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How To Effectively Use a Two-Way Radio in an Emergency

Posted by Steve Cayton on May 17, 2016 9:13:59 AM

How To Effectively Use a Two-Way Radio in an Emergency

This is why it’s essential to always be prepared ahead of time in case of an emergency, knowing exactly how to get help, and do it quickly. In this article you’ll learn why two-way radios are the best method of communication in a crisis, and how to effectively use them in a crucial situation.

Why Two-Way Radios In An Emergency?

Two-way radios are the ideal communication device in an emergency for several reasons. With their push-to-talk functionality for instant communication, they are much faster than cell phones or landlines. They also come with extreme ease of use- just the push of a button can transmit your message to an entire group of people on the same frequency. Not to mention they can withstand very harsh environmental conditions like heavy rain and dust.

In case there’s ever an emergency situation when verbal communication wouldn’t be opportune, two-way radios can now send and receive text messages for quick and discreet communication as well. Lastly, the fact that two-way radios don’t rely on cell phone networks is a huge benefit in widespread emergencies, where reception may be congested or even stop altogether. For example, cellular networks were completely overwhelmed after the Boston Marathon bombing and the attacks on September 11.  

How To Use A Two-Way Radio For Emergency Communications

So how can you prepare yourself to effectively use a two-way radio in an emergency? We’re glad you asked, because we know that in the midst of chaos, stress and anxiety can easily make common sense fly out the window. Here are some of the best two-way radio emergency communication practices.

Know the Ins and Outs of Your Radio

In order to be prepared to use your two-way radio in an emergency, you have to understand exactly how it functions. Take some time to familiarize yourself with your device. If necessary, ask your employer for training on two-way radio usage so you can be better equipped to take advantage of all your device’s features.  

Take Part in an Emergency Drill

If you run an organization or establishment, having a drill for your employees to be better prepared in an emergency is a very beneficial idea. This way they will be able to put what they’ve learned about their radio into practice, or they may find that they still need some more instruction on how to handle an emergency scenario.

Communicate Briefly

When you’re communicating with a two-way radio in an emergency, remember the saying “less is more.” In a critical situation, brief is better when it comes to talking. Be sure to get the necessary details across in the least amount of time. A good way to do this is to simply think about what you are going to say before you push the button.

Repeat When Necessary

Especially if you are on the receiving end of a critical transmission, repeating the information you receive back to your contact is extremely important. Upon receiving significant details from your contact, you should always repeat the information back to make sure you’ve heard them correctly.

Use the Emergency Alert Button When Necessary

Some radios come with a programmable, emergency alert button that helps sound the alarm in an emergency. Typically it is a big orange button either on the side of a radio by the push to talk button, or on the top of the radio. A radio dealer can custom program the button to activate an alert and alarm that will be heard by the necessary personnel to respond to emergencies.


With these five best practices in use, you’ll be able to communicate smoothly and effectively with a two-way radio in an emergency. As you can see, two-way radios are ideal communication devices for emergency situations. With a little training and use of the right strategies, two-way radios can be effectively utilized to maintain order in an emergency and even save lives.

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When an emergency situation unexpectedly arises, oftentimes the people involved are caught off guard and unprepared. Victims are likely to be so in shock that they don’t know how to respond to the situation, but in a critical scenario where lives are at stake, time is of the essence.

Topics: two-way radio intro, two-way radio technology, Education

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