Communication is a vital part of our everyday life. In a SHTF situation typical means of communication might not be working (eg cell phones, land line). Therefore I decided to purchase some 2 way radios as a backup method of communication that my family could utilize if times got hard and other systems were down. I’m thinking we could use them if we had to conduct movements in separate vehicles, or if I had to make runs for water or other life sustaining items (leaving someone at home).
As with any purchase I did my research online prior to getting the Motorola MR 350R. The reviews posted online were great, and the features which these radios come with coupled with the relatively cheap price ($50) make them a great purchase. I’ve just started playing with the features but already I like the fact that these have:
- Weather Alerts
- Privacy Features
- Vibrate Option
- Built in Flashlight
- Hands Free Mode
The range on these radios would probably be the overriding negative feature, in that the 35 mile maximum range is optimal at best (I’m standing on a mountain and you are in the valley with no obstructions in between us = 35 mile range). Having read the reviews I knew that the touted range was suspect at best, and realize that in urban areas 1 to 2 miles will probably be the extent of the range capabilities. That’s perfectly fine with me and we will just have to operate keeping these limitations in mind when we employ the radios.
Upon receiving the radios I opened them up and gave them a full charge overnight. I went over the manual and realized that these things were quite a bit more complicated than I had originally thought. They are capable of doing much more than I need them to, so initially I just settled for figuring out the basics. I wanted to figure out the channel + privacy code features and the weather alert feature, and then brief up the rest of the family on how to employ them properly. These tasks took me about 15 minutes to figure out, after which I spent time reading up on how to properly store the radios.
When considering storage, I wanted to protect the radios in the event that my area experienced an EMP and other forms of communication were knocked out. A bit extreme maybe, but hey if I’m going to be all-in I might as well take the extra precautions. In any event the solution turned out to be an easy one: an old microwave. As it turns out the way microwaves are built make them perfect for shielding electronics from EMP threats, and as luck would have it I have a little microwave sitting in the basement that has been unused (and uncleaned) for at least 5 years. Cool and gross at the same time. Once I had my radios charged up I put them in the microwave and shut the door: mission accomplished.