How to Prepare for a Disaster

cobs-emergencyWe all know a natural or man-made disaster could strike at any moment, yet most of us don’t do the things that are necessary to be prepared in the event something does happen. This past year has been chock-full of disasters that in many cases have resulted in areas that are still without basic services like electricity and clean water. In other areas, the services may be restored but due to the nature of the destruction and loss, it has forced people to re-build their entire lives. They have had to re-locate, look for new employment (because their former place of employment was destroyed), purchase all new possessions, at the same time as dealing with the frustration, grief, and fear of their losses.

A couple of real life examples for 2017 that are close to us, are the fires that took place in Santa Rosa, California and the surrounding areas. We live about 3 ½ hours north and many of us have friends and relatives who live and work here. We were constantly in contact with these folks as they were repeatedly evacuated. Many of the places we’ve shopped and frequented over the years are no longer standing or are in complete disarray not sure if they’ll be able to recover. The one thing that we’ve heard many times was how important their radio was in these situations. The folks who were able to monitor the status of where the fire was and how quickly it was changing were in a more confident position on making a decision of what to do next.

Another example, is the Virgin Islands and all others down island along the Caribbean Coast that were affected. We have a new team member who comes to us from St. John, USVI who got hit the hardest of the 3 US territories during Irma.  9 miles long of destruction with loss of power poles, cell towers and Internet connection. She evacuated and relocated back here to her home town after 10 years of the Caribbean life. Along with her home and most of her possessions being destroyed, thousands of islanders quickly became unemployed such as her former workplace at Caneel Bay Resort which was decimated.

So how do you prepare? There’s no one size fits all approach. Each individual and family has different considerations based on their family size, age, etc. along with the type of disasters they or their loved ones are most likely to encounter. As a basis being prepared with not only food and water but with a battery operated radioflashlight and extra batteries will be your safety net and lifeline. You may not know, but a radio with an active NOAA Weather Alert feature can alert you up to 30 minutes prior to a major storm. That’s enough time to gather what you need and hurry to shelter or to at least get out the flashlights and shut the windows.

Here are some tips for safety and to help get you better prepared – preparation will vary based on the types of disaster you’re most likely to encounter. Knowing your area and what kinds of disasters you are most likely to encounter will help you make the best plan for your environment.

  • Create a preparedness kit that will last at least 72 hours for each person in your household. Include in your kit- canned food (don’t forget the can opener), bottled water, battery operated radio, flashlights, batteries, blankets, clothing and shoes, first aid kit, money (make sure it’s cash – ATMS need power too), duct tape, survival knife with fishing kit, trash bags, zip ties, sewing kit, tarp, wet wipes and specialty items such as medications (both prescription and non), infant food and pet food. Many sites we visited recommend at least one week’s worth of water.
  • Other possible items that may be needed based on the type of emergency: Specialty rated filtration masks, water pump filter, rain and camping gear
  • Write out your most important contacts – if you have extended power outages you may not have a charged phone that has your contact information saved
  • Consider purchasing a camping stove and extra propane
  • Camera for photos of any damage
  • Flash drive with all important docs and pictures backed up
  • Playing cards or a frisbee – something to help keep you occupied if you’re waiting for extended periods of time
  • Stay home and off the roads if appropriate.
  • Use phone lines for emergency calls only to keep lines open for emergency services

Bob’s tip for potable water – A good source for drinking water in your home is your hot water heater. It can provide you with much needed clean drinking water when your local water services have been disrupted. You should filter the water to remove any contaminates present. You can drain the water using the valve on the bottom of the tank. Be sure to turn the gas or electric supply to the water heater off before draining it.

Will your Mom or Dad or Grandparents be prepared for disasters?  The stress of aging parents living far enough away that you can’t easily get to them is compounded in an emergency situation.  Making sure that they have a good radio to access information will bring peace of mind to you both.  This is particularly important when older adults are usually the higher percentage of victims, as in the case of Hurricane Katrina according to the Huffington Post article.

If you have faced a disaster with your emergency kit, what item would have helped that you did not have?

Additional resources for preparation:

The Reviews Are In

We thought you might like to see what others are saying about the CC Pocket Radio. It’s one thing when we tell you what we think, but it’s a whole different story when customers and media give you their feedback. Below are a few highlights.

Customer Reviews:

The Ultimate Travel Radio

This is a great little radio for traveling. Takes up no room in a suit case. You can listen to quality stereo and no matter where you are in the US you can get local weather forecasts at the push of a button.


Couldn’t ask for more!

I LOVE my pocket radio. This is my fourth radio I’ve bought from C.Crane. It has great sound quality, is easy to use, long battery life, and I love their idea of having basic instructions printed on the inside of the battery compartment. You can’t go wrong with this rugged little radio!

By J. Scofield Hawthorne, Ca

You can view more reviews on our website or on

Media Review:

Crane CC Pocket Radio

“The CC Pocket is an excellent value… It’s a Walkman-style radio …with a built-in speaker for utility use…this is particularly useful if you use the radio for NOAA Weather Alerts …  The CC Pocket covers standard AM and FM as well as the 7 NOAA Weather Band frequencies and runs on 2 AA batteries. The CC Pocket Radio from C.Crane is a very cool new addition to their catalog.” Read more by RadioJayAllen here:

Tell us your favorite feature on the CC Pocket Radio.



Spring is Officially Here?

dreamstime_xl_86642419At least that is what the calendar says! The first official day of Spring was March 20th. Here in Northern California, where spring storms bring a return to winter-like conditions, that is definitely being called into question. It’s supposed to rain on us for the next several days and our California pals to the East are still shoveling ALOT of snow (see the pictures below). Once again, the unpredictable weather brings having a battery operated radio with the weather band and considering one with weather alert to the forefront.

Flooding and mudslides are wreaking havoc not only here in the states (California has been hit hard), but even internationally. Peru was recently hit with huge flooding and mudslides that have left thousands homeless. There a severe weather alerts issued across the Midwest and the South for tornadoes and harsh weather. We think mother nature missed the memo about Spring, but C. Crane has not missed Mother Nature’s memo on why we should be prepared.

We’ve heard from many customers about how their radio alerted them to potential weather threats so they could plan accordingly. If you don’t have a plan make one. If you don’t have a radio, now’s the time to get one – don’t miss the memo! Make sure you’re ready for whatever Spring throws at you.

What is NOAA and NWS?


Eel River Delta Flooding in Ferndale, CA
  Photo Courtesy of Humboldt Office of Emergency Services.

NOAA is a government agency and stands for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Many people think NOAA is just weather but these folks have some of the most amazing super computers and satellites that help to provide data both above and below ground to monitor anything and everything related to weather and climate. They also monitor oceans and coasts; are involved in fisheries and marine sanctuaries; administer fleets of ships, aircraft and trains through their Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) and maintain the nations nautical charts. And you thought they only issued alerts when there were weather related advisories!

The National Weather Service is a division of NOAA. They provide weather, water, and climate data, forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property and enhancement of the national economy. This is probably what most of us are familiar with. In particular C. Crane uses the NOAA Weather Radio Service as part of many of the radios we manufacture. Several of our radios even have the ability to issue an alert if there is an emergency.

Over the years, we’ve received several letters, testimonials and reviews from folks who were extremely grateful to own a radio during an emergency and even a few who are certain that the warnings issued kept them out of harm’s way.

With all of the recent weather we’ve experienced here in Northern California, we’re reminded how important it is to be prepared and how much having a battery operated (or a wind up) radio assists with that goal. Below are some pictures of the flooding and downed trees we’ve been experiencing. Our Governor, declared a state of emergency for our county as well as many others in California due to all of the storms.

Tell us in the comments how radio (whether one of ours or not) has helped you during a storm or other emergency and be entered to win the CC Skywave AM, FM, Shortwave, Weather and Airband Portable Radio. Please one entry per person. Drawing to be held February 13th 2017.

Congratulations JB Quayle on your win of the CC Skywave AM, FM, Shortwave, Weather and Airband Portable Radio!


Ferndale Road. Photo Courtesy of Annette Adams


You may think this is the Amazon River, but it’s actually the Eel River at flood stage moving at 300,000 cubic feet per second. Photo Courtesy Bob Crane.


Hiking in Avenue of the Giants. Photo Courtesy Seth Downey


Watching the waters rise. Photo courtesy Deanna Tocyzl



Top 10 Emergency Preparedness Tips


With September being the month of National Preparedness we wanted to give you a short checklist of what to do for being prepared:

  1. Know your area and what disasters you might encounter – this will help you plan appropriately
  2. Create a plan (even something as basic as knowing exit routes and local emergency numbers)
    • Include in your plan any unusual items you might need like medications or hearing aids as well as prescription information and doctor’s info.
    • Consider adding a communication plan in the event everyone is in separate locations
    • Consider adding a meet-up plan if members become separated or if the house is uninhabitable
  3. Create a printed or written contact list and include at least one out of town contact
  4. Create a 72-hour emergency kit with the essentials for each family member:
    • First Aid Kit
    • Portable emergency radio
    • Flashlight and extra batteries
    • Cash
    • Duct tape (really – you’ll never be sorry you included duct tape J)
    • Toilet Paper, wet wipes, personal hygiene items
    • Notepad and pens or pencils
    • Blankets or sleeping bags
    • Bottled Water
    • Pet Food (if applicable)
    • Children/Infant Items (if applicable – think diapers, wipes, formula, inhalers, etc.)
  5. Know where your electric, gas and water shut off valves are and how to turn them off and make sure you have the tools needed nearby.
  6. Meet your neighbors and find out if there is a neighborhood or community plan in place
  7. Create copies of important documents and store them in a secure location, preferably off site
  8. PRACTICE your plan – nothing beats a real live drill especially if you have any kind of special needs or young children or grand children.
  9. Put a reminder in your calendar for twice a year to check your kit and your plan and update or modify as necessary.
  10. Stay – calm. If you’ve followed the steps above you have a plan and a kit. You’re in GREAT shape to survive a disaster.

Keep Your Family Safe – Prepare Ahead of Time


Not many people are really prepared for a disaster, especially in areas where they aren’t common. Maybe folks in areas where there are regular hurricanes, tornadoes or winter storms that shut everything down have a good handle on being prepared or people like the Preppers, but the rest of us find it easy to slack on preparedness and then find ourselves scrambling when a real disaster strikes.

It’s easy to make a case for being prepared. Look around at all of the unexpected emergencies like the recent flooding in Louisiana and tornadoes in the Midwest. Emergencies don’t have to be only weather and naturally caused. In California, recent fires that destroyed entire communities have been attributed to arson. With record breaking temperatures across the US and people using electricity like crazy or an even more sinister possibility – an energy grid hack, our next disaster might be extended blackouts or there is the very real possibility of terrorism that continues to plague the entire world.

Here’s a few questions to ask yourself to see how you fare on the preparedness scale:

  • What essential supplies do I need?
    If you are missing some, it might be time to re-think priorities since stores often sell out, are out of service, or have no way to process payments (even cash).
  • Do I have a written list of important phone numbers?
    If you answered no, then you have some work to do. An electronic list on your cell phone isn’t going to do you much good once the phone dies and the power is out.
  • Do you have any cash or would you need to go to the ATM?
    If you answered no to the cash and yes to the ATM then you need to stash some cash. ATMs go down and require power and banks are so automated now and reliant on computers, they often can’t even provide cash from the tellers if there isn’t any power.
  • Do you have copies of important documents stored safely somewhere else?
    As cumbersome as this sounds, having copies of things (think insurance policies, passports, deeds, titles, etc.) stored in a safe deposit box or at a relatives’ home will really reduce the headache and time spent in the event you lose your home to a disaster. It can help even if it’s just a time where you’re out of town and you end up with a water leak that damages your ceiling.
  • Do you have a good emergency radio and flashlight? How about spare batteries?
    No? Well this is the one we can actually help you with! Call us or visit the links above and order online. We’ll get you set up right away.

We’ve written several articles on how to be prepared and what that might look like. REI has a great article on basic concepts with some important additions that people often forget like medications, infant formula and diapers, and pet food.

If nothing else, at least create a basic plan, get a radio and flashlight, write down the list of phone numbers and read about Bob’s potable water trick with your water heater.

Tell us about your emergency plans in the comments below and be entered to win a CC Solar Observer October 11th– the best all-around emergency radio. It covers AM, FM and Weather and has a built in flashlight. You can even use it without batteries and if it came down to it, it even will charge most cell phones.

Let’s Celebrate World Radio!

World Radio Day is held annually on February 13th. What a great concept! C. Crane loves radio and since this happens to correspond with Valentine’s Day, we can’t think of any better way to celebrate our first love!

2016’s World Radio Day theme is “Radio in Times of Emergency and Disaster”. C. Crane definitely understands the power of radio especially in times of emergency and disaster. This is why so many of our radios have the weather band and several have the weather alert option. Various models of emergency radios have been part of the C. Crane product line since 1998. The first rendition was the Baygen Freeplay Radio.

The world's first clockwork radio. It has three bands (MW, SW and FM) and needs no batteries, the power source being an internal spring-driven generator powered by hand. The brainchild of Trevor Baylis, the inventor of the Baylis generator, the radio was developed with funding from the British Overseas Development Administration. It was primarily aimed at people in developing countries where affordable energy sources are scarce or non-existent. Winding the handle for twenty-five seconds gives over 30 minutes listening time.This radio was one of the very first wind up radios on the market with satisfactory reception and audio. The timing of the product release coincided with some of the worst storms the US had seen in years.  Y2K was also on the horizon and people felt  they could not be too prepared for what might be in store.  At the same time, LED bulbs made their debut, which we added to the Baygen Freeplay Radio.  Their long battery life and LED bulbs that didn’t burn out or break made these flashlights a must have.

We’ve come a long way since those days and so have our radios. Emergency readiness and products that support disaster preparedness still hold a special place with C. Crane and so many of our customers. During hurricane Sandy several customers let us know how important their radios were in giving them a sense of security.  Since many cars were washed away or under water, and power was out for several days,  their C. Crane radio was the only way these storm victims could charge cell phones or get any information. With storms hitting all over the country, please take the time to check your radios and flashlights and make sure your emergency plans and kits are up to date.

While we love the idea of setting aside a special day to acknowledge World Radio Day, here at C. Crane every day is a radio day and we know for many of you that’s the case as well. Cheers to celebrating World Radio Day with you in spirit while tuning in to listen to this great medium called radio!

To read some of our previous blog posts on emergency preparedness

Learn more about NOAA.

September is National Preparedness Month

September is Emergency Preparedness month. By now, if you don’t already have your emergency kit ready, here are a few tips from the C. Crane Family that may help you out.

Make a plan

Create a plan for yourself, your family and your pets. Plan how to stay safe and how you will communicate during a major disaster.

Emergency Preparedness KitCreate your Emergency Preparedness Kit

Food and Water is a Must

Have at least one gallon of drinking water per person per day for at least 3 days. Have at least a 3 day supply of non-perishable food and a can opener (that’s a must have tool). If you have pets make sure you have food and water for them too.

Emergency Radio with extra batteries.

A reliable way to stay informed at all times during an emergency is with an all hazards weather radio. Radio communication will always stay in operation, with reliable sources like Ham Operators. Ham Operators are local and have equipment ready to help coordinate emergency efforts. The CC Radio 2E is C. Crane’s all hazards AM, FM, Weather and Weather Alert with the 2 Meter Ham Band Radio. It will keep the information flowing. The CC Solar Observer is also a fantastic emergency radio. It covers AM, FM and the Weather band, and can be powered by using the built in hand crank, by the built-in solar panel or by using regular alkaline batteries. It comes with a built in flashlight, and in an emergency, it can charge cell phones. Also make sure you have plenty of extra batteries on hand.

The perfect light to add to your Preparedness Kit

Do have the right light so you can see in a power outage? The New, advanced CC LED Spot XB Spotlight’s brightness is nearly equal to a 100 watt old style incandescent spotlight, and it’s 3 times brighter than our previous model CC LED Spotlight. Not only is the CC LED Spot XB exceptionally bright but it will run with usable light for up to 60 hours. The CC LED Spot XB is lightweight and easy to use. Also, the Unity Plus LED Flashlight is a reliable flashlight to have in your emergency kit. Its light weight, runs on 2 C batteries and will give you up to 22 hours of usable light. The Unity Plus is rugged and is the perfect combination of power, size and weight.

First Aid Kit

Keep it simple. Nothing big, but make sure you have Band-Aids, a bandage wrap, antiseptic, moist and dry towelettes and tweezers in your emergency kit.

Tool Kit

Keep a wrench and pliers in your kit to turn off utilities like gas and water. Also a fire starter that will help to start a fire to help keep you warm.

Personal Items

Keep prescription medications, clothing, blankets and hygiene items in your kit. You don’t know how long you will be put out and being without these items could be life threatening.

Show us what you’ve got

Share this post on Facebook (see share button below) with a picture of your emergency kit or comment on our C. Crane Facebook page with #emergencypreparednesskit2015 and also comment on our blog post with the number one most important item you have in your emergency kit.

You will automatically be entered into a drawing to win a NEW CC Spot XB LED Spotlight. One entry per person. Drawing will be held October 15th.

Congratulations to blog winner Awenner1! Thanks for participating in our Blog post!

The Reviews Are In

We thought you might like to see what others are saying about the CC Skywave. It’s one thing when we tell you what we think, but it’s a whole different story when customers and media give you their feedback. Below are a few highlights.

Customer Reviews:

The Ultimate Travel Radio

After putting this radio through all the paces, I am convinced that its quite possibly the ultimate travel radio! I am particularly impressed with the performance of the AM and SW bands. And I really appreciate the precision offered with the thumbwheel volume control, as well. Thanks for another great product, my 6th purchase from CCrane. I have yet to be disappointed!

By H Alexander, Franklin, TN

Love my new CC Skywave!

I absolutely love my new CC Skywave radio. I own several CC radios including the CC Radio2, Observer and SW Pocket. Although l really have enjoyed my SWP, the Skywave has made several improvements on the SWP design. The rotary volume knob and adding Airband frequencies to name a few. I work in aviation so I really love being able to scan the Airband and save them to memory. I was able to pull in a couple of nearby airports in my area right from my house. The ATS function is also handy as well especially for shortwave. Speaking of shortwave, what a great performer for such a little radio. Just sitting in my living room, downstairs…. I was able to pull in at least 10 SW stations. CC Radio has made another outstanding product and it is perfect for travel. I take my SWP on all my hikes and campouts and I will now be taking along my Skywave. A lot of radio and versatility in one great little package. Great job CC RADIO!!!!

You can view more reviews on our website or on

Media Reviews:
about-techCC Skywave Radio – Portable and Powerful
The CC Skywave Radio continues the quality I have seen from C. Crane and when you’re buying a radio like this, for outdoor or emergency use, it’s important to know that your investment is appropriate. I already have a crank-radio for emergencies but, I’m adding the CC Skywave to my readiness supplies because it makes sense to have this more powerful, yet lightweight resource.
By Corey Deitz
Radio Expert
About Tech

Review of the CC Skywave Portable Radio
…all in all, the CC Skywave is a excellent little radio. Indeed, in terms of the ultra-compact portable market (models like I included in a recent shoot-out), I think it’s one of the best surprise performers I’ve seen in the past couple of years.
The SWLing Post

C. Crane CC Skywave

The CC Skywave Radio is a fun radio to own and use. Its combination of great performance, ease of use, small size plus the inclusion of Weather and Air bands in addition to AM/FM/SW make it an unusually useful traveling companion. Highly recommended!

Tell us your favorite feature on the CC Skywave.