7 Best Emergency Electronics for Preppers

As preppers, we spend a lot of time thinking about how to survive without modern conveniences. But that doesn’t mean that electronics should be completely discounted in our plans. In reality, there are several electronic devices that are really vital for true preparedness and that’s what I want to share with you today. As part of my family’s prepping strategy, we decided to add some electronic communications devices. We’ve tested a lot of different options and we finally settled on the devices that work well and serve a real purpose in a crisis. So without further ado, here are 7 of the best emergency electronics for preppers and survivalists.

  1. Midland GXT Handheld Radio Set

Midland GXT handheld radio set

When you start looking at radios, one of the first things to hunt down is a handheld radio set that allows you to communicate discreetly with your loved ones. I love the Midland GT Handheld set because it has a lot of options and a massive range of up to 36 miles. That means that even if my husband is on the other side of our property, I can radio him in an emergency. This radio set lets you use 22 different channels plus 28 additional frequencies. Plus you have some added protection with 285 privacy codes. The SOS Siren feature lets you quickly send out a distress signal, which is really important if you are trying to communicate with your man while he is out on the tractor or lawn mower. Best of all, there is a whisper mode that allows you to speak quietly while the person on the other radio can still clearly hear what you are saying.

  1. Digital Emergency Crank Radio

Midland Emergency crank radioThis digital crank radio is another good choice because it offers you multiple power sources. While you can operate it using your run of the mill AA batteries, you can also use a rechargeable battery, solar panel, or the old fashioned hand crank. This radio also has a nice LED flashlight with two brightness settings and will flash the SOS morse code if you need to alert someone in an emergency. Another great feature is the search and rescue dog whistle. That would be incredibly handy if you were stranded or lost out in the woods! As icing on the cake, it is water resistant and has a headphone jack if you need to listen for alerts without giving away your location to possible predators.

  1. Spot Gen 3 GPS

spot gen 3 gpsThis is the ultimate GPS device for preppers and survivalists. If you are looking for a cool new toy to add to your bug out bag, this is it. When you are venturing out to a place where cell service is nonexistent, the Spot Gen 3 will alert your family that you are still okay and even send emergency responders your GPS location if you wish. It has a motion-activated tracking feature and you can set it to ping your location at various intervals ranging from 5 minutes to an hour with just the push of a button. You can choose the service plan that best fits your needs and keep it in your bug out bag so it’s ready to go if you have to get out of town quickly. If I had a kid in college, I would absolutely make sure my child had one of these tucked into their get home bag.

  1. American Red Cross Radio With Smartphone Charger

Red Cross radio

The American Red Cross is well known for good emergency gear and this radio is no exception. It operates on both solar and hand turbine power and provides AM/FM radio and weather alerts along with an alarm clock. My favorite feature is the built-in USB charger for your smart phone that will allow you to make a 30 second emergency phone call after just one minute of hand cranking. You can also plug in your MP3 player using the AUX-input to play music and you get a built in LED flashlight!

  1. Pocket Weather Radio With Clock and Sleep Timer

pocket radio with sleep timer

This tiny little radio will fit in your pocket, but it still has plenty of functionality. The sides have a nice rubber coating to give you a good grip and the built in speakers have great sound despite the small size. You can listen to NOAA weather alerts or basic FM radio stations. This device operates on 2 AA batteries and includes earbuds. I found that I can get about 70 to 75 hours of radio play time on one set of batteries. It also has a built in clock and alarm along with a sleep timer, which could come in really handy during an emergency when you are taking shifts keeping watch.

  1. 300 Channel Police Scanner

police scannerFrom the time I was a tiny little girl, I can remember my Grandpa listening to the police scanner while he read the newspaper every night. As an adult, I’ve grown to appreciate his habit and now my family uses this 300 channel police scanner to monitor what’s happening in our community. I love that I can have up to the minute updates on events in our area just by listening to the radio as I cook or clean or feed the chickens. This is really great for giving you peace of mind when you are worried that you won’t know about an emergency before it’s too late.

  1. BaoFeng Dual-Band Ham Radio

baofeng ham radio

This device is another throwback to my grandpa, who was a big fan of the ham radio. The BaoFeng is a budget-friendly way to start learning the art of using ham radio communications. It covers FMRS and GMRS frequencies plus provides basic FM radio access. And if that’s not enough, it has a built-in flashlight.

These are just a few of the many great electronic options out there for preppers. What are some other devices that you recommend for emergencies?

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About Ms. Prepper

I’m Laura P, aka, Passion Prepper, aka, MsPrepper! I’ve been homesteading nearly all my life and prepping for the last 6 years. I strongly believe our great country of America was built on self-sufficient families like mine and yours. Politics bores me, learning new stuff, getting outside and living life thrills me.

One comment on “7 Best Emergency Electronics for Preppers

  1. Craig says:

    With all due respect, I have to respectfully disagree with your choices of a number of items on your “Best Emergency Electronics List for Preppers”. Here’s why:

    Item #1 – Mistake 1 – Regardless of whatever marketing hype (about extended range) Midland (or Cobra, or Motorola, etc.) chooses to print on their packages for their GXT radios, you won’t get anywhere near 35 miles of range with these radios.

    Mistake 2 – Worse, these radios will only operate on their “high power” setting when transmitting on GMRS frequencies. If you use them on any of the 14 channel (more common) FRS frequencies the radios will AUTOMATICALLY drop their power to 1/2 watt (which is approximately 1/2 mile range). So on high power, you “might” get 2-3 miles of range on 8 GMRS channels, but the other 14 will be around 1/2 mile range.

    Mistake 3 – the 28 “additional frequencies” aren’t 28 extra frequencies at all, they are merely Midland playing fast and loose with marketing. Those extra 28 channels are still on the same 22 frequencies, Midland has just changed the PL tone (or privacy code) on existing frequencies so that under-informed buyers “think” they are getting more unique channels (up to 50: 22 + 28), but you aren’t.

    Mistake 4 – those PL tones (or privacy codes) don’t stop your conversations from being heard by anyone else listening on that same channel, they merely block you from hearing them. So go ahead and have those “private” conversations all you like, just understand that anyone else listening in on that channel will still hear ever word you say to each other.

    Item #3 – Mistake 1 – As a seller of the Spot Gen3 units, I can assure you that they have no motion sensor capability at all. They can, however, “ping” a signal location to the satellites on a pre-set timed basis, or immediately “ping” the satellites if you activate either the emergency button or send your one pre-typed message (which can’t be done from the unit itself, you must have already entered a previous message using your computer prior to leaving).

    Mistake 2 – is really an omission, as you neglected to mention the yearly cost of the service plan required to activate the Spot Gen3 unit (which varies from $99.99 to $149.99 per year).

    Item # 6 – Mistake 1 – Unless you live in a rural area, or your local Police, Fire, or EMS units haven’t upgraded their radio equipment during the past 10-15 years, the analog scanner you recommend won’t be able to hear the digital or trunking signals that most departments switched to years ago. So you can spend the money on an analog scanner (like the one shown) and you may hear very little or what’s actually going on around you.

    Item # 7 – Mistake 1 – You are correct that various Baofeng radios are cheap, but you picked a “one-off” model unit (the 5W UV-5RA) that can’t use the single most popular accessory for the Baofeng radio (the extended 3800 mAh battery) without modifying the battery.

    So if you want the radio to last for weeks in the field, you’ll need to either modify the extended Li-Ion battery, or purchase the standard 5W UV-5R, or the higher power UV-5RTP, the BF-F8HP, or the BF-F9V2+ (all of which produce up to 8W of power vs. the standard 5W in the original UV-5R or the one-off UV-5RA model you selected).

    Two comments that I’ll add for additional clarity.

    One, “if” you really want a higher level or privacy during your over the air conversations, you’ll need to look for radios that offer audio inversion as an option. That feature actually scrambles the transmit audio during transmission and requires a similar radio to de-scramble the incoming audio to restore it (so you can understand what’s being said). No Baofeng radio offers that option, but several models from TYT do.

    Two, in the VHF/UHF frequency range 1 watt normally equals 1 mile in range (regardless of manufacturer marketing hype). So a 5 watt radio will normally work out to 5 miles, a 10 watt radio out to 10 miles, etc.

    There are only a handful of ways to boost that range without adding more power. One method is to get up above the surrounding structures (buildings, trees, houses, etc.), the other is to add a better antenna. The third method (if you have a ham radio license) is to use a repeater (which can easily extend your range up to 100 miles if the repeater site is high enough above you – like a 10,000 ft. mountain-top).

    Hopefully this additional info may help some Preppers make a more informed decision on what type’s of electronic communication equipment to count on before any emergency arises.

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