Emergency radios are a very important thing that any kind of household should have. Their only purpose is to keep us safe by notifying us of some extreme weather conditions or emergencies that are happening in our country or area. Having an emergency shortwave radio just simply lying around in your storage unit is a good thing because you never know when you might need it.
That is exactly the reason why we will be showing you the 09 best emergency shortwave radios that are made to serve you and keep you and your family safe. You will never again be surprised by a hurricane or a huge storm that is about to hit your area, with these bad boys by your side, you will always be prepared on time.
So, let’s start with the review!
Our Top Pick
- Best Overall: C Crane CC Skywave AM FM Shortwave portable radio
- Best for Outdoor survival: Shortwave weather emergency outdoor radio
- Best for NOAA weather alert: 5-Way Powered NOAA weather alert shortwave survival radio
- Top shortwave crank radio: Best NOAA portable Solar Crank shortwave emergency radio
- Best for a traveler: Eton Elite Traveler shortwave radio
- Best for pocket: Eton Mini Compact shortwave radio
- Best for a wide range: Kaito Emergency radio
- Best for all seasons: Grundig FR200 emergency radio
- American Red Cross: American Red Cross Emergency NOAA Weather alert radio
What are some of the advantages of owning the best emergency shortwave radio?
There is literally no doubt or discussion about how emergency shortwave radios could, in a way, save your life and keep you safe at all times. But, here are some of our best advantages of owning any shortwave emergency radio.
- You will be safe at all times
If you live in an area that is constantly hit by earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and similar dangerous weather conditions, it is advisable to have one emergency shortwave radio in your home. That way, you will be always safe and calm knowing that the radio would turn on if there is any dangerous weather condition about to hit your area.
- If you are lost, just turn on the siren!
Many of the models with which we have presented you here today have built in emergency sirens that could be heard even miles away. Let’s say that you have found yourself lost in the woods while going for a walk or a hike. What could you do, there are trees all around you and no sign of the road. Well, if you would have your emergency shortwave radio with you, you could easily turn on the loud siren that could be heard miles away.
Simply turn on the siren, someone will eventually hear it and come and find you!
1. Best Overall: C Crane CC Skywave AM FM Shortwave portable radio
The first radio that we will be showing you today is the C Crane CC Skywave model. This is a small, lightweight, and best portable shortwave radio that only weighs around 5.5 ounces. When it comes to the overall design of it, it looks pretty attractive and basic at the same time.
Namely, this radio contains an LCD display with orange backlighting which makes it easily visible in the dark. On the other hand, since this is analog and digital radio, the direct entry keypad as well as the auto-scan tuning, buttons are also available on the display.
When we take a second, closer look at this radio, we will be able to notice that there is a volume knob available on its side that enables easy control to the volume. On its side, there is also one headphone jack that means that the user will be able to connect their headphones and enjoy listening privately.
The audio quality is very good, and it is all thanks to the 5W built-in speaker. We haven’t mentioned that this is an NOAA weather alert radio that has the ability to also tune into the aviation and airband signals so that the user can listen to all of the latest news about traffic and more.
- This radio works on 2AA batteries
- The AC adapter comes with the inside of the box
- There are 400 memory presets available
- It contains a headphone jack
- This is a portable, lightweight radio
- There is a 5W built in speaker
- This is an NOAA weather alert radio
- It can catch airband and aviation frequencies
2. Best for Outdoor survival: Shortwave weather emergency outdoor radio
Have you ever seen a device that literally has it all? Well, you are about to, because this shortwave radio has all of the features that any modern person might need.
We will be starting off with its NOAA weather alert feature. Basically, this radio can tune into all 7 weather alert radio stations and immediately switch to them if there is any emergency broadcast available.
This is also a portable radio, and it really does come in handy to have this bad boy by your side. You do not have to worry about its batteries because there I no chance that they will run out of power. Since it works on a 5000mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery, it can work easily for hours. Besides, there are 5 other ways that you can charge that battery without connecting it to the power source, one is the sun.
In case of an emergency, you will be able to turn on the LED flashlight that has the power to light up a couple of meters. Let’s not forget to mention that this radio works on 520-1710Khz, FM Radio frequency:87.5-108MHz) for AM and FM signals
- This is an NOAA weather alert radio
- It works on a 5000mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery
- It contains a camping flashlight and an LED reading lamp
- The hand crank activates the LED flashlight
- IT contains an emergency cellphone charger
- The headphone jack is also built into it
- You can clip it to your belt
- It can also work on 3AAA batteries
- This radio can catch AM and FM radio stations
3. Best for NOAA weather alert: 5-Way Powered NOAA weather alert shortwave survival radio
Now, this next model that we will be showing you is kind of very similar to the previous one. Basically, this is kind of a better version of the previous model, but with less battery capacity.
As you could have guessed, this is a weather alert NOAA radio that has 7 pre-configured emergency radio stations programmed into it.
Besides the NOAA radio stations, this radio can catch AM and FM shortwave radio signals. It contains an antenna, but, you do not necessarily have to put it up since the reception of these frequencies will be good either way.
When it comes to the power of this radio, it has one 2500mAh battery built into it. That battery can either be charged throughout the solar panel on a sunny day, through the hand crank or through a USB Ac adapter connected to the power source. Instead of that, you could place 3AAA rechargeable batteries and change them whenever they run out of power.
This is a pretty handy radio, especially for camping or long walks in the wood since it has a bright camping flashlight, as well as the LED reading lamp of 3W.
- This radio comes with a one year warranty
- It is portable and perfect for camping
- It contains a LED reading lamp and a camping flashlight
- There is a 2500mAh li-ion battery built into it
- It can catch NOAA, FM and AM frequencies
- This radio can be charged in several different ways
- It has a USB slot
- It can be used for charging cellphones when connected to them
4. Top shortwave crank radio: Best NOAA portable Solar Crank shortwave emergency radio
As you could have guessed from its name, this is yet another emergency NOAA weather alert radio that could pick up on all 7 NOAA weather channels in the US and Canada. Besides that, it has the ability to also catch AM and FM frequencies.
This is one of those radios that could be charged using many different techniques. Since it works on 3AAA batteries, you can change those batteries when they run out of power, replace them with new ones, charge them through an AC adapter, or use a hand crank, or the solar panels to give them energy. This model has a very convenient and easy to use hand crank so that it could get power instantly.
Its reception is awesome, and due to the fourteen-inch telescopic antenna which extends, the high sensitivity reception will enable the user to have strong signals wherever they go. Besides, since this is a palm-sized, lightweight, portable radio, you can literally take it with you anywhere and use it anytime. Do not worry about weather and water doing it any damage it is made out of ABS water-resistant materials.
- This is a weather emergency radio
- It has a USB slot
- It can work on 3AAA batteries
- This radio can catch AM, FM, and all 7 NOAA radio station frequencies
- This radio can charge your smartphone’s battery
- It contains a 14-inch telescopic antenna
- This radio is small, lightweight, and portable
- It is made out of a water-resistant ABS material
5. Best for a traveler: Eton Elite Traveler shortwave radio
If you are a fan of fancy radios, and you like to travel, then this radio is just the right one for you. Namely, this radio has a very modern and a portable design, plus it comes with a custom leather carry cover which makes it even easier to carry around.
This radio can work on AM/FM/LW/SW bands, and it has automatic and manual tuning available. The auto-tuning storage function helps this radio memorize around 500 preset memory radio stations from all around the world.
While, on the other hand, the digital LCD display with orange backlighting also has a local and the world’s time setting, a single alarm clock, a sleep timer a buzzer, and the snooze function.
Since this is a small and portable radio, you could basically use it just the same as a smartphone. On top of that, it contains a 3.5mm standard headphone jack so that you can connect your headphones and listen to any kind of music privately.
- This is an international radio that can tune into any kind of frequency
- This radio has digital tuning
- It has a very modern and portable design
- There is an FM telescopic antenna attached to it
- It contains a big LCD display with orange backlighting
- This radio can work on 4 AA batteries
- This radio comes with a custom leather carry cover
- It can memorize up to 500 radio station presets
6. Best for pocket: Eton Mini Compact shortwave radio
We have yet another portable and small radio prepared for you in-store. Take a look at this Eton Mini Compact radio that is basically a smaller version of the previous model that we have presented you with today.
Do not let the size of this radio fool you it is still able to receive AM/FM/SHORTWAVE radio stations, without any kind of interruptions. Plus, you will be able to listen to the music from all around the world, since the telescopic FM/SW antenna that is built into it can make the reception a lot better.
Some all this radio an elite radio due to its amazing LCD display with orange letters and an alarm clock that could easily wake you up in the morning. Sports broadcast, political news, and much other content will be available to you at your fingertips, just like you are using your cellphone.
- This is a small, portable radio with lots of features
- It has a modern, compact design
- This radio can receive AM, FM, and all shortwave radio frequency bands
- The small built-in telescopic FM and SW antenna helps with the reception
- There is an orange LCD with a timer, an alarm clock, and a snooze button built into it
- With this radio, the customer will be able to listen to all kinds of broadcasts from all around the world
7. Best for a wide range: Kaito Emergency radio
Now, the design of this radio definitely reminds us of some kind of devices from the future. As you can see, it has a very unique design that we have not seen before.
This is a radio that uses a 2000mAh li-ion battery that could be charged in five several ways: using a hand crank generator, the solar power, or via a USB input. Since it has a long-lasting battery, it is perfect for the outside use, especially for survival purposes.
As you could have guessed, this is, besides all, a weather alert NOAA radio that has all of the 7 pre-programmed radio stations built into it. Besides that, it can regularly receive AM, FM and all of the other shortwave radio frequencies. With that being said, the user could tune into all of the latest breaking news, forecasts and many other entertainment shows from all around the world.
What makes this radio different from the rest is that it has dual stereo speakers that can make an out-of-this-world sound. But, besides that, it has the Bluetooth technology, as well as the slot for a micro-SD.
- This is a weather alert radio
- It contains Bluetooth technology
- It has slots for a micro-SD, for a USB and a headphone jack
- It is built out of resistant ABS material
- It has 5 LED reading lamps and a LED flashlight
- This radio works on a 2000mAH i-ion battery
8. Best for all seasons: Grundig FR200 emergency radio
You may think that due to its design, this radio does not look that much attractive, but try not to judge its features by its design. In this case, its features are pretty much awesome, and that kind of design is what makes this radio easily portable and lightweight. This radio can be stored anywhere due to its small size.
In case of an emergency, the LED flashlight will be able to be turned on, and due to its amazing power, it could for sure light up a couple of meters. Do not worry about your safety, because this radio will do that instead of you. Since this is an NOAA weather alert radio, it will immediately switch onto one of the 7 emergency channels so that you could stay safe and informed.
You could bring this radio with you anywhere since it has a little handle strap which makes it easy to put around the wrist. This Grundig radio could be used on camping trips, as well as walks in the woods. If you want to stay safe at all times, always bring this bad boy with you.
- This is an emergency radio with built-in handle elements
- It contains a hand crank that could be used for charging the built-in batteries
- It has the ability to tune into AM and FM shortwave radio bands, as well as all other 7 NOAA weather alert channels
- This radio contains an LED emergency flashlight
- This radio features a hand strap
9. American Red Cross: American Red Cross Emergency NOAA Weather alert radio
This is the last model that we will be showing you today. With this emergency radio by your side, you will always have enough time to react to emergencies and disasters. You could easily bring it anywhere with you since it has a small compact device and a weather-resistant material.
Do not worry about its power running out, the hand crank will do the trick and recharge those batteries in case of need. Besides just being an emergency radio, this is also a multifunctional digital device that has the ability to catch AM and FM radio stations as well. The LED light feature will make sure you see easily in the dark if needed.
As its name already says, the American Red cross is there to encourage people to be ready in case of any kind of emergency, that is why it is very advisable to have one of these bad boys laying around your house. Besides, you could always bring them with you on trips, walks, camping and similar activities.
- This radio can be recharged using a hand crank
- This is multifunctional radio
- This radio is designed by the American Red cross
- It could charge your smartphone
- It contains a USB slot
- This radio has a long-lasting LED flashlight, as well as one red, LED flashing beacon
Related: The best shortwave radio reviews and buying guide
How to choose the best emergency shortwave radio for yourself?
You could have seen from the review part of this article that there are many different types of emergency shortwave radios available for purchase out there on the market. You probably now have no idea which one might be the best one for you, and that is why we are here to help you with that.
We will be pointing out some of the most important things that you should definitely pay attention to next time you are going to shop for an emergency shortwave radio. Let’s start.
- The battery duration and different ways of recharging them
Emergency radios are, as we have already mentioned, very important for your safety. But, what can you do with an emergency shortwave radio that has run out of power? The answer is: nothing. That is why you should mostly pay attention to the battery capacity of the shortwave emergency radio which you are about to purchase. Try looking for a radio that has many features, but a strong battery as well.
On top of that, you might need to also consider ways of charging those batteries if, by chance, they run out of power in an emergency situation. It is best if you find a radio that has more than one way to charge your batteries. Radios with a hand crank and solar panels are for sure the best choice since you might not always have access to a power source.
- The size and the weight of the emergency shortwave radio
If you there is an extreme emergency situation that is about to hit your area, it is for the best if you have an emergency radio that is lightweight and could easily be carried around. Who knows, you might need to be evacuated from your home due to floods, and you could easily grab a lightweight emergency radio with you rather than a heavy, nightstand one, right?
- An antenna
It is recommended to check whether or not the radio that you are about to purchase has an extendable antenna or not. You might find yourself lost in deep woods, or at camping where you do not know your exact location, and there are trees all around you. In that case, the signal may be weak, and you will need an antenna to make the signal reception a lot better.
Generally speaking, you do not have to purchase an emergency radio with an antenna, but it is advisable.
We hope that we have brought emergency shortwave radios a bit closer to you and that you have realized that these radios are more than just a hobby- some of these could really save your life if that kind of an emergency happens to you.
These are our best 9 shortwave emergency radio picks but there are many more models available for purchase on the market. We recommend you to do your own research because you will maybe stumble upon a model which really amazes you. Thank you for taking the time to read our review and the buyer’s guide to emergency shortwave radios, see you next time!
Q-1. What is the best type of shortwave radio to have in an emergency?
Our best type of shortwave radios is the one that has many different features that could help you in case of an emergency, and, more importantly, the type that has a long-lasting battery and a few charging methods.
Q-2. What is the best emergency shortwave radio to buy?
Our top pick is definitely the C Crane CC Skywave AM FM Shortwave portable radio due to all of the features and the design of the model.
Q-3. Is there anything to listen to on emergency shortwave?
Yes, there is! You could easily tune into many world’s popular radio stations to listen to the news, different kinds of broadcasts, and entertainment shows.
Q-4. How do I get free emergency shortwave radio?
If you are an American, there are more than few ways that you could get a free emergency shortwave radio. It depends on which state and area you live in, so, we advise you to do a little bit of research online on the method to get a free emergency shortwave radio for yourself. All American citizens qualify for that.
Q-5. Are there any shortwave stations left?
Yes, there are still some shortwave radio stations left in the North America and Europe. Even though some of them have been canceled or disappeared, there are still a few available.