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When you need accurate information quickly regarding an emergency that might affect you, what do you rely on?

Many people immediately turn on their TVs. Especially if there is a major storm brewing. They assume local TV stations will break into normal programming to make sure people have the info they need.

Others use their computers or phones to access news or weather websites. Such as FoxNews, CNN, Weather.com or Accuweather.com.

Those media outlets might be on top of the evolving story or they might not be. Regardless, if your power is out or your phone is dead, you won’t be able to gain information in those ways.

Immediate information is crucial

The one tried and true method for quickly learning about imminent dangers is an emergency radio. Including extreme weather. I’ll tell you why in a moment.

We all know that extreme weather is occurring more often and becoming more violent. All we have to do is look at what Hurricane Ida did to Louisiana recently.

Even if you don’t live in an area normally affected by hurricanes, you probably have other weather-related concerns. Such as tornadoes or blizzards. There is also the danger of terror attacks, water contaminations and gas leaks to consider.

The common denominator is this. We need a device we can count on to tell us what we need to know. In a hurry.    

A potentially life-saving device

Regardless of whether you are home, in your car, at a campsite or an outdoor sporting event or concert, an emergency radio is your best bet. It’s a big part of preparedness, which we’re especially focused on this month.

This type of immediate information is not about being the first among your friends to learn something important. It has the potential to be lifesaving.

People who have taken cover just in time thanks to an emergency radio will rarely go anywhere without one anymore.

They know all too well that a crisis could occur anywhere and anytime. And they want to be prepared when it does.

Communication breakdowns are likely

Some folks say they don’t need an emergency radio because they always carry a cellphone with plenty of battery life. 

That’s definitely a good thing to do. But it’s hardly foolproof. There have been many emergency situations in which cellphone communications were disrupted.

The recreational vehicle bombing in Nashville, Tennessee on Christmas Day 2020 is an example.

Other such incidents have been caused by extreme weather. Including hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards and derechos. Not to mention earthquakes and wildfires.

More reliable than a cellphone

No wonder Public Safety Communications (PSC) states that radio is still the most reliable way for people to access important information during a crisis.

“Disaster communication ultimately hinges on a surefire signal that’s accessible. And radio provides this.” That’s according to the PSC website. 

And this is one of the reasons battery-powered and solar-powered radios are so important. They provide crucial information you sometimes can’t acquire through your cellphone.

And even if your cellphone is working, an emergency will mean many people using up available bandwidth in a hurry. Plus, radio waves travel farther than a 4G LTE broadcast. This is especially important in a more open, rural area. 

A preparedness essential

Have you noticed that nearly every bug-out bag list includes a hand-crank emergency radio? It may not get as much attention as survival food and water, but it’s always there. 

As well it should be. It is considered an emergency kit essential by emergency authorities. The most useful ones provide National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather alerts.

Some emergency radios look somewhat “low-tech” compared to our fancy phones. But they’re actually more trustworthy and relevant than ever before. If for no other reason than we are experiencing more emergencies than we ever have before. 

Let’s face it. Cellphones are great, but cell towers and networks are vulnerable. They’re susceptible to service disruptions. Emergency radios, on the other hand, are dependable. 

They can give you weather alerts, evacuation routes and other breaking news you need – when you need it. And the best ones also include a variety of ways to charge them (solar, hand-crank, batteries and USB). Not to mention a power bank to charge your USB-compatible devices.

If there is no emergency radio in your home, bug-out bag and vehicles, you’re missing an important part of preparedness. National Preparedness Month is a great time to seal up that crack in your preparedness armor.

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