Prepare and defend against a disaster

One of the most difficult tasks to perform after weather related disasters is communication to your emergency contacts, family and friends. Two-way radios can play an important role during the aftermath of a disaster. Depending on the size and severity of the disaster, many common forms of communication may not be available. Land based telephone lines may be damaged or inoperable. Cellular towers may have been toppled or destroyed. Even if the towers endure the storm, these systems may be jammed with thousands of concerned calls to loved ones in the disaster area.

When any type of disaster has an effect on you, the first thing to do is let someone know you and your family is safe. If anyone is injured, an urgent message needs to be relayed to someone who can provide or send help. Two-way radios do not depend upon a tower. They transmit and receive "radio to radio". In many prior cases, following a disaster, local radio enthusiasts have played a very important role in communicating to officials where help is needed.

You should be aware that these two-way GMRS / FRS radios are not the "walkie-talkies" you had when you were growing up. GMRS is an acronym for "General Mobile Radio Service", and FRS stands for "Family Radio Service". These two-way radios typically have 22 main channels along with a multitude of "privacy" codes that can multiply the number of available channels. Of the 22 main channels, GMRS occupies channels 1 through 7, and 15 through 22. To operate on these channels, a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license is required. GMRS radios have a higher wattage output on these channels and therefore have a longer transmitting range.

Some models claim ranges of up to 25 miles. However, keep in mind that these are the maximum ranges in "near perfect" conditions such as across water or very flat land. Local terrain, buildings, and other obstructions can affect this range. FRS radios operate on channels 8 through 14. No FCC license is required to operate on these channels. The output wattage is much lower on these channels, which results in shorter range of transmission. Many models include additional features such as NOAA weather alert reception and accessories such as "hands free" headsets and automobile chargers.

Some of the more common uses of two way radios are businesses, campers, hikers, farmers, motorcycle and all terrain vehicle operators, hunters and fishermen, family use at malls or flea markets, and many other functions where communication between parties is desired. While most usage of two-way radios is recreational, in the event of a disaster, it will become apparent why having a two-way radio in your survival kit is imperative.

Source by Jeffery Hunt

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