Category Archives: communication

Getting the Most from Your Personal Radio, MURS or FRS/GMRS


Here are a couple of MURS radios that I use all the time. They work great and give me 2 to 5 miles of range in the foothills where I live.

Here is an excellent article on the advantages of MURS radios for people who do not want to obtain a license for ham radios. It was sent to me by a friend from RACES. MURS stands for Multi-Use Radio Service.  After reading this post if you still have questions,  send them in and we will see if we can answer them with the help of some friends.


Getting the Most from Your Personal Radio

©1998-2015 Arlington County Virginia RACES, Inc.…

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Cell Phone Apps and How They can Affect You

phone apps

There are hundreds of phones apps you can download, do you know what spyware they contain

Here is a problem with the new smart phones.  It seems like everyone I know who has one is always busy downloading new cell phone apps. Most never read the terms of service (some of which are as long as 25 pages) or they would never let these applications on their phones.

Something as simple as a flashlight application brings with it spyware.  Take a look at the following interview with Gary Miliefsky the CEO of Snoopwall.  He has researched the top 10 flashlight applications currently being downloaded in this country. …

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RACES, The Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service Fundamentals Part 2

First I would like to apologise for the blog being down for most of yesterday.  Unfortunately a tree fell across a power line and took out the power to the company that hosts my server.  Anyway here is Part 2 of the information from Fairfax County, Virginia RACES, which is near Washington D.C.  They seem to have a fairly well developed emergency response system in that area.

They also have slide presentations available on more advanced radio communications and other areas of preparedness.  If you the readers are interested, I will publish other slide shows in the future.  You can either let me know in the comments or through e-mail at  …

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RACES, The Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service Fundamentals Part 1

The Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) is a standby radio service provided for by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules and regulations governing amateur radio in the United States.

The concept of a standby “Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service” (RACES) is to replace the conventional “Amateur Radio Service” during wartime. This was developed in 1952 as result of input from the American Radio Relay League and the Department of the Army’s Office of Civil Defense..

The resulting standby RACES service was designed to provide a quick and smoother transition in the event the President ever needed to silence the regular Amateur Radio Service again when invoking the War Powers Act.…

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Farm Bells as a Means of Emergency Comunication

farm bell

An old farm bell

Imagine you are at your homestead or bugout location after TEOTWAWKI and have an emergency at the house.  Your husband is out in the field or over at a neighbor’s home, how do you alert him and call for help. You can fire off a shot or two, but this can be a waste of ammunition.  A better solution might be the use of farm bells, in the past this was pretty common.

They continue to be an important means of communication in rural areas into the beginnings of the twentieth century. A sturdy metal farm bell was often mounted on a post, just outside of the kitchen door.  …

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MURS Radios a Useful Communication Tool

murs radios

The other day I needed some reliable communication at an event I was helping with.  I decided to use some MURS radios that I had in my storage.  We took four of them and they worked very well.  I had them stored away and had kind of forgot how useful they were.

MURS stands for Multi User Radio Service.  The FCC formally defines MURS as “a private, two-way, short distance voice or data communications service for personal or business activities of the general public”.  MURS radios do not require a license to operate.

No MURS radio unit, may exceed 2 Watts transmitter power output.  …

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The Pros and Cons of Cell Phones for Preppers

cell phones

I am old enough to have lived before cell phones. When I was child we lived in a home with a wall-mounted phone with a hand crank and a party line.  Now I am sure very few of you even know what a party line was.  It was where several families shared a phone line.  The phone would give a distinctive ring for each family and you would answer your phone.  The problem was that anyone else on the party line could pick up and listen in.  Kind of like now, except it is the government listening in.

Today we are in a different world and it is changing fast and I am not entirely sure it is for the better. …

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Power Outage Caused Phone Failure can Often be Prevented

Power Outage Caused Phone Failure

Any older dial or push button phone will work

Every year in the mountains near me, they have local power outages.  These can occur at anytime of the year, but are more common in the winter.  Cell phones aren’t reliable in many areas, due to the terrain.  It seems like every year I encounter someone who has had their landline phones fail during a power outage.  Every time I encounter this, I check to see why the power outage caused phone failure.

Ninety-five percent of the time, it is the type of phone that the person owns.  The other 5 percent is downed phone lines.…

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