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CB Radio FRS Radio Amateur Radio
license No No Yes
cost $40-$100 $15-$30 $100-$2000+
range 2-10 miles 0.5 miles 5 miles - global + satelite
antenna unrestricted restricted unrestricted


Citizens Band Radio (CB)

This is a must have prepper item!
An unlicensed radio band in the upper HF (high frequency) band at 27 MHz or 11 meters. The FCC has a power limit of 4 watts with no restrictions on the antenna. This is good enough for local communication from 2-10 miles in urban settings, more if you have a good antenna and clear level ground.

If you are not familiar with CB radio just think big truck drivers saying "breaker breaker good buddy", "I got a smkoey on my 6", and "10-4".

Family Radio Service (FRS)

The Family Radio Service is a new (1996) radio band in the UHF range from 462 - 467 MHz and are limited to 500mW power (0.5W) and has a funny overlapping relationship with the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS).
Range is very limited with FRS, generaly less than 1 mile under urban conditions. You will see the radios advertised as 18 mile range or 22 mile range. Disregard these numbers when selecting a radio as these numbers are useless advertising. FRS is allocated into channels.

  • 1-7 FRS GMRS shared 500mW
  • 8-14 FRS only 500mW
  • 15-22 GMRS only

FRS channel 1 is being recomended for emergency communication for FRS and GMRS.

Amateur (Ham) Radio





The 2 meter band is a VHF band from 144-148 MHz.


The 70 cm band is a band for UHF communication from 420 MHz - 450 MHz.


Reciever AM/FM/WX

This is a must have prepper item!
A simple radio reciever to recieve offical news and information from the government or news media. It should also recieve NOAA weather stations which double as Emergency Broadcast System transmitters.
We do not reccomend buying an expensive unit, or shortwave reciever.

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