Reliable information during a disaster or escalating crisis is paramount to survival. People need to know the scope of the disaster. They need information.
Depending on the disaster, the communication systems we normally rely upon may become unusable. Home phones become overloaded or unusable in many disaster scenarios. Hurricanes and tornadoes (and other disasters) could cause power failures and your methods for gathering information or communicating will be ‘dark’.
All modern communication devices require a power source. Anything here in America that ‘plugs in’ to the wall is dependent upon a steady flow of 120-volts of AC (Alternating Current). The situation is the same throughout the world, except the voltage varies in other countries.
Having said that, and for obvious reasons, it is not recommended that you rely on a television for information and updates of a disaster situation (or any other electronic communication device that ‘plugs in’ to the wall outlet). Disaster often brings down the local or regional power grid, resulting in the loss of your information source.
This is why you need a portable (battery operated) AM radio.
‘AA’ battery powered portable AM radios are very common. ‘AA’ batteries are the most common battery found today and radios designed to for this size battery are typically small and portable.
During a disaster, there likely will be constant broadcasting of information on the AM radio band – provided that your local radio stations are up and running (generator power).
Although much of the United States Civil Defense has been replaced since the Cold War by FEMA, during a widespread disaster the ‘Emergency Alert System’ and civil defense affiliated stations are setup to broadcast survival information on the AM broadcast band or any EAS device. During it’s day, the common AM frequencies for Civil Defense were 640 and/or 1240 on the AM dial.
Additionally, there are portable radios that include built in ‘wind-up’ chargers as well as radios that have built-in solar panels to keep their batteries charged up. This Kaito emergency portable radio is one example which has both features.
Having information during a disaster will be very important to your decision making process, and an ordinary portable AM radio is one such source.