Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bare Minimum: Radio

     I'm starting a series of posts called "Bare Minimum".  It's being created because of friends who often ask me to suggest a few basic survival prep items they should keep in their apartments.  These posts are also for those of you that are just starting out in survival prep and want some advise for the bare minimum stuff I suggest you keep in the apartment for "little disasters".  Events that I consider "little disasters" are things that last anywhere from a few days to a week.  A few examples would be loss of electricity, big snow storm, or a bad rainstorm.  If there is anything you get out of this blog, I prefer it be these items and ideas from the "Bare Minimum" posts.  These are the "no-brainer" most important, must have things in my opinion.  All of the items in this series are easy to acquire, cheap, and most will not take up much space at all.  No more excuses, as I'm doing the research for you!  The littlest bit of prep can go a long way in keeping you, and those you love, safe.   

     The first post in this series is about an item that I feel is an absolute necessity to keep in your apartment; the radio.  A radio can take up virtually no room, and will help in most disasters from minor (power loss) to major (hurricane).  Having a portable AM/FM radio can keep you "in the know", telling you what is happening and if you need to bug-out (A term used for when you have to leave your residence in a hurry.  Also referred to as G.O.O.D. or Get Out Of Dodge).  I suggest a radio with a sustainable power source such as hand-crank or solar power, and will go over the two I own and recommend. 

     *Survivalist Alert* (My disclaimer for thoughts and ideas that go beyond most people's vision of survival.  Intended for "hard-core" survivalists.)  EMP (Wiki; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_pulse ) attacks and CME's are two known problems if relying on any electronic devise for your safety.  A large enough EMP pulse could force all electronic devices near it to receive a damaging power surge rendering them useless.  A massive CME could leave whole countries, or even the world, without power for years.  If educated on EMP, and CME damage you would probably piece together what happened when all of your electronics stopped working, and hopefully could figure out your next coarse of action.  If something like either of these disasters was to occur, humans would be put back into the dark ages in an instant.  Let's hope that is never the case.

      The Kikkerland radio I suggest below is a perfect hand-held radio.  It has a hand-crank and is also solar powered.  Hand-cranks need to be cranked every few months or the battery in them dies, so what makes this little gem ideal is that you can leave it on a window sill and it will be constantly charged by the sun.  This radio is also small and compact, making it perfect for carry and is a great size to put in your Bug-out bag if you decide to make one.  It receives AM/FM signals as well as weather band, and can find a signal without problems even in a Manhattan apartment.   

     The next radio I suggest is a bit bigger and has a hand-crank system for charging.  It has the added benefit of being able to charge some cell phones (does not charge iPhones, but there are alternatives that I will get into at a later date) as well as having an LED flashlight built into it.

     Radios are cheap, easy to store pieces of equipment that no apartment should be without.  Make sure to check that it is in working condition every year or so by testing it.  If you want more privacy, keep a pair or headphones secured around the radio with something like a Ranger Band so you can listen to it without interrupting those around you, or if you would like to keep your location covert.  Remember that in the event of a disaster, all TV and radio stations transmit The Emergency Broadcast System.


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