Freeplay Hand Crank RadioI have the smaller Red Cross Eaton hand crank radio in my car at all times, for portable emergency usage. I figure if I'm at home, so is my car. However, for actual main home use, it's the Freeplay Hand Crank Radio I rely on for its size and sturdiness.
This radio is about the size of a paperback book - so about 7" long by 4" tall. It has solar power for when it's sunny as well as hand crankability for when it's dark. It has AM and FM radio - no weather band - but really during any problem the regular radio is going to be telling you everything you need to know. The radio signals come in loud and clear, with no problem at all, after hardly any cranking. The tuning knobs are large and easy to use.
There's a DC input if you really do want to run this on electricity, but of course the whole benefit of having this is that it will work any time no matter what. Between the hand crank and the solar power, you have a guaranteed source of news.
I keep the unit plugged in on a sunny desk upstairs. That way if the power goes out, it will be fully charged, ready for use.
It also has a built in flashlight! Just press in the actual flashlight "lamp" and it turns on! So not only do you have a guaranteed source of information, you can see what you're doing too.
I also like that it's see through. You can see all the cool internals of the system! Just an added geeky-cool factor.
There's a headphone plug too, if you want to keep the emergency news all to yourself.
Definitely highly recommended. This is sturdy, has a large speaker, is easy to tune in stations with, and is very easy to use. Every home should definitely have one of these. If there's an emergency, you don't want to have to worry about dead batteries, or a TV that won't work. You want radio - and you want a radio that only needs the sun or a few cranks of the arm to give you the information you need.
Freeplay Hand Crank Radio at Amazon.com
Emergency Preparedness Tips