CB Radio's in a survival situation

Post SHTF Communications
Citizen's Band or CB is a radio that most people are familiar with and likely already have one if they do much camping and hiking. The CB radio is easy to purchase, you don't need a license to operate it and antennas are fairly small and easy find. So with all of these goods points you just know there are some bad points so here they go.
CB radios have a low power output running at 4 watts in the UK. This is fine for mobile operation where vehicles are within a few miles of each other. Using a CB with a base station antenna helps it considerably but there are still times when the low output power will be detrimental.
All that being said should one refrain from the use of a CB for survivalist situations? Absolutely not! You might even consider adding a CB radio to your current communications gear if you don't already have one.
When the going gets rough you just can't have too many radios, so it could be a wise choice to add a CB radio.
Many people have no idea how critically important communication becomes during and immediately following emergencies and natural disasters. As easy as it is to communicate and access the Internet with mobile devices, it’s just as easy for that network to collapse during a disaster, potentially leaving thousands, if not millions, of people in an information blackout.
Relatively common disasters, such as high winds or icing up, can take down telephone and Internet systems both locally and regionally. In some cases, even though telephone systems may survive the storm, they become overloaded with communications traffic, leaving some people without the ability to communicate when they may need it most.
Unusual Circumstances
While they may be less likely, there are two potentially devastating scenarios that can render most communication systems useless on a large scale. In many cases, this damage is permanent.
1. High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (or HEMP) Attack (i.e. a nuclear weapon detonated in the upper atmosphere over a target).
2. Severe Geomagnetic Storm (stemming from an earth-directed solar coronal mass ejection).
Each of these events has its own characteristics and will affect communications equipment in different ways, but preventative measures can be taken to protect your equipment.
HEMP Attack
The HEMP event is the most devastating to electronic devices because it not only has the ability to damage electronics plugged into the wall (connected to a power grid), but can also damage electronics sitting in the drawer of a wooden desk. Additionally, a HEMP attack can happen with absolutely no prior notice.
The best protection from a HEMP attack is extremely affordable; simply buy a large metal rubbish bin with a snug-fitting lid and line the entire inside with cardboard. With the lid securely attached, this creates a makeshift Faraday cage where your emergency devices and accessories can be safely stored.
Geomagnetic Storm
A geomagnetic storm is slightly less damaging because we may have opportunity to prepare. With NASA maintaining a close watch on the sun, we can receive advanced warning of up to 16-18 hours before a coronal mass ejection (CME) would strike the Earth.
This would leave ample time to take action to prevent damage by unplugging electrical devices from the energy grid, and disconnecting all wiring to and from emergency communication devices, like an antenna on a radio transceiver.
Survival Requires Information
In an emergency or a disaster, your survival is highly dependent upon your ability to obtain real-time local and regional reports from news stations, civilian reporting stations and EMS broadcasts. This information can significantly enhance tactical decisions.
Consider the tactical advantage gained from weather forecasts and reports as the weather moves across the area.
Emergency Radio Receiving Emergency Alert System Warning
As a weather system hits landfall these alerts become more frequent and detailed, including current location, as well as estimated strength, speed and direction of the weather front.
This is vital information that helps you decide whether to bog-out or bug-in.
When a disaster strikes, like the aforementioned bad weather system, landlines and mobile phone  repeaters have a high risk of destruction, making your mobile and home phones useless. With this in mind, you can understand how having a two-way radio transceiver can be a huge benefit.
These stand-alone radio systems are not dependent upon local utilities or infrastructure, and only require another radio with which to communicate. They do need a power source, so you should have extra batteries available, as well as a power generator for backup energy.

Emergency communications is a vital part of any survival plan whether the survivor is pitted against nature or man.
The standard means of communications in today's world is, of course, the everyday mobile phone. Running a close second and some may contend that the Internet is an intrinsic partner to the mobile phone industry.
No one could argue the fact that these two technologies alone have allowed people to communicate more with each other. On the other hand it has turned us also into a lazy, self-indulgent society. Too harsh of a condemnation? Maybe, maybe not.
Think about how many times you have been queuing at the supermarket and the guy in front is letting everyone listen in as he shouts into his mobile.
Also consider the numerous times you have stood in a queue and you have to wait on Eddy Entrepreneur as he conducts his business? And right under the "Switch you mobile off" sign on the wall.
Now think back to the time the 7/7 attacks or if fact any recent major incident were mobile phone services providers were unable maintain their service as anyone and everyone tried to find out about their loved ones and what if anything had happened to them.
Then as the system became clogged with the volume of calls people could no longer communicate with each other nor could the authorities and emergency crews and responders communicate. This was, to say the least, an eye opener for the once free spirited mobile owner.
What was left when once reliable communications systems were left swamped? Radio was, and is, the answer. Not the AM/FM radio that you are thinking of but two-way radio, police scanning radio, shortwave radio.
Have you ever noticed the house down the street or over in the next town with an "eyesore" of a tower or mast sticking up over the house with one or more large antennas or sometimes arrays of wires hanging off of it?
This guy has an independent communication system which even runs on a 12volt car battery.
Radio Survivalism is about, making sure that people know what communication alternatives are available to them when everyday communications such as mobile phones and the Internet are no longer viable.

Useing a Citizens Band Radio in a Disaster
CB Radio can be an important channel of communication in emergency situations.
CB Radio communication has proven useful in disaster situations, both small-scale (for example, for a stranded motorist) and large-scale (such as after a storms or during a flash flood).

CB radios provide an effective localized communication solution in disaster situations when many lines of communication are down. CB would provide a backup communication system between the authorities and a group needing help.

Additionally even if the authorities are unable to help due to some uncontrollable constraint CB would bring local communities (e.g. from a neighbouring village) in contact thereby allowing them to seek/provide help if available.

Additionally, CB could help as a warning propagation system; if an area were seeded with this technology (combination of vehicles and fixed points) warnings of any sort could be propagated rapidly using a relay process.

This could be especially useful when you have high risk communities like remote villages, fishermen who are relatively cut off from a communications perspective.
Fundamentally it is the open, group based -communication characteristics of CB that would allow people and public authorities to communicate more efficiently in a disaster situation. This openness is really the genesis of the term Citizen Band a modality that is intended to link citizens in local communities. It is a viral product-the more the number of users in an area the more the utility.

Some organizations provide communications support in emergency situations. Channel 9 is monitored by their members, and is recognized as the CB emergency channel in many countries around the world.

The principles discussed above can be applied in remote areas or in any communities such as villages, towns, and even housing estates as a warning or communications system in emergencies.

CB Radio is easy to install and easy to operate. Because CB Radio has its own antenna and so is peer-peer communication: it does not rely on background network infrastructure.

CB radio can be directly connected to a vehicle battery for power or to a wall outlet with an AC/DC adapter with a backup battery in case of power failure. Therefore, with CB Radio, autonomous communication is possible even in a disaster situation.

If you have a CB Radio your chance of making contact with someone is greatly increased. Besides being useful in an emergency, CB Radio can be used every day at sporting events, job sites, fun for the kids.

With CB Radio you are certain to find someone to talk to when you need it!
The CB radio service is distinct from amateur ("ham") radio.

A CB does not require a license and, unlike amateur radio, it may be used for business as well as personal communications.
Like many other two-way radio services, Citizens' Band channels are shared by many users. Only one station may transmit at a time. Other stations must listen and wait for the shared channel to be available.

How to use a CB:
Channel 9 is reserved for emergency roadside assistance
CB radio is still used by truck drivers and therefore remains the best way to hear information regarding road works, accidents and police radar traps

If you are new to CB radio, or have been away from it for years, this article explains what the hobby is like today. This article assumes you have set up your radio station. If not, see “Setting up your equipment”
Tune to a popular channel, especially 19. Other channels are seldom monitored.
Listen to the channel for a few moments. If there are people talking, politely wait for a break. When you're sure it's clear, ask for a radio check. Wait for a response. If no one responds, re-issue a radio check, but wait patiently before doing so.
When another operator responds, interpret their response. Many operators are truck drivers who aren't looking for conversation. Others are enthusiasts that cannot wait to chat. Follow the tone of the other person/people.
Be polite. Nobody wants to communicate with a rude operator.
Be patient. It's not every day you'll find an enthusiast.
Be courteous.
Don't be surprised at some of the talk; it can become a tad vulgar. Just wait it out.
Channel 19 is the best channel to connect with others. Other channels, including 9, are rarely monitored.
You can talk on channel 19, but if you decide to go to a quieter channel (less listeners and less signals from other sources), move to another. Just suggest another channel.
Do not become too irresponsible. Remember that you are all strangers. Even if you're talking with a friend, strangers can listen. Remember OPSEC


1 comment:

  1. Thank for your great review! Do you know whats the best handheld cb radio today ?