The best emergency radios for families

The best emergency radios for families

Every family needs to have an emergency radio of some kind available in case of power outages, severe storms, or even more disastrous events. The best emergency radio for a family is one that not only fills the need for instant, reliable information in times of crisis but also serves other more general uses as well.

If an emergency radio is never used or tested how does one know that it will work properly when the need arises? This article discusses several high-quality emergency radios that also serve other information and entertainment purposes. In other words, these emergency radios can be used year-round with confidence that it will work properly when needed, regardless of the situation.

Some Tips For Buying An Emergency Radio

There are a few things to think about when purchasing an emergency radio. All of the emergency radio models mentioned later in this article fit most if not all of these criteria:

  • Look for models with multiple power sources. An ideal setup is an emergency radio that runs off of solar, A/C, or battery power as well as having a rotary crank charger as well. You never know when or where you might be when you need it.
  • Look for emergency radios that are at least water-resistant. There are few, if any, waterproof emergency radios out there, but finding on that can go out in the rain for a while and survive is always a good bit of insurance.
  • Look for models with multiple radio bands. At the very least the radio needs AM and weather band antennas. Ideally, the radio should also have FM and emergency HAM radio bands as well. While HAM radio bands are not commonly listened to but are often used as a vital link during times of crisis all over the world.
  • Remember that some models still sport TV band reception. Be careful to make sure that if it receives TV band audio that it works with digital TV broadcasts. Ever since the summer of 2009 the old-style analog TV band radios no longer work.

Suggested Emergency Radio Brands and Models

The market leader in this area is clearly the Eton emergency radio line of products. The Eton FR300 emergency radio comes highly recommended by several online retailers as evidenced by very positive customer review scores. It comes with rechargeable batteries and a rotary crank, as well as the ability to run off of standard household power if desired (adapter not included). It only has AM/FM/weather for the reception, but it also has the ability to recharge several different kinds of cellular phones. The unit comes with five different plugs for various makes and models of phones. It also has a built-in emergency siren and flashlight.

For those that want a more water-resistant emergency radio look for the Eton FR400, a more compact version of the same brand of radio that carries with it the same features as the larger model. The FR400 sells for roughly the same price as the other model so for many people the FR400 may be the better buy.

Having a working emergency radio in the home gives a person a more solid sense of security. No home should be without one and no family should be without one when traveling in severe weather conditions.

Radio Frequency Identification in Libraries

Libraries have often been associated with dusty bookshelves with confusing Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) systems with cataloguers scurrying in the backrooms to organize books while reference librarians at the front desk busily shushing patrons.

Times have changed, and so have the tools and technology of the library trade. Slowly, libraries are moving to new ways of gathering, organizing, and disseminating books and information. Many libraries are moving towards having radio signal barcodes to each book to better help keep books in order.

Imagine a library in which no book would ever be misplaced or stolen. RFID is a technology that makes it all possible.

What is RFID?

One of these exciting developments is Radio-frequency identification (RFID), which is an automatic identification method, relying on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called tags and barcodes. Although it may sound new to some people unaware of such technologies, RFID has been in fact used in everyday business and retail settings for quite a number of years already.

Every GAP clothing store is a forest of RFID’s. Embedded into almost any product, animal, or person for the purpose of identification using radio waves, RFID tags can be read from several meters away and beyond the line of sight of the reader. Large companies and retailers are already managing their supply chains through RFID technologies – from manufacturing to shipping to stocking store shelves, including Gillette, Home Depot, The Gap, Proctor & Gamble, Prada, Target, and Wal-Mart.

Libraries and RFID

Libraries, in fact, are not that far behind. In an information world, libraries are far ahead of the game. More than three hundred libraries around the world that have already outfitted their books with RFID tags, including the Santa Clara City Library, the Maricopa County Library in Arizona, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Libraries, the Independence Township library in Michigan and the National University of Singapore Libraries.

In fact, even the Vatican Library’s vast collection is getting “chipped.” When the tags embedded in copies of “iRobot” and “War and Peace” pass within eighteen inches of the library’s RFID readers, they’ll come to life, revealing a unique identification number specific to each individual copy.

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is claimed to provide cost-effective solutions to many of the key issues facing most libraries:

  • annual stock-taking
  • rapid checking that books are shelved in the correct area
  • searching for specific items using a scanner
  • self check-out of items
  • self-return of items
  • security
  • library membership cards

Although libraries are forever tied to physical shelves and spaces, we must not forget that the technology that ties them together do not. Libraries are constantly growing and ever-evolving. RFID technologies are but one manifestation of the way libraries are run and organized.


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