When it comes to practically any type of survival situation, communication is vital.
Whether you find yourself in a blackout or some other type of emergency such as a hurricane, earthquake or wild fires – many times the communication networks we all rely on are down.
That means no cell phones and probably no land lines…
Of course, the worst case scenario is a “total “grid down” SHTF situation”. The end of the world as we know it would certainly include the failure of the cell and landline infrastructure…
Why A Two-Way Radio Is Great For Survival Communication
When it comes to communications, I’m really ignorant… so, I take the advice of people I know and trust about this type of stuff.
One of those people is former CIA officer Jason Hanson. Before becoming a CIA officer, he was an Eagle Scout too – which means he has probably forgotten more about survival and “being prepared” than I’ll ever know.
Jason was one of the people who convinced me I should get a Sat phone. I’ve talked about why you should consider a satellite phone and the one I use and recommend.
More recently, I’ve seen Jason recommend a particular brand of radios too. Here’s what he said:
“Now, I think a two-way radio is the best option since you can give these to each family member and communicate in real time no matter what the conditions are outside.
The drawback to a SAT phone is that they aren’t always reliable and you need to have a clear view of the sky.
But, if you can afford it, I’d still recommend getting both.
One of my favorite radios is the Baofeng UV-5R, which sells for about $35 on Amazon… “
When I realized you could get a proven survival radio for less than $30 bucks, I immediately went and ordered one.
The #1 Survival Radio That Won’t Break The Bank
Jason recommends the Baofeng UV-5R radio and for good reason. It appears to be a good radio for the very affordable price of less than $30 at time of publishing. (Heck, Amazon lists over 3,543 reviews with a 4.3 out of 5 star rating!)
BaoFeng UV-5R UHF VHF Dual Band Two Way Radio Walkie Talkie with 5 Earpieces + 1 Programming Cable, 5 Pack
Prices accurate at time of writing
If you’re thinking “that’s cool, but I’ll do it later”… that may not be the best idea.
Why You Want To Buy This Survival Radio Before September 30, 2019
To be honest, I have been putting off getting a radio, but here’s something really interesting Jason recently told me about…
“You see, on September 30th, 2019, courtesy of the FCC, it will become illegal to sell radios such as this one that operate in the FRS radio band.
In other words, manufacturers will have to stop selling these radios or somehow block out the FRS band.
To be clear, any that are legally owned on or before September 30th will effectively become “grandfathered” in.
But going forward, the FCC doesn’t want non-licensed individuals to own radios that can transmit in both licensed bands and unlicensed bands.
If I were you, I would buy a few Baofeng UV-5R radios while they are still available and affordable.
Right now, you can buy five Baofeng UV-5R radios for $115 on Amazon, which breaks down to only $23 per radio.
This way, you will have one for each family member or have a backup in case of an emergency.
The longer you wait, the more you will pay for these survival radios, which is why I personally own over 10 of them.”
I figured if Jason owns 10 of these personally, then they must be good.
And like he said, the price can’t be beat.
I highly recommended these radios. If you have some other suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comments below.
The reason why they will be “illegal” is this is a ham radio, you need a license to transmit. The radio is actually already illegal because it can transmit on FRS/GMRS frequencies, but isn’t accepted for these. The FCC is keeping an eye on their use and likely will ban the sale unless the Chinese manufacturer makes changes to block FRS/GMRS transmit.
Granted when the SHTF no one will be checking for licenses, but…
the article is full of BS there is no such regulation in place ( the FCC can not and does not make LAWS). There are no limitations in place on the ability of ham radios as they are part of the US Emergency Services Network and can be used anywhere as necessary for the protection of life, limb or property this is in the preamble of the definition of the Amateur Radio Service.
Sorry, Glenn. Ham radios operate on completely different bands from the GMRS/FRS band. The reason is GMRS is a licensed radio service and FRS is non-licensed but shares the same frequency band as GMRS. These services have shared these frequencies for 30 years, but the FCC charges fees for licenses and FRS users have been using the licensed frequencies without the requisite licenses (read:fees)!
I understand what you mean, Fred, however this radio can operate (rx and tx) on all FRS/GMRS frequencies. Not legally of course, as you’ve pointed out, but they do, and that is the problem they have with the FCC. I have one (legal ham operator here) and it only takes punching in the frequency that corresponds to an FRS/GMRS channel. FRS/GMRS are right around the 70cm band, FYI.
Glen some of the GMRS frequencies are only restricted due to the fact that the radio is not type-approved (they dont call it type accepted anymore) as it isnt locked to fixed channels, and lower power on those it shares with the frs radios. There are some beofengs on the market that are already locked out but for our survival use the question to ask is why when we dont know what freqs we may need to use. There is no law that prevents us from unlocking any of our radios, so this would be a matter of the FCC infringing on our ability to act in emergency situations, which is EXACTLY what Amateur Radio is meant for.
Perhaps we need to go after all these commissions and bureaus and remove their authority, and limit them to simple enforcement of existing APPROVED regulations not imagining new ones.
While the positive reviews are quite good, there are some significant negative ones. Is there a more reputable manufacturer of similar radios that have the same capabilities?
Actually; I haven’t had a single bad experience with mine, going on three years of fairly regular use. It comes down to “you get what you pay for”, there’s a huge jump in quality going to a Yaesu radio with a similar capability.
Keep in mind; this is a Ham radio, not type accepted for any use outside of licensed Ham 2m and 70cm bands. There is a myth that the FCC can’t police the whole country for illegal radios, they don’t have to; hams are very protective of their bands and will find and report illegal use of their bands.
Thank you for the reply – I’ll probably go with the BaoFeng but I will look at the Yaesu just to compare.
Thanks for all the input here, you’re clearly more of an expert than I am! Thanks for helping everyone out with this.
CAG there are NO other radios on the market with the same capabilities. as for negative reviews, there are no verifiable negative reviews from actual owners other than needing the USB cable to program it easily. Glen Lists the Yaesu as having similar capabilities. It does not. It isnt capable of the broadband operation that the Beyo has. I have Yaesus, Icoms and others but I invariably end up grabbing one of my Beyos when I head out the door. even with the milspec cast aluminum frame its lighter and stronger than the competition the only complaint I ever had was no plug in powercord but I fixed that with a micro coaxial socket on the powerpack
I am very interested in these 2-way radios. I’m 78 yrs old …need to contact my kids. Are there any left (5) ?
Yes there are 5-packs left on Amazon, and you can pickup one at a time there too.
Look on EBAY
How far apart can 2, or 5 radio’s be from one another and still communicate? The antenna’s look pretty short. I’m guessing that if all 5 radio’s were on mountain tops with clear range of site, perhaps your distance could be maybe 2 miles? If some of those 5 radio’s were in among trees, or in a canyon, that that they likely might not pick up any signal at all?
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