California-based Eton Radios recently partnered with the Red Cross to bring a new line of German-engineered radios to the US, perfect for that blackout or environmental disaster.  Either human-powered (via a hinged crank) or solar-powered, this device is like a Swiss Army Knife of radio, performing a variety of functions…

The VoiceLink 1000 is an AM/FM/NOAA weatherproof radio with flashlight, walkie-talkie, GPS and Phone charger all powered by cranking.  The SolarLink and MicroLink models are smaller, and have a solar panel on the handle.  The Red Cross models include sirens and louder speakers as well as a rechargeable battery pack.

The Eton company was born from a strategic partnership formed 20 years ago with Grundig AG, a leading radio, satellite and audio engineering company in Germany.  Subsequently, they have partnered with other high-design companies like Porsche which produced the snazzy P9111, forged in metal with the very hi-tech "dual conversion super-hetrodyne technology" ensuring very accurate reception.

One of the best features, included on several Eton models, is the cell phone charger, and some are even equipped with short-wave communication systems, so by cranking up, you can stay in touch with loved ones if separated. 

Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, wide-scale power outages.  As the Red Cross knows, it is more likely than not that such an event will hit a major city in the US, and access to information will be key.  It's hard to imagine a moment without our televisions, radio, cell phones.  But most people would be without such access missing vital information about evacuation routes, hospitals, food banks, and shelters.

You can download the Red Cross Emergence Preparedness Guide and compare all the models at the Eton website.

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