radio is ideal for anyone looking for a more portable weather alert radio that they can take with them to outdoor activities like hiking, camping, hunting, and so on.
NOAA Weather Radio: What You Need To Know?
NOAA Weather Radio, abbreviated as NWA, refers to a radio stations network in the US. It is a public service network that’s tasked with continuously broadcasting weather reports straight from the nearby stations to you.
The NWA gives you a comprehensive report of the weather & emergency, enabling you to get prepared in advance.
The information relayed include warnings and post-event info on ALL forms of hazards, including natural, environmental, and public safety.
Keep in mind that NWR works closely with the Federal, State, and Local Weather Emergency Managers as well as other public officials to deliver timely and up-to-date alerts to you.
The NWR network has a total of1025 transmitters and covers all the 50 states, plus the adjacent coastal waters, the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and US Pacific Territories.
It’s also worth noting that the NWA broadcasts are accessible in the following 7 frequencies/ radio stations:
Remember that these stations can’t be played by a standard radio, so you’ll need to invest in the best emergency radio for you to receive the alerts.
Emergency Weather Radio Brands Currently Available on The Market
One thing we discovered during our research is that there are many emergency weather radio manufacturers than you can imagine.
This makes it even trickier to find the right weather radio as you’ve to sort through multiple brands until you find the one that manufacturer’s quality products.
We’ve, therefore, decided to include this section in our guide to reveal to you the best weather alert radio that you should buy from.
These top brands include:
Having been around for more than 50 years, Midland has doubtlessly mastered the art of designing top-notch, highly reliable weather radios.
This is evident from the huge following their products enjoy across the United States.
Though the company has its headquarters in Kansas City, it exports its products all over the world, so you won’t have problems getting their radio from any part of the globe.
Sanegan is also a leading manufacturer of top-quality weather radios in the US. Having been founded many years ago (in 1974, to be exact), this brand has also gained the necessary experience to provide you with product that match your specific needs and expectations.
Their reputation has also seen a consistent rise in the popularity of its products on all corners of the planet.
You also can’t go wrong with the Kaito highly innovative weather alert radios.
The fact that this particular brand uses its own features and designs means the manufacturer’s completely unique radios that set them apart from the competition.
Other than weather radio, this brand is known for manufacturing quality electronics such as personal assistant systems and test instruments.
Eton is another American brand you can trust to provide you with the best NOAA weather radio models.
The brand was founded more than 30 years ago. And since then, they have remained true to their original goal of keeping you informed and prepared at all times—using their weather radios and other products.
Our list above covers two of the most loved Eton radios that will serve you reliably and for many, many years.
We’ve come to the end of our in-depth guide on emergency weather radios. From our discussion above, it’s evident that an emergency weather radio is an invaluable survival tool (and a must-have part of emergency kit for every home).
The radio will alert you of incoming storms, disasters, and other warnings and help you prepare well in advance.
Since it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the hundreds of radios on the market today and end up with a wrong choice, we suggest that you follow our buying guide to learn the key aspects to look for in a radio.
Our compilation of the best weather radios will point you to the 8 most popular, highest rated radios that our product experts discovered for you after two weeks of research and testing.
If you order your radio from these 8 products, you can rest 100% assured that it’ll serve you reliably and for longer than you can imagine.