Can you charge your cellphone when the power is out? You can if you have something like this...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

***This is a re-post from 2009, but I wanted to bring this up because all of the power outtages caused by Superstorm Sandy have highlighted the need for communications/device-charging options that can be used when there is no electricity available.  I think it is very important to have a radio in your emergency supplies, specifically one that can get the NOAA weather alerts.  And if you can get one that has a built-in light, hand-crank and solar abilities AND can be used to charge small devices like your cellphone, EVEN BETTER!***

(Sorry the picture is a little blurry...)

This is the Kaito Voyager KA500 5-way Powered Emergency AM/FM/Weather Alert Radio.

As I was doing more research on communications during emergencies, I was looking at our little hand-crank flashlight/radio combo and realized that it did not pick up the weather alert stations, so I wanted to make sure we had at least one portable radio on hand that could pick up those channels in an emergency.

I happened to find a good deal on this radio on Amazon a week or so ago. It is powered by one of four options: rechargable battery that is charged by a hand crank, regular AA batteries, AC cord, or solar power. It receives AM and FM stations, the 7 weather stations, and shortwave stations 1 & 2. It can also receive wireless NOAA weather alerts. It has a built-in light, and has ports so that you can use it to charge other small electronics (like cellphones) - total bonus and very handy to have, considering what we have seen happening in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and all of the power outtages.

There are a lot of similar products with similar options out there, so you really can take your pick based on the kinds of features you would like. Here are some links for examples:

Kaito Voyager at AMAZON

The Kaito runs about $50, but here is a very highly rated option on Amazon for only $40:
Ambient Weather Adventurer Solar Weather Radio
In some ways, I kinda like this one better than the Kaito Voyager, as this one is a digital tuner.  It's a bit smaller but still has all (or more) of the same capabilities of the Kaito.

Emergency weather radios at L.L. Bean

Several options at REI

Various options at Cabelas

Options at Bass Pro Shops