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Citizen Band Radio for Emergency Communications

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  • Citizen Band Radio for Emergency Communications



    Communicating effectively over a relatively large distance is of paramount importance during an emergency. *Unfortunately, many of the communication technologies...

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    Diane Lane likes this.
    Live your dream, don't dream your life.
    Chris L-S, CEO/Owner/Administrator, Disaster.Com

  • #2
    We used to live in the middle of no where (literally we were 2 hours from a town with more than 1,000 people). Cell service was poor at best, and my husband and I felt so much better having the CB's available if we had car problems. Most people in the area had them for that reason and the police monitored the frequencies so it would have been our only way to get help. I have also used them for coordinating with my parents on camping trips.
    Diane Lane and ASurvivor like this.

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    • #3
      Citizen Band radio or CB radios as they are more commonly known are a great tool for communicating during an emergency. In my area, CB radios are used predominantly by crime watch groups and security companies. We've yet to experience any noticeable natural disaster apart from a nearby forest fire a few years ago. Because of this, I've yet to witness their first hand application but I'm certain that they are incredibly useful in such situations.

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      • #4
        My boyfriend insist that we have one. I understand that it is a good idea, but many of them are pretty pricey. However he wants us to have one so we are going to get one soon. Our property is miles from everything and everyone so having one would be smart just in case.
        Diane Lane and Tumbleweed like this.
        Where there is an beginning, there is an end.
        Where there is an end, there is a new beginning.

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        • #5
          I have wanted one for years. My family has cautioned me AGAINST getting one however due to my anxiety. I will have to save for my own! They think for me ignorance is bliss but I try to explain it is the opposite.

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          • #6
            I can't imagine that they would be very useful for the average person where I live. We don't have a lot of disasters to test that with though. I'm also not in a rural or under-served area.

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            • #7
              The CB had its heyday in the 1980s and I don't think it will have a comeback because the trend now is digital. The phone is getting better and better in terms of function and it is the best to be utilized in place of the CB radio for communication. Aside from the text and voice call, there are so many uses of the phone for communication - social media posting or private message, tweets, free calls, free texts, internet messenger, skype. The list is long. So for the fanciers of CB, that thing goes to the museum like the turntable and vinyl records.

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              • #8
                Alexandoy the topic is CB for emergency communications. Go ahead and use a cell phone for all those things during normal circumstances, but don't make the mistake of depending on it completely during a disaster. What are you going to do if cell service is knocked out, or if the circuits are overwhelmed by calls? You can mock CBs as old-fashioned if you want, but they will still work for emergency communications when cell phones fail. Although I prefer the options that ham radio allows, CBs do have the advantage of not requiring a license to operate and can still get the job done.
                Diane Lane, Tumbleweed and 2 others like this.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Alexandoy View Post
                  The CB had its heyday in the 1980s and I don't think it will have a comeback because the trend now is digital. The phone is getting better and better in terms of function and it is the best to be utilized in place of the CB radio for communication. Aside from the text and voice call, there are so many uses of the phone for communication - social media posting or private message, tweets, free calls, free texts, internet messenger, skype. The list is long. So for the fanciers of CB, that thing goes to the museum like the turntable and vinyl records.
                  I totally disagree with this statement ! While having a CB radio might not be necessary in every case, and for every day use the cell phone does replace about everything that you might use a CB for; there are still emergency situations where a CB can be a lifeline for you.
                  When we had the tornadoes here in Alabama, most of the cell towers were also knocked over or destroyed enough not to function, and the ones that were working didn't help much because all of the traffic from people trying to use their cell phone.
                  Since electricity was also knocked out, a base station that relied on electricity would not have worked either; but a mobile CB would have gotten through to emergency workers. Many people who were injured were unable to call for help because cell phones were not working.

                  Another important issue with cell phone use is that you also have to be in an area that has good reception. This is also an issue with using a CB; but much less of a problem if you are within the range of the CB's capabilities.
                  Suppose you are out camping, and the Jeep breaks down. You are out of cell phone reception area. You can't call for help. Actually, this can even happen if you break down along the highway in the middle of the night and need help. (I have had that happen to me, and the cell phone had no reception). With a CB, there is an emergency channel that you can use to call for help, as well as most law enforcement offices monitor the regular CB channels.
                  If you also have a base station at home, and you are within range, you can even call there if you need help.

                  Although cells phones meet most of our day to day needs for communication; there is certainly a good reason to also have a CB radio in your vehicle and/or your home as well, even of just for emergency purposes.
                  Last edited by Tumbleweed; 06-24-2015, 12:33 PM.
                  Diane Lane likes this.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Alexandoy View Post
                    The CB had its heyday in the 1980s and I don't think it will have a comeback because the trend now is digital. The phone is getting better and better in terms of function and it is the best to be utilized in place of the CB radio for communication. Aside from the text and voice call, there are so many uses of the phone for communication - social media posting or private message, tweets, free calls, free texts, internet messenger, skype. The list is long. So for the fanciers of CB, that thing goes to the museum like the turntable and vinyl records.
                    In the cases of emergency, the CB radio is the best thing to have because in most cases.... cell phones no longer function. A CB radio works off of radio waves which are always present. A Cellphone works off of cell towers and satellites which can be destroyed during a disaster making the cell useless.
                    Diane Lane likes this.
                    Where there is an beginning, there is an end.
                    Where there is an end, there is a new beginning.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fcphdJim View Post
                      Alexandoy the topic is CB for emergency communications. Go ahead and use a cell phone for all those things during normal circumstances, but don't make the mistake of depending on it completely during a disaster. What are you going to do if cell service is knocked out, or if the circuits are overwhelmed by calls? You can mock CBs as old-fashioned if you want, but they will still work for emergency communications when cell phones fail. Although I prefer the options that ham radio allows, CBs do have the advantage of not requiring a license to operate and can still get the job done.

                      See, this is why I was thinking it would be good to have but my family thinks I just want it to try to listen in on things.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by KimberlyD View Post

                        In the cases of emergency, the CB radio is the best thing to have because in most cases.... cell phones no longer function. A CB radio works off of radio waves which are always present. A Cellphone works off of cell towers and satellites which can be destroyed during a disaster making the cell useless.
                        Yes, I understand that when power is down - a blackout of the entire grid - would render cell sites inutile. However, I don't see any CBers now and the kids have seem to have all shifted to the smart phone. And as what @tcphd.Jim said that don't make the mistake of depending completely on the phone, that's what is happening now. In fact, I don't know how to use the CB radio myself.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Alexandoy View Post

                          Yes, I understand that when power is down - a blackout of the entire grid - would render cell sites inutile. However, I don't see any CBers now and the kids have seem to have all shifted to the smart phone. And as what @tcphd.Jim said that don't make the mistake of depending completely on the phone, that's what is happening now. In fact, I don't know how to use the CB radio myself.
                          Using a basic CB is pretty easy to learn, for just about anyone. If you ever played with a little walkie-talkie when you were a kid, you can learn to use a CB radio.
                          For emergency purposes, it IS better to have a more sophisticated one, that has the upper and lower side-band channels on it; but even a handheld would work for a local emergency connect, and they can be kept charged up and ready to use. If you also have a solar power outlet for charging , then you would be able to keep the battery charged up and use it for as long as needed.

                          Another (not as good; but better than nothing) idea, is to get one of the solar/battery/hand-crank radios that pick up the emergency channels and some of the ham radio channels. That way you could at least HEAR the emergency broadcasts that were put out, even if you could not communicate with anyone.

                          Another great thing about a CB radio, is that you can hear what many other people are saying, whereas, with a cell phone, you only hear the person that you are calling. So, if you are traveling down the highway, and there is a traffic jam up ahead; listening to your CB will tell you if it is an accident, what the problem is, and maybe even , how long the delay will be.
                          And if you have several cars of people traveling together, you can all communicate back and forth with each other and hear/respond to what everyone is saying.

                          It is not that a cell phone or a CB has one that is better than the other. It is that they both have different functions in the field of communications.

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                          • #14
                            I was around during the 80s, and had friends who used them. I think a CB radio could be quite useful during an emergency situation, particularly here in my neck of the woods, where i don't even have a cell phone, since they rarely work here, and certainly couldn't be relied on in a catastrophe. Is there one particular brand and type that would be best (keeping a tight budget in mind), and the same for a solar charger? I don't have the hand/wrist strength to hand crank anything, so solar or battery-powered would probably be my best options.

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                            • #15
                              I think they are useful, especially for people in less populous areas. They're not used too much in my town because of the population and cell towers but hunters in the area uses them frequently. Having something is better than having nothing.

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