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Possible upcoming disasters will diminish communications between loved ones

Part I of VI concerning radio communication

   Most people are not aware or believe that if there is another terrorist attack, all Federal Agencies from the FBI to Home Land Security stated that not if, but when; general cell phone and Internet communications will be halted or terminated!

    Upon a national and even a local disaster accurse, all cellular phones and Internet communications could be terminated for a fixed or permanent duration of time until any and all threats are eliminated or resolved.

    So, how can we keep in touch with family and friends when these things could happen?

    One answer for local communications is the affordable and still accessible FRS (Family Radio Service) and GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) radios. These radios, which come in both handheld/portable and home base models, can effectively keep an open and successful communication link when no other options are available.

    The Federal Communications has allocated this band of frequencies for Citizen usage under CFR 47 part 2, sub part J. Theses frequencies fall between 462 and 467 Megahertz and use the reliable and almost noise free FM mode. This type of radio is not to be confused with the old AM Citizens Band radio available since the fifties sixties.

    What type of radio is best for you in your needs to communicate? Are you on the go most of the time? Then a handheld portable is your best answer. Are you home bound and rarely leave your residence much? Then a home base unit is best for you. Do you have an active life but still have family that stay at home most of the time? Then both a handheld portable and home base unites will be best suited for you.

    Now, you need to know that when you select one of the 22 channels available you can only use the FRS channels from 8 to 14 without an FCC license unless you use less then .5 watts (500 milliwatts.) These channels will handle most of your needs for short-range communications within several miles. If longer range is need then its recommended to get a license that is available by simply applying with an application through the FCC. Either by their web site, or by calling 1-888-222-2322 for a mailed application.

    If long range is needed such as 10 or more miles, or your terrain in your local area is diverse. Then the GMRS available channels from 1 to 7 and 15 to 22 should do the trick. These frequencies allow maximum power from your handheld portable or base camp radio to be used when necessary to complete your communications.

    Authors recommended FRS GMRS radios: The Midland portable handheld GXT series models and the XT511 Base Camp emergency powered 2-way radio.

By Scott Hensler 0/12/2013

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