Walkie Talkie Radios
When traditional telecommunications are out, our Coastside CERT Communications Plan includes using FRS (walkie talkie) radios within neighborhoods and amateur (ham) radios between the neighborhoods and first responders. Walkie talkies are ideal for neighborhood communication because they are easy to operate, relatively inexpensive, and in most cases do not require a license to operate.
Coastside CERT recommends the Midland GTX1000 Radio, and this is what all of our training material focuses on.
If you're brand new to radios, Jim Williams' Walkie Talkie Basic Training gives a great introduction to the Midland GTX1000 radio and basic radio operation and etiquette. Slides are also available (PDF).
Additionally, the following materials were created by Kehoe/Casa del Mar to help folks get up and running with their radios.
FRS Radio Basics for Neighborhood Emergency Communications (2.5 hour class)
FRS Radio Training: Scenarios (class supplemental materials)
If you need help or have questions about this material, email email@example.com.
Neighborhood radio frequencies
Coastside CERT, together with the Half Moon Bay Amateur Radio Club, has defined preliminary FRS and GMRS radio frequencies for each neighborhood, which are subject to change (with agreement and notice) as neighborhoods come online. In addition to the actual frequencies, you will also see the programmed channel number for the Midland GTX1000 Radio that we recommend.
Testing radio range
If you would like to test the FRS radio range in your neighborhood, Jim Williams and Lee Copeland created this Testing FRS Radio Range and Propagation guide.
Kehoe/Casa del Mar successfully followed this guide with the following modifications: Rather than the chart, they used a map to label sound quality (1-3) and locations, and rather than set 5-minute increments for callouts, they did a simple roll call, relying on relays if necessary. If you need help or have questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coastside CERT has created a 1/2-page refrigerator flyer template that can be modified for each neighborhood. It includes information from KHMB, neighborhood FRS radios and Coastside Hams. Here is a sample for Kehoe/Casa del Mar.
Email email@example.com if you would like a custom flyer for your neighborhood. You will need to provide the customized neighborhood details for the FRS radio section.