Citizen Band Radio for Emergency Communications

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 we rely upon everyday may be unavailable or unreliable in the wake of a disaster.  Cellular service can be down, Internet access may be intermittent or completely unavailable, and the landlines can be jammed with traffic.  Two-way transceivers, on various frequency plans and radio services, are available to the average citizen for emergency communications.  Some, such as amateur radio, require a test be passed and a license maintained.  Others, like General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), require a license, but no testing is required.  There are some services, such as Citizen Band (CB) and Family Radio Service (FRS), that require no licensing to operate.  This article will focus on the Citizen Band (CB) radio service in the United States.  Many other societies, such as Canada and the United Kingdom, have similar radio services. Citizen Band is a short-distance (expect between 5 and 20 miles for higher power base units – which is still great for “in-town” communication), two-way, voice-only communications service for US citizens.  Unlike amateur radio, business activities may also be conducted on CB frequencies.  Amplitude modulation (AM) and single-sideband modulation (SSB) voice modes are permitted.  The CB service has an authorized 40 channels between 26.965 MHz and 27.405 MHz.  The maximum power output level is 4-watts for AM or 12-watts output  for single-sideband (SSB).  Since 1969, channel 9 (27.065 MHz) is the official channel for emergency and roadside assistance communication.   If you’re interested in buying a CB Radio, please consider using this affiliate link for Amazon.com. A small portion of...
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