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Best emergency weather radio

Best emergency weather radio
(Image credit: @Maxim Bulyga on Unsplash)

An emergency weather radio is a must-have tool for your household and vehicle if you live in an area that's often susceptible to severe weather or natural disasters. Whether you need to know where to go or what to do during a weather crisis, or what's in store for your area in the coming hours, the access these radios provide to the NOAA weather broadcast channels is crucial. Here are the emergency weather radios that should be part of your home safety kit. 

Staff pick

FosPower A1 radio

(Image credit: FosPower)

FosPower A1 radio (opens in new tab)

A water-resistant radio with automatic weather alerts

FosPower's A1 emergency radio stays powered up with a hand crank, batteries, or solar panel, and gives you access to NOAA alerts.

Pros:

  • USB port for charging devices
  • Five power options
  • AM/FM radio + NOAA weather broadcasts
  • Reading light and flashlight
  • Speakers have excellent sound
  • IPX3 water resistance

Cons:

  • Lacks headphone jack

Want to make sure your phone stays charged to contact friends and family during a blackout? The 2000mAh battery on the FosPower radio handles recharging multiple devices while keeping you abreast of current conditions. The FosPower emergency radio has a hand crank and a solar panel to recharge its internal battery when the power is down, plus an SOS alarm, NOAA emergency weather broadcast access, and AM/FM radio. If those fail, there’s also a spot for AAA batteries, so you’ll never be without the four-LED reading light or 1-watt flashlight in the dark.  

Best value

RunningSnail MD-088 radio

(Image credit: Amazon)

RunningSnail MD-088 radio (opens in new tab)

Charge your radio via USB

The affordable Running Snail radio is compact, recharges your phone, and comes with a hand crank, solar panel, and built-in rechargeable battery.

Pros:

  • Three-way rechargeable
  • AM/FM radio
  • Charges small devices
  • Portable
  • Onboard flashlight
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • Doesn't announce weather alerts

This pocket-sized radio from DaringSnail packs many features for the price. With a 2000mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery, this model recharges your small devices while tuning into your favorite local stations. The DaringSnail is rechargeable via a hand crank, a USB port, and the sun. There's an onboard LED flashlight, textured dials, and a built-in antenna, and it recharges in three to five hours. This is the one to get if you need the best emergency weather radio on a budget.

Best charging options

Kaito Voyager KA500 radio

(Image credit: Amazon)

Kaito Voyager KA500 radio (opens in new tab)

Five ways to recharge

The KA500 from Kaito has five-way power and tunes in AM/FM, weather bands, and two shortwave radio channels.

Pros:

  • Five ways to charge
  • AM/FM, shortwave, and NOAA channels
  • Recharges devices
  • LED flashlight
  • Headset jack

Cons:

  • Labels on exterior ports are hard to read

With the Kaito KA500, you can listen to the seven pre-programmed NOAA weather alerts, AM/FM, and listen to two shortwave channels. This radio has no shortage of charging options, utilizing a hand crank, AA batteries, a solar panel, AC/DC, and a rechargeable onboard battery. The Kaito is impact and water-resistant and comes with a red LED SOS beacon and signal strength indicator.  

Best replaceable battery

Raynic 5000 radio

(Image credit: Amazon)

Raynic 5000 radio (opens in new tab)

Bright LCD screen

The Raynic 5000 weather radio has an easy-to-see digital display, recharges six ways, and tunes in AM/FM, shortwave, and NOAA.

Pros:

  • Six ways to recharge
  • Onboard SOS alarm
  • Bright LCD
  • NOAA weather alerts
  • USB port for recharging devices
  • Replaceable battery

Cons:

  • Fabric carry strap is too small to be useful

We love the bright display on the Raynic 5000 and the digital tuner. It feels a little more up-to-date than some of the old-school designs other emergency weather radios feature. This inexpensive model has an AM/FM radio, NOAA weather access, and shortwave radio channels to keep you updated with weather information and entertained as you wait out a power outage. The small unit recharges six ways and has a rechargeable and replaceable battery. Other features include an SOS alarm, a bright 3-watt flashlight, and 2.5-watt reading light, and the ability to recharge small devices.

Best design

VONDIOR NOAA weather radio

(Image credit: Amazon)

VONDIOR NOAA weather radio (opens in new tab)

Superb reception in a small package

VONDIOR's pocket weather radio runs on two AA batteries and works anywhere.

Pros:

  • Weather band automatically detects your location
  • Portable
  • Runs on two AA batteries
  • Excellent reception
  • Simple to use

Cons:

  • No backup power source

If you only need a weather radio, put the VONDIOR in your cart now. It's perfect for home use, camping, fishing, or keeping an eye on the skies while traveling. This small unit comes with a big retractable antenna that pulls in stations near and far and automatically locks on to your location, giving you only local weather alerts. The highly-sensitive internal chip picks up radio signals even where cell signals fail and is a reliable tool for anyone, young and old. The speakers are loud, the batteries last for days, and it's small enough to go anywhere.

Best digital display

square red emergency weather radio

(Image credit: The American Red Cross)

American Red Cross FRX3 radio (opens in new tab)

Display lights up to make reading easy

The American Red Cross FRX3 has three-way charging, an emergency beacon, aux-input, and a brightly lit display.

Pros:

  • Bright display
  • Easy-carry design
  • 3-way power
  • Recharges small devices
  • Emergency beacon
  • AM/FM and weather bands

Cons:

  • Backup power source doesn't automatically take over when the main battery dies

An LED flashlight is great for navigating or reading in the dark, but what about reading the display on your radio? The American Red Cross FRX3 has a fully lit digital display, so you know which channel you’re listening to and how much battery life you have left. There’s also an AUX input to broadcast audio from another device, phone charging capability, and automatic weather alerts.

Listen to Mother Nature

Staying charged for when you need them, and providing access to weather updates, are two traits that set emergency weather radios apart from traditional ones. To keep you and your family informed, we recommend the FosPower emergency portable radio (opens in new tab). Being able to charge more than one device at a time sets it apart from other options. Plus, this unit has NOAA weather alerts, AM/FM radios, good speakers, and an SOS siren.

We like the Raynic 5000 radio (opens in new tab) for its six-way rechargeability and digital tuner. There's a bright LCD, clearly labeled and accessible knobs, and the battery on this radio is rechargeable and replaceable.

Looking for something that has multiple uses? The American Red Cross emergency weather radio (opens in new tab) can serve as a speaker for any device with a headphone jack. That way, you’ll be using it for more than just emergencies. 

Why trust us?

At TheRadar, we recommend the best products to enhance your life. As expert curators, we handpick products based on quality and usefulness to positively impact your day-to-day, from cart to doorstep. We take our responsibility seriously — testing products, reading reviews, and sourcing knowledgeable outlets to ensure our selections are worthy of your time and money. We deliver detailed product overviews, balancing objective information with subjective opinions, so making the best choice for your home and lifestyle is as easy as possible.