Radios in Times of Emergency

Do you ever notice how in every post-apocalyptic movie, they are using radios? Not only that, but RCMP, first responders, search and rescue and ski patrol all use radios. There is good reason for this. In fact, many amateur radio operators consider themselves key in emergency communications. Learning about how to use, and owning a radio is incredibly important for emergency preparedness.

So why is this?

First, radios don’t require infrastructure. Cell towers can go down in fires or other disasters, removing all communications with cellular. Satellite devices can have delays or become inoperable if the satellites they use are damaged. Radio on the other hand doesn’t rely on this technology.

While radio signals are improved and extended by the use of repeaters or other equipment, radios do not require these to work. If you have two handheld radios, and are within distance of one another, you can communicate.

Second, radios don’t require a number. Thus, if you have a radio and are tuned to an active channel, you can communicate with anyone else on that channel. In BC we have the RR channels, which most radios undoubtedly have programmed into them. Thus, in the case of an emergency, you could likely scan the RR channels and find someone to communicate with for help.

Third, radios are tougher and more practical than cellular phones. They are often designed for combat and extreme work situations. Thus, many radios are waterproof, dust proof and designed for long battery life. Radios also don’t rely on data, upgrades or other communications with manufacturers or developers to function. Software and other features of a cell phone may become obsolete or inoperative in emergency situations. The radio has one function- communication.

Radios have many uses in our current daily lives, from work settings, to charitable events, to sports, to hunting. Owning a radio is just one more way to add to your resources in work, play and in the event of an emergency.