Survival Gear

SHTF COMS: Emergency Communications When Disaster Strikes

As I learned from working in the areas ravaged by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and several others, cell phones and land-line telephones are basically useless.  It became obvious very quickly that I could not call home from most areas due to the telephone lines and cell towers being “down” or busy.  Fortunately, I was prepared by having a 2-meter, a 10-meter (both now replaced with a HF/VHF/UHF all band radio), a Citizens Band (CB) radio, and a Uniden Bearcat Scanner which all were mounted in my truck!  The scanner allowed me to hear law enforcement and other agencies that were responding to and working the disaster.

The 2-Meter radio allowed me to contact local authorities and also to monitor rescue and recovery efforts and to plan which routes and areas to work in due to massive damage and debris everywhere.  The CB allowed me to contact truckers and their fantastic network of highway/roadway information! With the 10-Meter radio, I was able to make contacts that could get in touch with my family which were several hundred miles away and safely at home!

I use frequencies from five (5) different areas of the radio spectrum to aid in my travels, for safety, obtaining information, and in communication with others.  The areas were:  NOAA Weather Radio, CB (both AM and SSB), FRS/GMRS, VHF Maritime, and most importantly Amateur Radio (Ham Radio).

You do not need a license to monitor or listen to any of the frequencies provided in this article. However, you will need a license to talk on some of the frequencies listed.  I will start with “free-talk” frequencies or the ones where no license is needed.

NOAA Weather Radio

NOAA Enabled Weather Radio

NOAA broadcasts are tailored to specific areas and give specific information to fit the needs of people in the listening area of each NOAA transmitter.  There are currently over 425 transmitters in the United States, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Guam, and Saipan.  Canada has its own weather alert system and can be researched on the Internet.  Each transmitter covers a range of approximately 40 miles from the transmitter site.  Currently, over 80% of the country is covered by NOAA broadcasts.  This 80% encompasses up to 95 % of the population!

In the United States, most NOAA broadcasts are heard 24-hours a day with the weather forecasts being updated as needed.  Special hazards and other warnings are broadcast as needed.  Broadcasts have evolved to a point where most weather radios have “Specific Area Message Encoding” or S.A.M.E. which allows the user to program only the areas they wish to monitor or hear affected by the broadcasts when receiving weather or other hazard warnings.

In times of severe weather in some areas, local Ham radio operators or Skywarn Hams call in on specific radio frequencies and update the local NOAA office with weather reports from their location.  If monitoring the Sky Warn frequencies you will get advanced notice of any hazardous weather in your area!  NOAA operates on seven (7) frequencies outside of the normal AM/FM radio bands.  No licensing is required to own a NOAA Weather radio or to monitor their transmissions.  They are listed below:

Frequency

162.4000 MHz162.4250 MHz
162.4500 MHz162.4750 MHz
162.5000 MHz162.5250 MHz
162.550 MHz

I monitor the NOAA frequencies with my Ham radio equipment and have gained very useful information in times of severe weather.  If you purchase a NOAA Weather Radio, these frequencies are pre-programmed allowing the end-user to turn it on and start receiving broadcasts!

Citizens Band Radio (CB)

C.B. Radio

If you did not sleep through the entire 1970’s and 80’s you most likely have heard of and probably once owned or knew someone with a CB radio!  They gained immense popularity with the truckers and then with almost everyone else at some point in the past.  Since 1977 they all have 40-channels.  Some come with single-side band (SSB).  Others have the NOAA channels and some even have Blue Tooth capability.  The radios that have SSB supply 120 modes to use in your communication:  40 AM, 40 USB (upper side-band), and 40 LSB (lower side-band).

The United States and Canada have a tremendous amount of over-the-road truckers and most of them utilize CB radio!  When listening to or talking with them you will learn the location of weather hazards, mobile law enforcement, roadway obstructions, traffic jams, accidents, hazardous drivers, good food, rest areas, and much, much more!  (A lot of the older Hams cringe at the thought of CB radio, but the information and safety advantages they provide greatly outweigh their prejudices against the CB and its operators!  By the way, I’m an Amateur Extra Class Ham and a CB’er!)  CB’s utilizes specific channelized frequencies from 26.965 MHz to 27.405 MHz.  Truckers primarily use Channel 19 (27.1850 MHz) for their communications nation-wide with Channel 9 (27.0650 MHz) being the recognized Emergency Channel.  CB’s are used by many 4X4 clubs, hunting clubs, RVer’s, and boating clubs!  Currently, you do not need a license to operate on any CB frequency in the United States.

The transmission range of a CB varies greatly with the type antenna, atmosphere, channel, number of other transmissions taking place, terrain, and solar activity.  Most mobile to mobile transmission will be between your location and up to 10 miles out.  Some periods may allow “skip” or “DX” to occur resulting in transmission over 100 miles and up to a thousand mile or more!  However, talking “skip” is illegal under the FCC rules for CB use.  Power is restricted to 4-watts on AM and 12-watts on SSB.  A CB frequency chart is below:

CB CHANNEL INFORMATION

CB ChannelFrequencyFrequency Use
Channel 126.965 MHz
Channel 226.975 MHz
Channel 326.985 MHzPrepper CB Network (AM)
Channel 427.005 MHzUsed by many 4X4 clubs, The American Pepper’s Network (TAPRN.)
Channel 527.015 MHz
Channel 627.025 MHzMany operators using illegal linears.
Channel 727.035 MHz
Channel 827.055 MHz
Channel 927.065 MHzUniversal C.B. Emergency / REACT Channel.
Channel 1027.075 MHz
Channel 1127.085 MHzLocal calling channel
Channel 1227.105 MHz
Channel 1327.115 MHzOften used in some areas for marine, RV’s, and campers
Channel 1427.125 MHzFCMA (Federal Motor Coach Assoc) heard here
Channel 1527.135 MHzUsed by truckers in CA
Channel 1627.155 MHzUsed by many 4X4 clubs.
Channel 1727.165 MHzUsed by truckers on the east-west roads in CA.
Channel 1827.175 MHz
Channel 1927.185 MHzUnofficial main” Trucker” channel
Channel 2027.205 MHz
Channel 2127.215 MHzUsed by truckers for N/S routes in CA and some other areas.
Channel 2227.225 MHz
Channel 2327.255 MHz
Channel 2427.235 MHz
Channel 2527.245 MHz
Channel 2627.265 MHz
Channel 2727.275 MHz
Channel 2827.285 MHz
Channel 2927.295 MHz
Channel 3027.305 MHzChannels 30 and up are often used for SSB.
Channel 3127.315 MHz
Channel 3227.325 MHz
Channel 3327.335 MHz
Channel 3427.345 MHz
Channel 3527.355 MHzAustralian calling channel
Channel 3627.365 MHzUnofficial USB calling channel
Channel 3727.375 MHzPrepper 37 (USB)
Channel 3827.385 MHzUnofficial LSB calling channel
Channel 3927.395 MHzSSB
Channel 4027.405 MHzSSB

Since I’m the only Ham radio operator in our family, we have a set CB channel and an alternate channel to meet on if an emergency or crisis arises!  It should be noted that even though there are 40 channels on the CB, only one is set aside for any group and that is Channel 9 (Emergency / React Channel) as mentioned above.  Anyone can talk on any other CB channel anytime, anywhere in the United States day or night!

A lot of people have CB’s that have been modified for “Freeband Operation.”  Freeband is operating below Channel 1 and above Channel 40 on the CB band.  In addition, there are frequencies between each CB channel that are utilized in “freebanding.”  Frequency 27.555 MHz (USB is the freeband calling channel.  I keep the Freeband frequencies programmed into my scanner and sometimes hear some interesting conversations.

Survivalist and Prepper CB and Freeband Frequencies

FrequencyUSE
CB 3(AM) 26.9850MHzPepper’s
CB 36(USB) 27.3650MHzSurvivalist
CB 37(USB) 27.3750MHzPrepper CB Network(AM)
Freeband(USB) 27.3680MHzSurvivalist Network
Freeband(USB) 27.3780MHzPrepper Network
Freeband(USB) 27.4250MHzSurvivalist Network

 

FRS  / GMRS

Family Radio Service GRMS Radio

The FRS or Family Radio Service was adopted in 1996 for use by families.  Since then, many businesses use the FRS to aid in their daily communications.  The FRS utilizes improved walkie-talkies and is allotted frequencies that are channelized.   The FRS and GMRS use UHF or ultra-high frequency.  Many FRS / GMRS radios come with sub-audible squelch codes (CTCSS and DCS).  This allows the user to squelch out many undesirable transmissions and conserve battery life.

There are 22 FRS / GMRS channels.  Channels 1 – 7 are shared with the GMRS.  Channels 8 – 14 are for FRS only.  Channels 15 – 22 are for GMRS only.  It should be noted that the FRS does not require licensing where the GMRS requires an FCC license.  The FRS radios are restricted to ½ watt (500-milliwatts) and must have a fixed antenna.  The range of a typical FRS radio is typically ¼ mile out to approximately 1 ½ miles, sometimes maybe further depending upon the terrain and other factors.  GMRS radios may use up to 5-watts of power and offer better range.  A list of frequencies for the FRS / GMRS is below:

FRS/GMRS Frequencies

Channel

Use

Frequency (MHz)

Channel

Use

Frequency (MHz)

1

FRS/GMRS

462.5625

12

FRS

467.6625

2

FRS/GMRS

462.5875

13

FRS

467.6875

3

FRS/GMRS

462.6125

14

FRS

467.7125

4

FRS/GMRS

462.6375

15

GMRS

462.5500

5

FRS/GMRS

462.6625

16

GMRS

462.5750

6

FRS/GMRS

462.6875

17

GMRS

462.6000

7

FRS/GMRS

462.7125

18

GMRS

462.6250

8

FRS

467.5625

19

GMRS

462.6500

9

FRS

467.5875

20

GMRS

462.6750

10

FRS

467.6125

21

GMRS

462.7000

11

FRS

467.6375

22

GMRS

462.7250

Amateur (HAM) Radio

Offgrid Survival's Ham Radio Setup

Amateur Radio or Ham Radio licenses come in three classifications:  Technician (entry-level), General Class (mid-level), and Amateur Extra (an Advanced-level).  In recent years it was mandatory to learn CW or Morse Code to progress in each classification, however, now no code is required!

There are many Amateur Radio (Ham) frequencies allotted for Amateur use.  They are termed “bands.”  They start in HF (high frequency) at 160 meters (1.8000 – 2.0000 MHz) and continue through the radio spectrum to above 300 GHZ.

A listing of the bands is below:

160 Meters1.800 – 2.0000 MHz75/80 Meters3.5000 – 4.0000 MHz
60 Meters(6 channelized frequencies) 5330.5 KHz – 5403.5 KHz40 Meters7.0000 – 7.3000 MHz
20 Meters14.0000 – 14.3500 MHz30 Meters10.0000 – 10.1500 MHz
15 Meters21.0000 – 21.44500 MHz17 Meters18.0680 – 18.1680 MHZ
10 Meters28.0000 – 29.7000 MHz12 Meters24.8900 – 24.9900 MHz
2 meters144.0000 – 148.0000 MHz6 Meters50.1000 – 54.0000 MHz
70 Centimeters (CM)420.0000 – 450.0000 MHz1.25 Meters219.0000 – 225.0000 MHz
And the following Microwave bands:2300-2310 MHz, 2390-2450 MHz, 3300-3500 MHz, 5650-5925 MHz, 10.0-10.5 GHz, 24.0-24.25 GHz, 47.0-47.2 GHz, 76.0-81.0 GHz, 122.25-123.0 GHz, 134-141 GHz, 241-250 GHz, and all above 75 GHz.

 

The 2-Meter band or the VHF band is where all the local action usually takes place!  All throughout the United States and many other places, including Canada, the Caribbean areas, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, there is a fantastic network of 2-Meter Repeaters and Amateur Radio clubs that are constantly on the air and are willing to help and relay messages and other information.  Hams on the 2-Meter band contact the local NOAA Weather office in times of severe weather giving updated from their areas to aid in broadcasting weather reports and will give aid to any in need!  This has come in very handy several times while working away from home and also in my home area!  The range of any 2-Meter radio will depend upon the radio output, antenna, repeater height, atmospheric conditions, and other factors.  I regularly talk through one of our local repeaters from as far away a 40 – 45 miles.  I have hit another local wide-area repeater from 52 miles away!

There are many thousands of 2-Meter repeaters in the United States alone!  Repeaters are also on the 6-Meter, 10-Meter, 70-CM, and other bands!  The websites below will give more information on the repeaters in your area:

The bands 160 – 10 Meters are referred to as the HF or High-Frequency bands.  They are great when hurricanes hit the United States or when other types of long distance communication is required.  Many areas along the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Ocean have Hurricane Watch Nets and offer assistance in times of storms or other disasters.  Communications across the country and around the world are possible on some frequencies, with some being better in the daylight hours and some better at night.

Listed below are Amateur (Ham) HF emergency network frequencies that I monitor.  Also included are the Mode (Lower or Upper Sideband) and the areas of operation. These frequencies are usually in use during disasters in the immediate area designated. Some frequencies are listed more than once due to multiple areas using them.  A lot of information and advisory alerts can be gained from monitoring these frequencies.  However, most over the counter scanners will not receive these frequencies.  You will have to purchase a higher priced scanner or an Amateur HF radio to receive them.  Some frequently seen abbreviations are:

  • Wx – Weather
  • ARES – Amateur Radio Emergency Service
  • RACES– Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (affiliated with local EMO’s)
  • NTS – National Traffic System

AMATEUR HIGH-FREQUENCY EMERGENCY & HURRICANE NETS

FREQ MODELOCATION
03808.0 LSBCaribbean Wx
03845.0 LSBGulf Coast West Hurricane
03862.5 LSBMississippi Section Traffic
03865.0 LSBWest Virginia Emergency
03872.5 LSBMercury Amateur Radio Assoc / hurricane info net
03873.0 LSBWest Gulf ARES Emergency (night)
03873.0 LSBCentral Gulf Coast Hurricane, Louisiana ARES Emergency (night), Mississippi ARES Emergency
03910.0 LSBCentral Texas Emergency, Mississippi ARES, Louisiana Traffic
03915.0 LSBSouth Carolina SSB NTS
03923.0 LSBMississippi ARES, North Carolina ARES Emergency (Tarheel)
03925.0 LSBCentral Gulf Coast Hurricane, Louisiana Emergency
03927.0 LSBNorth Carolina ARES (health & welfare)
03935.0 LSBCentral Gulf Coast Hurricane, Louisiana ARES (health & welfare), Texas ARES (health & welfare), Mississippi ARES (health & welfare), & Alabama Emer.
03940.0 LSBSouthern Florida Emergency
03944.0 LSBWest Gulf Emergency
03950.0 LSBHurricane Watch (Amateur-to-National Hurricane Center), Northern Florida Emer.
03955.0 LSBSouth Texas Emergency
03960.0 LSBNorth East Coast Hurricane
03965.0 LSBAlabama Emergency
03967.0 LSBGulf Coast (outgoing traffic)
03975.0 LSBGeorgia ARES, Texas RACES
03993.5 LSBGulf Coast (health & welfare)
03993.5 LSBSouth Carolina ARES/RACES Emergency
03995.0 LSBGulf Coast Wx
07145.0 LSBBermuda
07165.0 LSBAntigua/Antilles Emergency and Weather, Inter-island 40-meter (continuous watch)
07225.0 LSBCentral Gulf Coast Hurricane
07232.0 LSBNorth Carolina ARES Emergency
07235.0 LSBLouisiana Emergency, Central Gulf Coast Hurricane, Louisiana Emergency
07240.0 LSBAmerican Red Cross US Gulf Coast Disaster, Texas Emergency
07242.0 LSBSouthern Florida ARES Emergency
07243.0 LSBAlabama Emergency, South Carolina Emergency
07245.0 LSBSouthern Louisiana
07247.5 LSBNorthern Florida ARES Emergency
07248.0 LSBTexas RACES
07250.0 LSBTexas Emergency
07254.0 LSBNorthern Florida Emergency
07260.0 LSBGulf Coast West Hurricane
07264.0 LSBGulf Coast (health & welfare)
07265.0 LSBSalvation Army Team Emergency Radio (SATERN)
07268.0 LSBBermuda
07273.0 LSBTexas ARES
07275.0 LSBGeorgia ARES
07280.0 LSBNTS Region 5, Louisiana Emergency
07283.0 LSBGulf Coast (outgoing only)
07285.0 LSBWest Gulf ARES Emergency (day), Louisiana ARES Emergency (day)
07285.0 LSBMississippi ARES Emergency, Texas ARES Emergency (day)
07290.0 LSBCentral Gulf Coast Hurricane, Gulf Coast Wx, Louisiana ARES (health & welfare day), Texas ARES (health & welfare), & Mississippi ARES
14185.0 USBCaribbean Emergency
14222.0 USBHealth & Welfare
14245.0 USBHealth & Welfare
14265.0 USBSalvation Army Team Emergency Radio (SATERN) (health & welfare)
14268.0 USBAmateur Radio Readiness Group
14275.0 USBBermuda & International Amateur Radio
14300.0 USBIntercontinental Traffic & Maritime Mobile Service
14303.0 USBInternational Assistance & Traffic
14313.0 USBIntercontinental Traffic & Maritime Mobile Service
14316.0 USBHealth & Welfare
14320.0 USBHealth & Welfare
14325.0 USBHurricane Watch (Amateur-to-National Hurricane Center)
14340.0 USBLouisiana (1900)
21310.0 USBHealth & Welfare (Spanish)
28450.0 USBHealth & Welfare (Spanish)

 

MARITIME / U.S. VHF CHANNELS

When traveling in the coastal areas and along navigable waterways I monitor the Maritime / US VHF Frequencies.  I have provided a frequency list here with two frequencies highlighted.  The highlighted frequencies are the Distress and Information channels for and from Mariners and the US Coast Guard.  It should be noted that to talk on these frequencies a license is required:

Channel Number

Ship Transmit MHz

Ship Receive MHz

Use

01A

156.050

156.050

Port Operations and Commercial, VTS. Available only in New Orleans / Lower Mississippi area.

05A

156.250

156.250

Port Operations or VTS in the Houston, New Orleans and Seattle areas.

06

156.300

156.300

Intership Safety

07A

156.350

156.350

Commercial

08

156.400

156.400

Commercial (Intership only)

09

156.450

156.450

Boater Calling. Commercial and Non-Commercial.

10

156.500

156.500

Commercial

11

156.550

156.550

Commercial. VTS in selected areas.

12

156.600

156.600

Port Operations. VTS in selected areas.

13

156.650

156.650

Intership Navigation Safety (Bridge-to-bridge). Ships >20m length maintain a listening watch on this channel in US waters.

14

156.700

156.700

Port Operations. VTS in selected areas.

15

156.750

Environmental (Receive only). Used by Class C EPIRBs.

16

156.800

156.800

International Distress, Safety and Calling. Ships required to carry radio, USCG, and most coast stations maintain a listening watch on this channel.

17

156.850

156.850

State & local govt maritime control

18A

156.900

156.900

Commercial

19A

156.950

156.950

Commercial

20

157.000

161.600

Port Operations (duplex)

20A

157.000

157.000

Port Operations

21A

157.050

157.050

U.S. Coast Guard only

22A

157.100

157.100

Coast Guard Liaison and Maritime Safety Information Broadcasts. Broadcasts announced on channel 16.

23A

157.150

157.150

U.S. Coast Guard only

24

157.200

161.800

Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)

25

157.250

161.850

Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)

26

157.300

161.900

Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)

27

157.350

161.950

Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)

28

157.400

162.000

Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)

63A

156.175

156.175

Port Operations and Commercial, VTS. Available only in New Orleans / Lower Mississippi area.

65A

156.275

156.275

Port Operations

66A

156.325

156.325

Port Operations

67

156.375

156.375

Commercial. Used for Bridge-to-bridge communications in lower Mississippi River. Intership only.

68

156.425

156.425

Non-Commercial

69

156.475

156.475

Non-Commercial

70

156.525

156.525

Digital Selective Calling (voice communications not allowed)

71

156.575

156.575

Non-Commercial

72

156.625

156.625

Non-Commercial (Intership only)

73

156.675

156.675

Port Operations

74

156.725

156.725

Port Operations

77

156.875

156.875

Port Operations (Intership only)

78A

156.925

156.925

Non-Commercial

79A

156.975

156.975

Commercial. Non-Commercial in Great Lakes only

80A

157.025

157.025

Commercial. Non-Commercial in Great Lakes only

81A

157.075

157.075

U.S. Government only – Environmental protection operations.

82A

157.125

157.125

U.S. Government only

83A

157.175

157.175

U.S. Coast Guard only

84

157.225

161.825

Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)

85

157.275

161.875

Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)

86

157.325

161.925

Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)

87

157.375

157.375

Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)

88A

157.425

157.425

Commercial, Intership only.

AIS 1

161.975

161.975

Automatic Identification System (AIS)

AIS 2

162.025

162.025

Automatic Identification System (AIS)

 

Power

When transmitting on any radio equipment, transmitter power must be the minimum necessary to carry out the desired communications.  Different power limits are allowed on different bands.  Some Amateur bands allow up to 1500 Watts (PEP) while the FRS only allows ½ watt!

Other Frequencies

When monitoring the airwaves you will want to search the Internet for any frequencies in your area or areas of intended travel.  Some CB’s purchased at truck stops are called “import models” and have the capability to transmit and receive out of band (and are illegal to own and operate in the United States).  I scan the “out of band” CB frequencies with my scanner and have found some interesting conversations taking place from all over the US, Canada, Mexico, and areas in the Caribbean!  Since it is illegal to own or use out of band equipment I will leave the researching of frequencies to the individual users.

Conclusion

There are a lot of different frequencies for everyday use, both talking and monitoring, in the times of disasters or other crisis, or just for fun.  Even if you do not choose to purchase or do not own any radio equipment, the frequencies provided in this article can be programmed into a scanner to give a “heads up” of what’s happening around you.  Frequencies for your local and area law enforcement can be found on the Internet.  Amateur (Ham) radio frequencies for you area can also be found on the Internet.

If interested in getting your Amateur (Ham) Radio license the following two websites offer great information and study guides (books and audio CD’s) can be purchased from them: www.arrl.org and www.W5YI.com

I personally used the Gordon West (WB6NOA) books and audio CD’s to assist in learning the rules, regulations, and necessary information needed to pass the exams!

Remember, to talk on the Amateur or Ham bands, GMRS, and the VHF Maritime bands or frequencies, a license is needed.  Listening or monitoring any frequencies listed here is free!

I look forward to hearing some of you on the air!

73’s,
Jim – KC5DOV

Note from OffGridSurvival:
We would like to thank Jim for his extensive research and taking the time to provide this information for our readers. As with all areas of survival, the key to success lies in your knowledge and your training.

29 Comments on SHTF COMS: Emergency Communications When Disaster Strikes

  1. PrepperJC

    Wow! What great info. Is there any way you can publish this in a downloadable document (pdf)? Would love to have this as a reference.

      • Jim

        I keep this chart in my truck with my Repeater Directory.

    • Atticus

      You can copy and paste all of this into a “Word” document. Using your mouse, hold down the left mouse button, highlight everything you want, copy it and then paste it into Word using the “keep formatting” option.

      Save it AND print it (In paper I trust).

  2. Carlos J Encarnacion

    During the CB era we used to build CB antennas with copper wire and PVC pipes for our CB radios. Those were 8 and 1/4 feet upper and lower section dipoles with huge standing wave losses, but we had fun. We used RG-59 cable from cable installations cut in 25′ increments and Radio Shack F to PL-259 adapters. CB radios are cheap and not a bad idea to keep at home. But antennas are still very expensive and a pvc antenna could be a good idea for emergency use. Maybe someone with some telecom experience could rig something more effective.

    • Michel Brault

      One can make a dipole to use on CB band, using copper wire, connectors and coax.

  3. Don Safer

    Nice but, what about MURS?

  4. B D Corley

    What happened to the 40 meter band? 7.0 – 7.3 Mhz

    • Jim - KC5DOV

      It’s there.

  5. Tony D.

    So, to be clear, the bandwidths on the “2-meter and 10-meter (both now replaced with a HF/VHF/UHF all band radio)” can be found on the ham radio??? I am fairly new to all of this so I want to make sure I understand and make an informed purchase. Thank you

    • Chris...

      Tony D.

      Google Yaesu FT 857

    • beast of bray road

      I know alot of people will argue me I however recommend for cost and durability the old 80’s handheld I have to old radio shack specials that can take a beating and aren’t as sensitive to ESD. Also are repairable. If you really want to be a bad for a base station hunt down a yeasu 101. But the REALISTIC brands from the 80’s are a good place to start. I have a 2m and a 70cm I along with a CB. All handhelds that have detachable antennas. This so I can put my homebrew toys to get up higher.

  6. 3rd Generation

    Not even a mention of MURS ?

    73’s

    John
    KC6CNW

  7. Rodger

    Great info, keep it coming.

  8. Gil

    If I may suggest radiopreppers.com, lots of great info there on radio prepping!

    Gil.

  9. Chris

    MURS has about the same very short range and lack of flexibility as FRS (UHF), but MURS channels are in the 2 meter band (VHF).Here’s the Wikipedia opening paragraph:

    In the United States, the Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) is an unlicensed two-way radio service similar to Citizens Band (CB). Established by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in the fall of 2000, MURS created a radio service allowing for unlicensed (Part 95) operation, with a power limit of 2 watts. The FCC formally defines MURS as “a private, two-way, short-distance voice or data communications service for personal or business activities of the general public.” MURS stations may not be connected to the public telephone network, may not be used for store and forward operations, and radio repeaters are not permitted.

  10. Erik

    You guys have a great web site! first time here lots of info. I was a trucker back in the late 80,s and 90,s You give a lot of good info. Thanks!

  11. Erik

    Also I wish there were people like you all, back in the 80,s as my wife and I were living off the grid and it was hard as H*LL back then! People thought we were nuts!

  12. All the frequency information is wonderful. Thank you.

    Another topic in a similar vien would be emergency power. Obviously it to is a fairly broad subject. My own situation of living in a condo in Florida led me to a large SLA battery, a few smaller ones that I use for QRP and solar panels. Lion batteries are another good choice, especially when considering power density. They are premium priced and do have some safety concerns.

    Also, digital modes were basically skipped, but that opens a whole new discussion.

    Thanks again. N4VEP

  13. Tank

    You guys do know that if you put your call letters on your post you may as well put your full name and home address on the post! It took me about 2 minutes to look up the authors full information. If your cool with that ok but its something to think about especially in regards to prepping. Not trying to criticizes I just think it bears mentioning.

    • Jim

      Thanks for the reminder Tank. The antenna farm would give it away too! Any chance are you a Ham?

      Jim

      • Tank

        Yes I got my License last year. To be fair my call sign is KD0UOS I don’t mind giving it out as everyone around me knows I’m a prepper. It may not be the smartest plan but working for the sheriff’s office and the fire department I feel it’s my duty to try and get as many people (Good people)as possible to prepare for trouble.

        • Paul

          Your call will be generally listed on qrz.com, FWIIW.

          73 /paul W3FIS

  14. Prepsista

    Hi there,

    This is great info and thank you for posting. I have a question as this is all new to me. If the grids should go down and I want to reach or get a message to my family up North. What do I need on my end to make it happen?

  15. Hello,
    On The HF list you are Missing a Great East Coast
    Amateur Radio Service FHZ.
    The FHZ is 7.255.00 MHZ E.C.A.R.S. FYI
    You have a Great Site
    I’m just helping to make it Better
    Thank you for Your Service.
    7,3.W3SEB

  16. AshleySB

    Thank you for the info! We are a family with a 2.5 year old daughter. We are interested in purchasing a HAM or CB radio for our emergency preparedness stasg. What do you recommend? We live in Northern Utah, have family in NE Utah and Southern Nevada that we’d need to communicate with. We’ll also recommend systems to them based on this info.

  17. Calie

    I live in Canada and for now on an Island, survival is something I always keep in mind and I know I am better off then many with knowledge. Where can I get a list of stations in Canada? Also do you have survival suggestions when one is living on an Island?

  18. Thanks , I have just been searching for info approximately this subject for a long time and yours is the greatest I have discovered so far.
    However, what concerning the conclusion? Are you certain in regards to the source?

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