Communication and an understanding of what’s actually taking place during a crisis are key to your proper response and ultimately surviving it. In times such as these it’s imperative to stay informed so you need some way to connect to the outside world even when hunkering down in a crisis. We’ve chosen this American Red Cross Hand Crank radio as part of our preparedness plan.
It can be charged with a wall charger, USB, solar, hand crank or will run on 3 AAA batteries. Note: the AAA batteries will drain if you keep them inside the radio. If the unit is charged, it will charge your cell phone like a battery pack without the need to crank. The small solar panels do a great job of keeping it charged if you simply leave it in the window as we do. We hope to never have to use the crank feature to actually power the radio, but in our experience approximately 2 minutes of cranking will net you 3-5 minutes of radio use.
The radio has AM/FM and 7 weather bands. The reception was fairly strong with the extendable antenna even though I live in a mountainous area. Note: the reception seemed better when the radio was plugged into the wall charger.
The unit also includes a 3 LED light; 2 that can be used as a flashlight and one as a flashing distress signal.
Note: the rechargeable battery pack (seen at the bottom left of the photo) that comes with the unit is NOT plugged in when it comes out of the box.
Overall the unit performs as advertised. There are higher quality radios available and cheaper radios available, but for under $50 we think this is a solid performer for the money. The unit has a 4 star rating on Amazon and qualifies for Prime shipping.
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.