Doomsday Essential: Radios and Why They Are Crucial

old time radio

If a disaster occurs, then being able to communicate with others across a distance will be very important. Cell phones rely on too many external factors to be reliable. This leaves radio as the most durable and practical solution. Radios come in many different forms today. Some are good for short-range communications while others can receive signals from around the world. It is important to understand why radios are such crucial and essential items.

One-Way Emergency Radios

These are basically one-way consumer radios that sometimes have access to special weather bands. Emergency radios are important because they provide a very simple way to monitor public airways for news or alerts during a disaster. It is likely that any official information that needs to be sent during an emergency will be broadcast on public AM or FM frequencies. It is best to choose a radio with a hand crank as a power source. Hand-crank radios do not need batteries or sunlight and will operate anywhere.

Citizens Band (CB) Radios

CB radios are still very common throughout the country and the world. A CB radio allows for two-way communications across a number of channels. The radios have a range of up to 20 miles or more depending on the antenna and any obstacles blocking the signal outside. If a disaster or emergency hits, then there is a good chance that at least a few people within 20 miles of a shelter or home will have CB radio. They can be used for communication and coordination. They might also be able to receive news or unofficial alerts.

Amateur or Ham Radios

Ham radios are incredibly effective tools in a survival situation or disaster. The radios can communicate over very long distances. They can send and receive a variety of signals and data. Ham radios are the best option for communication if a major disaster occurs. The drawback is that they can be expensive and they require a license to own. The effectiveness of a ham radio relies on the antenna. Fortunately, ham radio antennas can be simple wires hung between tall trees outside a home or shelter. Ham radios can be used to talk to other people hundreds of miles away or to monitor local signals when planning a move.

Two-Way Family Radio Service (FRS) Radios

FRS radios are the common handheld units that can be used as walkie-talkies. These radios make it easy to stay in contact when moving with a partner or group. They can sometimes have a range of a few miles although too many obstacles will block the signal. These can be used when scouting around a home or when retreating through the terrain. They are also effective for staying in touch inside a building or a large shelter.

Radio Scanners

The final type of radio that can be very useful is a scanner. Scanners are special devices that work automatically. Scanners step through all of the available channels in an attempt to find a signal. The scanner will stop if any signals are found. A scanner is useful for finding local news or other people who are broadcasting on non-traditional frequencies. A scanner can also detect the FRS radio signals of anyone unknown coming into the area. Scanners make staying aware of what is going on easier.

Derek is a blogger for Bearcat Warehouse, a site that sells different digital radio scanners and accessories for all of your Doomsday needs.

6 thoughts on “Doomsday Essential: Radios and Why They Are Crucial

  • December 26, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Heads up- the latest edition of "THE ECONOMIST" (Holiday Issue), does a bad job on Preppers: Basically, the writer pats us on the head and says we're in no danger of a World wide economic upheaval. I am 53 and completely convinced that SSI and other US Government assistance programs will be gone by the time I.m 70.

  • August 3, 2014 at 4:40 am

    This is a very useful article – it sparked me to go do my own additional research on FRS radios, I didn't know how that all worked and now I do! I have a neighbor that, in a disaster situation, I could keep in contact with using an FRS radio without either of us venturing out of our houses. Thanks for posting this information!

  • February 6, 2014 at 6:40 am

    It is important to have a blade because guns run out of ammo and are noisy. Blades are nonstop and quiet!

  • February 5, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    for protection, cutting wood etc.. makes less noise, won't draw as much attention

  • February 5, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Having a blade means that you have just about everything you need to survive. Protection, food, firewood, and more.

  • February 5, 2014 at 6:17 am

    Most dont even have nor know what some of these look like with the advent of cell phones!!


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