Battery-Free Weather Radios for Road Trips or Emergencies

Mother Nature is one fickle, powerful queen. Stay on top of her plans with a weather radio.

Battery-Free Weather Radio
All it takes is a few turns of a handle to charge this type of radio in an emergency.Getty Images

Don’t let the name fool you. It’s true that a battery-free weather radio will warn you when treacherous storms are approaching, but today’s models also have other helpful bells and whistles like power banks that can charge a phone or tablet, and flashlights for when the power goes out.

FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Portable Radio, NOAA Weather Radio for Household and Outdoor Emergency with AM/FM, LED Flashlight, Reading Lamp, 2000mAh Power Bank USB Charger and SOS Alarm
Get this model running using old-fashioned elbow grease or sunshine (plus AAA backup batteries) to gain access to updates from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. When all else fails, there’s a button to emit a Mayday alert.FosPower

Once your radio is powered up, you’ll be able to use its USB port to charge your phones and tablets. And in addition to the NOAA’s broadcasts, you can also access AM/FM radio.

[Upgraded Version] RunningSnail Emergency Hand Crank Self Powered AM/FM NOAA Solar Weather Radio with LED Flashlight, 1000mAh Power Bank for iPhone/Smart Phone
At just 5 x 1.9 x 2.4 inches and 7.08 ounces, it’s portable enough to bring everywhere you go but has all the same features of its brawnier brethren.RunningSnail

You don’t need bad weather to benefit from a crank-powered emergency radio. If you’re headed somewhere remote, where you necessarily can’t depend on an internet connection, it’s a good idea to take one along in case you end up in an unexpected situation.

Kaito KA500 5-way Powered Solar Power,Dynamo Crank, Wind Up Emergency AM/FM/SW/NOAA Weather Alert Radio with Flashlight,Reading Lamp and Cellphone Charger, Yellow
This model has you more than covered when it comes to energy sources (manual generator, sun, AA batteries, USB input, AC/DC input and a built-in rechargeable battery pack/wall adapter), along with an SOS beacon light.Kaito

Certain models feature an “alert” mode, which automatically activates the radio when inclement weather is approaching. That’s particularly helpful if you live in an area with frequent catastrophic weather events, like the Great Plains in the U.S., a.k.a. Tornado Alley.