In the event of a civil unrest or environmental emergency/disaster, cell phones, telephone land lines and even satellite communications may not be available. Having a set, or several sets, of portable 2-way radios may be the only way to contact emergency services (police, fire, ambulance) or stay in touch with family and friends. Police and Fire Departments frequently monitor the local CB Radio Emergency channel (9). Channel 9 was issued by the FCC for emergency communication and is still scanned by US agencies, such as police, rescue for medical emergencies, accidents, vehicle breakdowns, and lost motorists. Channel 19 is the unofficial trucker information channel. Beyond entertainment purposes (for which many are well acquainted) trucker chatter can be lifesaving. These CB-type 2-way radios can be as simple as a small walkie-talkie (found in your local department store) or a more complex vehicle or home console.
To stay in touch with family and friends, you would not want to use channels 9 or 19 but a pre-designated channel/frequency known only to your personal contacts. Because CB radio channels can be used by anyone with a CB radio, you will need to know your contacts from other radio frequency users. Pre-designated radio names (handles or call signs) should be assigned to each of your contacts and all of you should know the radio names of all other parties in your group.
It is recommended that each of your vehicles and Go-Bags have at least one portable radio, with functional batteries.
For those who are familiar with EMPs and Faraday Cages, wrapping your radio(s) and batteries in foil may prevent EMP damage which could render your radio (and other electrical equipment) useless.
Generally, CB radios are good for only a few miles (at the most) depending on your equipment, batteries and geographical terrain. For long-distance and long term communications, Amateur radios (also called ham radios) are the option. Setup properly, Ham Radios can be used to communicate around the world using repeaters that are setup by multiple Ham radio operators. FCC licensing is required but can be easily acquired.
With both type of radios, air waves are used and not the communications infrastructure (telephone cables, satellites, or cell towers) so you are more likely to summon help or stay in contact with family, friends or authorities.
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