Survival CB Radios?
John L. is a truck driver based out of Winnipeg, Canada.
One afternoon, around 2:30 pm, John was on his way to deliver a load.
As he neared Golden, British Columbia he became stuck in a traffic jam on Highway 3.
Cars were at a standstill and no one was moving.
John monitored his CB radio and heard the traffic jam was due to an accident up ahead.
Then, over his CB radio, John heard a plea for help at the accident site.
They needed immediate help from anyone with medical training.
Luckily, John was a member of the local search and rescue organization.
And a medical technician for Kelowna Emergency Services for over 23 years.
John responded over CB that he could assist at the crash scene.
A police officer raced to pick up John and rushed him to the accident site.
Upon arriving, John could see a four-door passenger vehicle that lost control while entering a tunnel.
The driver slammed into another vehicle head-on.
The collision tore the side of the car wide open, from the front headlight to the back door.
The driver of the vehicle was bleeding and it would take over 40 minutes for a medical helicopter to arrive.
John focused on keeping the man stable long enough until more help came.
Finally, the injured man was taken by helicopter to the nearest hospital.
The fact is, many truck drivers still use CB radios today.
They’re useful for listening to weather and traffic conditions.
And a CB is especially good for communicating over short distances.
CB radio, known as “Citizens Band Radio,” is made for short-range communication.
Using CB radio does not require a license and is different from other radio services such as HAM radio.
Many people in the same area can use the same CB channel, but only one person can transmit on a channel at a time.
The antenna is the most important factor when it comes to communication.
That’s because the power of CB’s in the U.S. is around 4 watts…
Which means they have a range of about 3 miles to 20 miles.
And this distance is affected by factors such as the type of terrain in the area.
The two-way communication of CB’s is ideal for use in small areas during emergencies or disasters.
And they are perfect for people traveling that need updates on weather or traffic conditions.
While it is not as common today, there are still many uses for CB radio.
When the power grid fails or disaster hits, many cell phone towers won’t work…
Yet, CB radio will still function.
In fact, a CB can communicate anywhere, even under poor conditions.
Since they use little power you can have one in your car or on your person with a handheld device.
CB radios provide reliable communication when you are out of cell range and you can’t talk, text, or use data.
When using a CB radio, channel 9 is the designated emergency channel.
It’s usually monitored by emergency services or local volunteers. Many CB radios feature National Weather Service frequencies.
CB radios are worth the investment if you have other people in your local area who also have CB’s.
This would help you coordinate safety issues during a disaster.
And it’s a good idea to have a back-up communication option when all else fails.
That said, here are three CB radios you may wish to check out…
Midland 75-822 Handheld CB: The Midland handheld CB unit can operate off of your car’s 12V port or via 6 AA batteries.
It provides many of the same functions as standard CB radios including squelch, channel scan, and dual watch.
This CB also has a port for headphones.
And the standard antenna can be upgraded for better transmission.
The unit is durable and compact, so you can take it anywhere you need to go.
The Midland 75-822 sells for about $100 new.
Uniden PC78LTX: The Uniden is a full-sized CB radio with a vintage-style silver face, knobs, and buttons.
It comes with all the standard CB functions including squelch control, RF Gain, and 40 channels.
It also has a Hi-cut feature to soften the receiver’s tone and enhance the sound of your conversations.
Notably, the radio doesn’t include weather channels.
And the buttons and knobs do not have any backlighting, so it’s not ideal for use at night.
But one of the best features of the Uniden is its multiple adjustments, which allow you to fine-tune the signal and sound.
It has top-quality sound and options to reduce background noise and static.
The Uniden sells for about $80 new.
Cobra C75WXST Handheld: The Cobra brand is known for quality CB radios.
And on this handheld unit, all radio controls are on the handheld microphone (nice to have when limited on space).
It also has backlit controls so it’s easy to operate at night.
And it includes 4 programmable channels, instant access to channels 9 and 19, and 10 NOAA FM weather stations.
Also, the channel scan feature will skim through channels until it finds communication.
Remember, even though this is a handheld unit it does need to connect to an antenna.
The Cobra C75WXST handheld sells for around $100 new.
There is no question CB radios can be effectively used in a survival situation.
And now is the time to locate any people in your area that use and operate their CB’s.
If you can connect with them now, then you will be prepared should an emergency arise.