Since posting a link to Jay Allen's Sony ICF-F10 review, many readers here have defended the radio, saying that not only does it offer great sound and performance at its price point but serves as a great emergency radio with long life from its D batteries.
This discussion of emergency radios and batteries is addressed by StarHalo:
The "which batteries sell out first" topic pops up frequently over on my native flashlight forum; thanks to our broad audience there, we have guys who will literally go out and photograph the battery section of their local stores when trouble's looming. Here's what we've deduced over the last several years of disasters, including Katrina and the NY flood - If you're going out to buy batteries because of an impending emergency, *you're already screwed because so has everyone else in town.* It's right around the time that the national news outlets start giving a town/region more attention that the batteries sell out, almost when the coverage starts, that's when the shelves are already empty. Many people who do the very early battery buying are just doing it impulsively, and so they buy impulsively; I remember the story of a woman who took the entire stick of AA batteries off the display and put it in her cart. When asked what she needed them for, she said she wasn't sure, she just wanted to make sure she had batteries. So the bottom line is, you're only as prepared for the emergency as you are before it begins - have a stock of the batteries you'll need ready to go, because they won't be in stores when you need them.
Also, we've revisited the crystal set idea a few times, and the problem there is that even the most rudimentary do-it-yourself kit is now more expensive than a nicely-rounded name brand radio, the F10 being an excellent example. The odds of success with building a crystal set are also hit-and-miss; only about half the folks who have attempted to put one together have gotten anything, most likely due to the extreme diligence needed in winding the coil.