Getting in touch with your friends or family is as simple as sending a text, phoning them, or pinging them through a linked service or app these days because nearly everyone has a cellphone and/or a smartwatch.
Although the connection is at an all-time high, you’ve probably encountered a circumstance where mobile phone coverage was virtually difficult to locate owing to topographical considerations or user density, such as at a music festival, camping, or on the mountain. If only there was another way to remain in touch. Then there’s the walkie-talkie.
5 best Walkie Talkies for Emergency
#1 Midland X-Talker T75VP3
The Midland X-Talker T75VP3 comes in a tiny present box-like container that measures 7.85 x 12.25 x 2.25 inches and weighs only approximately 4 pounds. Two radios, two belt cuts, two 1000mAh battery-powered battery packs, a workstation charger, an AC divider connection, a tiny USB charging link, and an owner’s handbook are all included in the box.
The Midland X-Talker T75VP3 may be powered by 3 AA alkaline batteries or a NiMH battery pack. The walkie-talkie may be used for up to 10 hours on average with only one charge. The NiMH battery pack (BATT10) may be charged by connecting one end of its USB Link to a USB power source and the other end to a USB charging port or a work area charger. The battery meter will flash from 1 to 3 bars during charging and then stop when the charge is complete. The LCD display will be FULL. It is proposed that the battery pack be accused of killing the radio in order to ensure that the battery pack is fully charged.
Under ideal conditions, the radio should provide you with a range of 38 miles. With little to no sight obstacles, the maximum range can be obtained, the medium-range can be obtained with a partial blockage to line sight, and short-range may be obtained with a substantial hindrance to line sight. It also has a power output of 1.5 watts.
- Brand: Midland
- Range: 38 miles
- Power output: 1.5 watts
- Frequency ranges: 462-467 MHz (FRS/GMRS)
- Battery: NiMH rechargeable battery or 3 AA Alkaline batteries
- Size: : 6.1 x 2.6 x 1.4 inches
- Weight: 0.39 lb
- Waterproof: no, but water-resistant
- License needed: yes, if GMRS channels will be used (FCC license)
Pros of the Midland X-Talker T75VP3
- It has VOX features
- It has a tone-coded Squelch system that gives up to 2,662 channel options to help block other conversations.
- It is ideal for hunting with over five animal call alerts.
- Rechargeable battery packs
- Light-weight and small in size
36 Family Radio Service Channels were utilized, as well as 121 codes for Privacy Codes. Ten NOAA Weather or WX Band Channels having a UHF operating frequency of 462.5500 to 467.7125 megahertz. A license is not required to operate this walkie talkie, however, GMRS operation requires permission (Only Applicable for GMRS Radio Use in the United States)
Cons of the Midland X-Talker T75VP3
- It is only water-resistant
- There are several precautionary measures to take note of using the radio.
- Privacy channels can only be set on certain tracks.
#2 Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios
This is a low-cost alternative to several walkie-talkies available. The Arcshell radios are now available for $25.99 a pair. For only $45.99, you can get four of them in a pack. Shoulder speakers, for example, can be purchased as a pair for $10.99.
The Arcshell is a budget-friendly walkie-talkie with a five-mile range. Because UHF waves can penetrate concrete, wood, and steel, they provide a longer range. This implies that communication is simple, even in densely populated areas like apartment complexes. Interference between wireless systems is also less likely with UHF operation.
When you wish to monitor frequencies hands-free, the Scan feature is quite handy. After scanning the various channels available, the transceiver will be able to identify any activity automatically. If and when a signal is identified, it will cease searching at the frequency. The Scan function will not be triggered if there are fewer than two channels active.
On channel 11, you’ll also find an Emergency Alarm. Turn on the transceiver by holding down the PTT and MONI buttons. This triggers the emergency alarm, which may be customized using the software.
Those are only some of the features that this product has that make it one of the best walkie-talkies for emergency uses.
- Brand: Arcshell
- Range: 5 miles
- Power output: 2 watts
- Frequency ranges: 400-470 MHz
- Battery: rechargeable Li-ion battery
- Size: 4.53 x 1.30 x 2.36 inches (with antenna)
- Weight: 0.39 lb
- Waterproof: not stated
- License needed: yes (GMRS license)
Pros of the Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios
- Each pair comes with rechargeable batteries
- A single charge can last up to 96 hours
- Has high-quality speakers
- Very lightweight
- Small size (perfect for the palm of users’ hands)
This is a user-friendly radio, so even if it’s your first buy, you won’t have to worry about how to use it because the controls are simple, as shown in the user manual. Turn the power switch (which also serves as the volume control) clockwise to turn it on or off. A beep from the radio should be followed by a speech indicating that the transceiver is turned on.
Cons of the Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios
- Only five miles of range
- No programmable cable included
- Not as many features as other walkie talkies
- No weather alert or update feature
- No software for reprogramming
#3 Motorola T801
With excellent hands-free connection lines or a touch of a button to communicate, go beyond communication. If you want a wide range of fascinating, helpful features that make emergencies simpler, it will allow users to share with friends or travel companions. I came discovered the Motorola T801 with a feature set that is both innovative and practical, and they are sure to fit the bill.
I couldn’t locate any information on its water resistance. However, because the Motorola T800 and T801 are so similar, I believe the T801 has the same IPx4 waterproof rating and can survive rain, snow, and other elements.
The Motorola T801 comes with two batteries, two belt clips, one wall plug with two micro USB connectors, a set of stickers, and an instruction booklet. As a result, you’ll have everything you’ll need to operate the walkie-talkie.
The Motorola T801 walkie-talkie is simple to operate: just a few buttons and speakers send a message over a single channel. It’s not difficult to dial or locate phone numbers; all you have to do is select a track and begin a discussion.
It may be used in an emergency and is good at giving real-time information, receiving direct messages, and making communication more efficient and accessible. Ideal for outdoor use: They are particularly useful in regions where mobile phone network service is poor or non-existent. They are simple to use and can keep users in touch with one another.
- Brand: Motorola
- Range: 35 miles (voice range), 20 miles (data range)
- Power output: 0.5-2 watts
- Frequency ranges: 462-467 MHz (FRS/GMRS)
- Battery: NiMH Rechargeable Batteries or 3 AA Alkaline Batteries
- Size: 7.52 x 2.2 x 1.28 inches
- Weight: 0.47 lb (with batteries)
- Waterproof: yes (IPx4)
- License needed: yes, if GMRS channels will be used (FCC license)
Pros of the Motorola T801
- Convenient communication with Bluetooth
- Out of grid texting
- Efficient when there is no cellular network
- Utilizes radio weather warning features; warn users of impending danger
- Withstand heavy rains and splashing water
- Has an emergency alert message
- The share button for updates and locations
- Emergency buttons that let out audible sound to let other users know you’re in an emergency.
With a speech range of 35 miles and a data range of 20 miles, you may use the device to send data and use the function on mobile phones for texting and other purposes. The content for optimal/mountain to valley is projected to be up to 35 miles, medium/lake is considered to be up to 9 miles, and minimal/urban is estimated to be up to 2 miles. Another important element in determining how far a radio device can transmit is signal quality.
The stronger the signal power as it passes through obstacles, the better it can endure debilitation. The power output of radios, measured in watts, is largely responsible for signal strength. 12-5 watts are used by handheld radios. According to standard range parameters, 5 watts (VHF) in flat open territory can reach 412-6 miles; suburban sites can reach 2-4 miles; urban regions can reach 112-2 miles, and inside a building can reach 10-15 floors.
Cons of the Motorola T801
- Battery drain on the phone running the Talkabout app.
- The actual range is significantly lower than the 35 miles claimed
- Battery life
#4 DeWalt DXFRS300
The DeWalt DXFRS300 is a fantastic alternative if you need a low-cost, on-site emergency radio that doesn’t require any license or equipment. This basic and easy-to-use business radio comes in a six-pack bundle with many outstanding features.
It is inexpensive, especially if you are on a tight budget and only need a radio with no setup, licensing, or monthly costs. I was curious to see how this radio would compare to other brands because of the DeWalt name. This review will go over the specifications, battery, range, frequencies, pricing, and other important aspects of the DeWalt DFRS300.
The radio features an antenna and a built-in belt clip as well as a hand strap. It was simple to carry and fit nicely in my hand. Hands-free operation is possible with this walkie-talkie, which includes surveillance earbuds, speakers, and microphones. They advise users to restrict the amount of time they use the earphone at high volume settings. However, microphones are not included in the bundle. For simple reference, a user manual is included.
The DeWalt DXFRS300 is waterproof and dustproof to IP67 standards, which means it is protected from all directions from water sprays and splashes. I dropped it from a height of 2 meters to see whether it still worked, and it did. The device can also endure a 30-minute immersion in 1-meter-deep water. Perfect for any type of emergency, even one that includes being immersed in water.
- Brand: DeWalt
- Range: up to 250,000 sq. ft.
- Power output: 1 watt
- Frequency ranges: 462-467 MHz (FRS)
- Battery: 1,000 mAH rechargeable Lithium Polymer Battery
- Size: 6.22 x 2.37 x 2.15 inches
- Weight: 0.66 lb (without batteries)
- Waterproof: yes (IP67)
- License needed: no
Pros of the DeWalt DXFRS300
- Great range
- No licensing or service fees required
- Unique rugged, and ergonomic design. Even if you drop it frequently, it still works!
- Good volume control
- It is user-friendly
- It has a lifetime warranty.
- The battery charge is long-lasting
It offers a very good long-distance reception because of its 2,662 channel configurations. The range is up to 250,000 feet, however, depending on circumstances and terrain, it may vary somewhat.
According to several users, it can pick up up to 3 kilometers in the woods, with numerous trees and slopes in between. Perfect for emergency situations where there is a bit of distance between teams and people.
Cons of the DeWalt DXFRS300
- Audio quality is not as crystal clear compared to other devices in its class.
- A design flaw breaks the antenna housing easily.
- Plastic clips behind the radio are not held securely, and repeated movement over time might weaken the tab.
#5 Baofeng UV-9R
The Baofeng UV-9R or Baofeng UV-9R Plus, one of Baofeng’s notable portable radio models, is a gadget you’ll want to have with you in case of an emergency. It boasts of being both waterproof and dustproof. It includes a long-lasting rechargeable battery that may last up to 20 hours. The Baofeng UV-9R is designed with easy-to-use buttons and includes a built-in spotlight for usage in low-light situations. It is both ergonomic and adaptable since it may be used anywhere.
The primary UV-9R Plus unit is included, as well as an antenna that must be mounted to the main body. There’s a 2200 mAh Li-ion battery inside, as well as an earphone for listening to the radio. The Baofeng UV-9R, like other Baofeng portable radios, comes with a sling and belt clip that you may use if you wish. The user handbook that comes with the box contains all of the assembling instructions.
The Baofeng UV-9R’s maximum range is 8-10 kilometers. It’s not like high-level radios, which have a 30-40 kilometer range of coverage. Just make sure it’s fully charged before using it to get the most out of it.
- Brand: Baofeng
- Range: 6 miles
- Power output: 8 Watts
- Frequency ranges: 65-108 MHz (FM radio reception), VHF: 136-174 MHz (Rx/TX), UHF: 400-520 MHz (Rx/TX)
- Battery: 2,200 mAh Li-ion Battery
- Size: 5.26 x 2.52 x 1.63 inches
- Weight: 0.62 lb
- Waterproof: yes (IP67)
- License needed: yes (amateur / FCC license)
Pros of the Baofeng UV-9R
- Budget-friendly price; you get your money’s worth
- Waterproof and dustproof
- Straightforward assembly; comes with a well-detailed user manual
- It has many useful features for an entry-level walkie talkie
- Excellent sound quality and a reliable battery life
- Commendable transmitting power
- Long-range and wide coverage
- Multiple frequency bands and signal codes
- Built with a voice command
- Has a built-in flashlight for emergencies
- Manual frequency search on Frequency Mode
- It comes with an earpiece
Let’s talk about the cost now. The Baofeng UV-9R is a budget-friendly option. It costs $32, which is an excellent price. It isn’t a high-end device, but it does come with a lot of capabilities that other entry-level walkie-talkies don’t. An antenna, a belt clip, a sling, and an earphone are included.
It’s ideal for both emergency and day-to-day tasks. This concept can absolutely be used by emergency response teams to keep communication continuing inside the team while the disaster is going on. Aside from that, the Baofeng UV-9R does not require a license to operate.
Cons of the Baofeng UV-9R
- Not connected to any software
- Shorter range compared to other portable radios
- Can’t lockout frequencies transmitting to a police station or fire station
- Not durable enough
How to Choose the best Walkie Talkie for Emergency
Range and Clarity
These are two of the most crucial concerns since if your messages cannot be transmitted, the equipment is effectively worthless. Manufacturers provide an estimated range for their devices. Still, those figures are based on ideal conditions with a direct line of sight, which is rarely the case in real life, as most manufacturers would confess.
Consider the distance at which messages can be received, and spoken words may be easily comprehended. As previously stated, the manufacturer’s projected range is based on ideal conditions and a direct line of sight, which is impossible to duplicate in the field.
Design choices are influenced by a number of elements. The device’s weight may be an issue. The walkie-talkies we examined varied in weight, with higher-end devices weighing more. In an emergency, the weight of everything on you is essential.
Being waterproof and dustproof is also an essential part of walkie-talkies, especially when they’re being used during emergencies. It’s better to be prepared and not need it than need it and not have it.
Emergency functions are included on the top walkie-talkies. NOAA weather warnings and natural catastrophe updates are broadcast on seven different emergency channels. Some versions even send out emergency weather notifications, so you don’t have to watch emergency channels manually. Some two-way radios also offer SOS capabilities, such as sirens, flashing beacons, SOS flashing, and warnings transmitted to other radios in the area.
Why Should I Have a Walkie Talkie for Emergency?
Are you prepared to respond in the event of a disaster? How will you maintain lines of communication open if cell phone connections become overcrowded or the Internet goes down? Anyone who works as part of a professional first-responder team understands that communication is the most important aspect of any emergency scenario.
Internet-based modes of communication will most certainly fall down if a big geomagnetic storm or other calamity strikes. Two-way radios will continue to function for as long as they are not destroyed, outlasting other modes of communication. This is why, in the event of an emergency, a two-way radio system may be life-saving, and many businesses have one on hand just in case tragedy hits. We go through the value of two-way radios and how they may be quite beneficial in an emergency.
In an emergency, the last thing you want to do is waste time attempting to locate your colleagues. This is a waste of time that might have a significant impact on the final result. You can always know where your team is in reference to the GPS on their radio since many two-way radios come with GPS tracking features.
Contact People Miles Away
You would believe that two-way radios can only communicate over a small distance, but you’d be wrong. Your personal 2-way radio system has a range of up to 300 miles, so you’ll be able to communicate with individuals who are far away from the catastrophe site.
When Other Methods Of Communication Fail
You don’t have to remain alone and without contact, if most modes of communication stop working. 2-way radios have their own dedicated channel to which no one else has access. As a result, even if phone lines get crowded, your 2-way radio will continue to work without interference. Keep spare batteries available so that if a radio battery dies, you can quickly replace it with a new one.
Lightweight and Durable
Cell phones are delicate gadgets that may break with relatively little force. Who knows what may be going on in an emergency circumstance. Fortunately, high-quality 2-way radios are designed to endure a lot of abuse.
For example, if floodwaters rise and a cell phone falls into the water, it will most certainly be shattered as well as drop fast to the bottom. Many 2-way radios, on the other hand, are designed to float rather than sink in water, and many can resist up to a few feet of water for up to 30-minutes.
Some crises last for a long period, emphasizing the need for radios’ longevity. Radios are not only sturdy and capable of withstanding the particular conditions generated by a disaster, but they are also lightweight and portable. A radio is small enough to not get in the way if an emergency scenario necessitates a lot of movement.
Important Tips for Using Emergency Walkie Talkies
If you work with a two-way radio (walkie-talkie), you must know what to do in the event of an emergency. This is especially true if you don’t have access to a landline phone, and phoning 911 isn’t an option. Because two-way radios are important to their jobs, public safety, police, firefighters, EMTs, and other emergency response personnel are well-versed in the basics.
Radio users in businesses such as construction, hospitality, education, event organizing, and other areas deal with significantly fewer crises. Thus they must set aside additional time to acquire or renew their skills.
Two-way radios may assist in coordinating appropriate emergency response, interface with first responders, and save lives with a bit of forethought and preparedness. Make sure your two-way radio networks and users are prepared in the event of a catastrophe.
Take some time to study how two-way radios work and what features your device has if you’re not familiar with them (such as emergency alerts). Insist on being asked what you would do differently in an emergency while learning a new radio.
Be succinct and efficient; if you don’t know what you’re going to say before you speak into the microphone, you’ll clog up the channel. Confirm that you heard the information accurately by repeating it back.
Remember that conversations on open channels are not private; anyone within range who tunes in to your frequency may hear what you’re saying. In fact, in emergency broadcasts and SOS scenarios where the operator wishes to reach as many people as possible, this is a significant benefit.
When using two-way radios in an emergency, several things must be done correctly. Some of these suggestions may seem obvious, but during the stress, worry, and turmoil of a crisis, common sense usually flies out the window.
Conclusion – The 5 best Walkie Talkies for Emergency
You don’t want to get just any 2-way radio; low-cost consumer devices found at the corner shop won’t give nearly the same level of reliability as a professional one. Many 2-way radios include sophisticated features that might be the difference between having a functional radio and not having one in an emergency.
Two-way radios are portable and long-lasting. Unlike landlines, which have a permanent position and require a continual power source connection, mobile phones might be blocked or overwhelmed in an emergency owing to a lack of signal availability. They are waterproof and dustproof, and they can work efficiently even in remote settings since they are transportable and robust. Large buildings, construction sites, school campuses, and other areas where crises or disasters may occur benefit from two-way radios.
Because they have dedicated bandwidth and a restricted number of users, two-way radios succeed where mobile phones fall short. They’re also a lot easier to use; most of the time, it’s just a matter of pressing one button and talking. Reliable two-way radio coverage may be expanded across a facility or across campus with the installation of bi-directional amplifiers, distributed antenna systems, and repeaters in locations where mobile phone signals cannot reach.
Do you want to be ready for whatever tragedy may strike? Take a look at the top five two-way radios for emergencies, and make sure you’re prepared.