Written by Danny Major
Have you ever thought about using walkie-talkies as a means of keeping in contact with friends and family during a SHTF type situation? When communications are down, which is highly likely in many situations, long-range two-way radios to give them their more correct name, are considered by most experts to be the most practical and effective method of emergency communication.
Two-way radios enable individuals to speak directly to one another when mobile networks are down or are too busy. Not only do these radios make it possible to check on the safety and whereabouts of those you care about most, they are also vital when it comes to building a strong community, where individuals can support each other in what can be a survival situation.
Why Would Using a Two Way Radio Be Helpful?
Barely a month goes by without some sort of natural disaster or terrorist attack hitting a populated area somewhere in the world and the likelihood is that every time one does, many of the services in that region will stop functioning. This means all the communication methods we take for granted can no longer be relied upon; no internet, land lines, and cell towers. Even your local radio stations will probably be unable to broadcast. You will never realize how much we have come to depend on these modern forms of communication until they are taken away from us.
There is another option though!
Two-way radios have long-range emitters and receivers that you can tune in to specific frequencies to talk to others who also have a radio set to the same frequency. Being able to communicate effectively with radios can be extremely helpful in SHTF situations, helping you to gain information about what has been, and is happening, who needs medical attention, and who – if anyone – can help you out of your own situation, if you have one.
With the help of a set of reliable radios, you can keep track of people who are situated in relatively close proximity. Needless to say, in most cases, the more expensive the radio the better its range, while cheaper radios will start losing their range much closer to your location. In most cases, two-way radios are best used over shorter distances, so if you already have a community of people based in a single neighborhood, walkie-talkies can be of great help.
The Advantages of Increased Range and Power
Range plays a crucial role when it comes to the practical usefulness of long-range communication devices such as walkie-talkies. The main problem with long range communication is not, as some would suspect, with the curvature of the Earth, which would still give you a radius of about 3 miles, but the power output of the devices themselves.
In mountainous regions and urban settings, range and power are extremely important, since a weak signal can easily be lost. However, a stronger emitter will allow for better results, avoiding the loss of range in mountainous, wooded and urban regions.
Is there a downside to using a Walkie-talkie?
The main disadvantage of using walkie-talkies is that you generally get what you pay for. For example, cheaper walkie-talkies will only support a limited range and a few channels at best. Since a greater number of people in a disaster struck region are likely to be using those particular channels, you will almost definitely experience a lot of interference which will make communicating extremely difficult at best, impossible at worst.
Another disadvantage has to do with the weight of the radio and also its battery life. A walkie-talkie isn’t much use without a reliable battery, and the increased weight can also be a problem in certain situations. However, the weight isn’t as much of a problem as the prospect of having your walkie-talkie become dead weight once its battery runs out. A more advanced unit featuring a lithium-ion battery will be essential and a worthwhile investment.
Ultimately, the price of a sophisticated radio setup can be quite steep. If you live near mountains, in areas where you need increased range and battery power, then chances are a cheaper setup will not be too helpful in your case. On the other hand, depending on your budget, a set of slightly more expensive, high-quality walkie-talkies can be a remarkably good investment for future SHTF situations, particularly in an urban environment.
About the Author: Danny Major is a former soldier and practicing survivalist who is the owner of http://AlphaSurvivalist.net a new survival and prepping blog.