Types of 2 Way Communication Equipment
For Local Neighborhood Use In An Emergency


Land Line

You need to have a land line phone that plugs directly into the wall in your home.
If the electricity goes out, your portable land line phones will not work.

Cell Phone

Cell phones are not of much use in an emergency.
Within minutes the network is normally jammed with over usage and they will not work.



(Instant Messaging, SKYPE, Etc)
If you have a battery operated computer wit an Air Card and your internet provider is not in the effected area
where power is out you may be able to use the Internet to communicate. When they had the disaster in Japan recently
we saw lots of pictures coming out of there by way of the Internet.


Walkie Talkie

Walkie Talkie radios are very inexpensive and some of the new ones have a range of up to one mile.
That makes them ideal for neighborhood emergency communications.

CB Radios

CB radios are my preferred means of communication in an emergency.
They are not expensive. You can buy a hand held CB for under $50 most anywhere.
This one is listed on the Internet for $20

The range is 2 to 3 miles depending on the lay of the land
It is a line of sight communication so hills and buildings can cut down the range.

A 2 to 3 mile range is normally all you would need for local communications with your neighbors.

This is my Home CB Unit - Has 40 channels - range about 5 miles
It will be used in our Emergency Neighborhood Communications center to communicate with individual users.

Ham Radios

This is my YAESU Hand Held VX-170

The range on a Ham radio is almost unlimited when using repeaters to carry the signal to larger stations.
However you can not use a Ham radio without a license. The test is pretty difficult and the radio is normally over $200.
This is my least preferred type of communication in a local neighborhood emergency.
However many people in our neighborhood have them (including me KE7ZBQ).
But knowing my call sign wont help much unless I have my radio on and we are both on the same frequency
and we have line of sight communication (which is a limitation for hand held Ham radios just like the CB).

When we have a local emergency, the first things we need to do is secure our own family. Once they are safe then we need to venture out and make sure that our neighbors are OK as well. Our neighborhood has organized an Emergency Preparedness Coop. A few of our group have our CERT certification. We have established a neighborhood emergency plan which includes places for people to go for shelter if their home is destroyed, a command center with radio communication to individual members, practice sessions to make sure we know what to do in different situations, and block captains who are responsible to find out how individual neighbors are and then using CB radios, report back to the the command center. Our Command center has a Ham Radio that can communicate outside the area to let emergency personnel know our condition.

One of the important things in our neighborhood emergency plan is a way to communicate to out of the area relatives to let them know that we are OK. That will be accomplished through the Ham Radio in our command center if the people are not able to communicate outside the area with the Internet.

The places we have set up for emergency shelters are big enough to house 20 to 30 families in tents with water and hygiene facilities. We expect that in the event of a major earthquake in our area we would not have access to professional emergency services for 5 to 10 days. Therefore we have tried to identify key personnel in our area who have specific skills that would be helpful in such an emergency (i.e. Doctors, Nurses, Firemen, Health Care Providers, Electricians, Plumbers, Nutrition Specialists, Misters, Social Workers, etc).

The old boxing profession saying certainly applies to emergency preparedness:
So that is why we have practice sessions and correlate with each other in helping each other be emergency preparedness minded. We hope to be the best prepared neighborhood in the country before we are done, come what ever emergency that may!

If only a few of us are prepared, we will still have to help everyone else. So the more people we can help get prepared the more of them there will be to help us care for those who were not prepared.

This is a picture of my house and underground food storage bunkers....

Ha ha ha... Don't I wish... Well we can all wish can't we?

Last Updated 19 Nov 2016