Best Emergency Preparedness Communication Systems (7 Must Own Devices)

Color outdoor photo, and right side head shot of a young black woman wearing a light blue backpack and talking on an Iridium Extreme Satellite Phone with a lush green foliage background.

In the face of uncertainty, one thing remains clear: reliable communication devices are absolute lifelines that can make all the difference in ensuring the safety and well-being of you and your beloved circle.

Out of our list of our best emergency preparedness communication systems (7 must own devices below). We recommend that you have at least two out of the seven. Our highest recommendation is that you have at least four forms for communication redundancy.

  • Satellite Phones
  • Satellite Communicators
  • CB Radios
  • Two-way Ham Radios
  • Two-way Radio Walkie Talkie
  • Cell Phones
  • Headphones

Most people already own a cell hone and possibly some headphones so you are on your way to emergency preparedness devices. If you want more helpful important information on these devices please keep reading.

Our 7 Must Own Device Recommendations For Emergency Preparedness Communication Systems

Color photo of multiple Iridium Narrow-band 2.4 Kbps Satelite communicatin devices on a white background.
Multiple Iridium Narrow-band 2.4 Kbps Satelite communication devices.

As a seasoned explorer of emergency readiness, living in Alaska, backed by exhaustive research, personal trials, and real-life ordeals, we present to you the top six essential communication devices that must find a home for one or more of these in every well-equipped emergency preparedness kit:

  1. Satellite Phone – At the top of our list is a satellite phone. We recommend the Iridium Extreme Satellite Phone from Blue Cosmo with a prepaid SIM card which is available on Amazon. This handheld satellite phone offers 100 percent global Iridium satellite coverage, enabling voice, SMS text messaging, GPS tracking, and emergency SOS from anywhere. It features different payment options, including prepaid or monthly airtime from BlueCosmo and various essential functions for emergency preparedness.
  2. Satellite Communicators – We recommend the Garmin inReach Explorer+. This handheld satellite communicator offers 100 percent global Iridium satellite coverage, enabling two-way text messaging from anywhere. It also features GPS navigation, topographical maps, and various essential functions for emergencies.
  3. CB Radios – For a reliable CB radio, I recommend the Cobra 29LX Professional CB Radio. It offers essential features like NOAA weather channels and an emergency alert system. The selectable 4-color LCD, auto-scan, and clock with an alarm make it an excellent choice for emergency communication.
  4. Two-way Ham Radios – My top recommendation is the BAOFENG BF-F8HP 8-Watt Dual Band Two-Way Ham Radio. With twice the output power of previous generations, this radio offers an excellent range. It has a large battery, a high-gain antenna, and a full kit to meet your communication needs.
  5. Two-way Radio Walkie Talkie – For good, light two-way radios sets that won’t break the bank and have a 36 mile range, I recommend the Midland–GXT1050VP4 – Handheld 36 Mile GMRS 50 Channel Two Way Radio Set. These handheld radios are IXP4 Water Resistant with 22 Channels plus 28 extra channels that have the option of  285 privacy codes that give you up to 6,270 channel options to help you block other conversations. They work well and up to 36 miles in clear and open spaces without obstructions.
  6. Cell Phones – I use the Apple iPhone 14 Pro, and thanks to its advanced features and robust design, I’d highly recommend it. This phone has excellent call quality, fast data connectivity, and a long-lasting battery, ensuring you stay connected when it matters most.
  7. Headphones – To stay connected with your two-way Boafeng radio during emergencies, consider the H41-CF Rugged Radio Headphones, to stay connected with your other devices, consider Shokz OpenComm2 UC Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones. Each headset is designed for a different purpose, to provide clear audio communication while offering noise reduction and durability. With their comfortable fit and adjustable features, they allow for extended use without discomfort.

Let’s dive in and explore the pinnacle of communication prowess that will elevate your emergency preparedness to extraordinary levels.

Helpful Recommendations for Communication in Emergencies

When you are in an emergency situation, using communications is critical and especially with Emergency Preparedness. 

Communication is the backbone of all emergency preparedness. Without communication, everyone is lost, literally.

Using each kind of communication system listed in this article as similarities, there are also important differences between them

Taking the time to learn how to use each system is an important part of emergency preparedness. Learning the different functions of each device before the chaos of each emergency is extremely important for all parties involved.

  • When using a cell phone you can speak and listen simultaneously.
  • When using a two-way radio, you cannot speak and listen simultaneously. When you press the two-way radio button, it only allows you to speak.
  • Be brief and efficient and get to the point quickly in your conversations.
  • Don’t interrupt when others are speaking.
  • Accuracy and clarity of the message are most important.
  • Clarity in risk assessment communication is critical.
  • Specifying immediate needs.
  • Location accuracy in communication is essential.
  • Do not use abbreviations.
  • Repeat back information.
  • Ensure the battery is charged on your wireless communication devices.
  • Make sure the power is on.
  • Keep the volume high enough to hear calls and ringers.

Satellite Phones

Color photo of a white hand holding an Iridium Extreme Satelite Phone on a white background.
Iridium Extreme Satelite Phone.

In times of crisis, when conventional cellular networks falter and fail, one device stands tall: the satellite phone. Picture this: you’re in a remote wilderness or facing a catastrophic situation with no means of communication. That’s where the satellite phone comes in to save the day. Its strong satellite signals defy distance and disruption, with a clear line of sight to the sky, keeping you connected when it matters most.

Remember that satellite communicators are not satellite phones. Satellite phones have voice communication and satellite communicators do not. You can talk on a satellite phone like the Iridium Extreme Satellite Phone and you cannot talk on a satellite communicator like a Garmin inReach Explorer+.

We discuss satellite communicators in depth in our article “Off-Grid Satellite Communicator Messenger Or Cell Phone?”

Now, let us share our hero in the scope of emergency communication systems: the Iridium Extreme Satellite Phone (check the latest price on This rugged phone has remarkable features and unwavering reliability.

As an Alaskan, I needed a companion that could keep me linked to civilization even in the wildest corners of the Earth. And boy, does the Iridium Extreme Satellite Phone deliver! Its satellite coverage is as strong as you can find, ensuring I’m always in touch. The user-friendly interface makes staying connected a breeze. 

  • Iridium voice and text messaging
  • SOS button 
  • GPS enabled location tracking
  • Short emails
  • Military-grade durability
  • IP65 shock/water resistance 
  • Operating temperature range: 14°F to 131°F (-10°C to 55°C)
  • Talk Time: Up to 4 hours; standby up to 30 hours

Iridium Extreme Satellite Phone from Blue Cosmo with a prepaid SIM card and offers a range of service plans to suit your needs. Whether you’re a yearly planner, prefer the monthly approach, or like the freedom of month-to-month commitments, this device has got you covered. It’s your ticket to seamless communication without the shackles of long-term contracts.

Satellite Communicator

Color Photo of the orange Garmin inReach Explorer+ on a white background.

If you don’t have the money for a Satellite Phone, the next best thing is a Satellite Communicator. The only reason the satellite communicators are number two on the list is because you can’t talk on them.

The Garmin inReach Explorer+ (check the latest price on We use these in Alaska and a good friend of mine, Atz Kilcher, from the tv show, Alaska the Last Frontier, has his in the back country all the time. I have received texts from him on that when he doesn’t have a cell phone signal and cannot use anything else.

The Garmin inReach Explorer+ also delivers like the Iridium Extreme Satellite Phone and its satellite coverage is as strong in Alaska as one needs up here. The inReach uses 100 percent global Iridium satellite coverage, which enables two-way text messaging from anywhere in the world but a satellite subscription required.

But that’s not all! The Garmin inReach Explorer+ has a range of features and service plans. The inReach Explorer+ has SOS for 24/7 search and rescue monitoring, and has an IPX7 waterproof rating.

You can also pair the Explorer+ with other mobile devices using the Earthmate app which is free to access with downloadable maps and U.S. NOAA charts. It also has preloaded Delorme topo maps with on-screen GPS routing, as well as a built-in digital compass, barometric altimeter, and an accelerometer.

We all know how important it is to protect our cherished possessions. That’s why I urge you to consider adding the Getgear Protective Case for Garmin inReach Explorer+, also available on, to your setup.

CB Radio

Cobra 29LX Professional CB Emergency Radio
CB Radio

Please don’t overlook the power of a CB (Citizens Band) radio when it comes to your emergency preparedness arsenal. These mighty devices operate on dedicated channels within the 27 MHz frequency range, granting you a solid range of communication that can stretch for miles. Truckers, off-road adventurers, and emergency responders rely on CB radios for a good reason—they keep you connected when it matters most. When other communication methods crumble, having a CB radio in your kit ensures you can exchange crucial information with those around you.

My preferred CB radio is the Cobra 29LX Professional CB Emergency Radio, available on From rock-solid construction to sleek modern features like the vibrant 4-color LCD and handy clock with an alarm, this radio delivers on all fronts. And let’s not forget its lifesaving capability to access NOAA weather channels 24/7, keeping you informed and ready to respond to weather-related emergencies. With radio check and frequency display features for optimal performance, even beginners can easily navigate its user-friendly interface. Trust me; when it comes to reliable communication during emergencies, the Cobra 29LX is a no-brainer.

So, don’t miss out on the CB radio advantage, whether tackling off-road trails, cruising the highways, or stepping up as an emergency hero. Equip yourself with the Cobra 29LX, and stay connected when it matters most.

Two-way Ham Radio

Color photo of the BAOFENG BF-F8HP 8-Watt Dual Band Two-Way Ham Radio on a white back ground.
Two-way Ham Radio

Forget about limited communication ranges and unreliable connections. Ham radios operate on a wide range of frequencies, delivering unparalleled reach when it matters most. But hold on; there’s a catch. To wield this mighty tool, you must sign up for and get an amateur radio license, proving your expertise in radio operations and regulations. But trust me; the effort is well worth it.

As a proud owner of the BAOFENG BF-F8HP 8-Watt Dual Band Two-Way Ham Radio (check price on, I can vouch for its unbeatable performance. This ham radio boasts enhanced features that blew me away from the moment I unpacked it. With increased output power and a rugged shell that can withstand the toughest challenges, the BAOFENG BF-F8HP is built to survive. And guess what? The learning process is not that difficult, thanks to the comprehensive user guide and top-notch concierge customer support from BTECH. 

But here’s the bottom line: the extended range capabilities of the BAOFENG BF-F8HP. Even in the face of treacherous terrain and unforgiving weather, this radio ensures crystal-clear communication with fellow operators in your area. This means that when emergencies strike, you can rely on the BAOFENG BF-F8HP for its unwavering reliability and exceptional performance.

Two-way Radio Walkie Talkie

Color photo of 2 camo Midland GXT1050VP4 50 Channel Two Way Radio Long Range Walkie Talkies on a white background.
Two-way Radio Walkie Talkie’s

Two-way Radio Walkie Talkie is a common communication device but has some amazing attributes like cost effectiveness and unique qualities than, say, a satellite or cell phone. Even though the range may be short in comparison with, say, only a 36 mile range, they have their uses in many situations.

These types of two-way radios are commonly used in more confined uses with private channels. They are often lightweight, small, and convenient. The price for a set of two Midland–GXT1050VP4 – Handheld 36 Mile GMRS 50 Channel Two Way Radio Set are only $79.00 dollars on Amazon.

Cell Phone

Color photo of the Apple iPhone 14 Pro.
Cell Phone

While it may seem obvious, a cell phone is still essential for emergencies. Cellular networks often remain operational during crises, allowing you to make calls, send text messages, and access the internet for important updates. However, it’s important to note that during widespread emergencies, cell networks can become congested, leading to potential delays and difficulties in communication. Therefore, it’s crucial to have alternative communication devices, like the ones mentioned above, as backups in case cellular networks are overwhelmed or fail.

Please see our article “Your Cell Phone Was Born in the U.S. Military”

I’ve had my iPhone 14 Pro (Check price on since its release, and I’m impressed with its performance, especially during emergencies. The call quality is crystal clear, even in areas with weak signal strength. The fast data connectivity enables me to access essential information and communicate with emergency services promptly. 

Battery life is outstanding, ensuring I stay connected throughout the day. The water and dust resistance feature on these phones rated at IP68 gives me peace of mind, knowing that my phone can withstand harsh conditions.

The iPhone 14 Pro is a reliable companion during emergencies, and I highly recommend it. But you can choose a good cellular phone from your preferred brand, provided it’s reliable for emergencies, like my trusty iPhone 14 Pro.

Many of the new smartphones like the iPhone have emergency SOS and call emergency services features.


Color photo of a pair of H41-CF Rugged Radio Headphones on a white background.

Like your cellphone, having a trusty pair of headphones in your emergency preparedness kit can make all the difference. These seemingly ordinary accessories transform into great tools for staying informed and making crucial decisions.

Take, for example, the H41-CF Rugged Radio Headphones on, a seamless compatible headset for my Boafeng radio; these headphones are critical for me in emergencies. The moment I put them on, I’m instantly immersed in a world of outstanding audio quality. Clear and crisp communication becomes second nature, ensuring that every important message reaches my ears with utmost clarity.

We also use the Shokz OpenComm 2UC Bone Conduction Headphones (Check price on all the time and have written tons of articles about bone conduction headphones like our “Shokz OpenComm Bone Conduction Headphones Review” and “Do Bone Conduction Headphones Have Bass?”

We like the safety features of bone conduction headphones with the open ear design so you can hear those around you when necessary. The Shokz OpenComm headphones also have a great communication boom microphone, so those you are communicating with can actually hear you easily, just like the mouth speaker on your smartphone.

The H41-CF Rugged Radio Headphones boast an impressive noise reduction feature that works wonders. Background noise becomes a distant memory, whether in a bustling crowd or facing chaotic circumstances. This noise-blocking capability allows me to focus solely on the critical information being transmitted, enabling me to make well-informed decisions when they matter most.

Comfort is key during high-pressure situations, and these headphones have it in abundance. The headset’s thoughtful design and adjustable features ensure a snug fit with no discomfort, even during extended periods of use. I can wear them for hours, keeping my ears engaged without strain.

So, when assembling your emergency preparedness kit, don’t overlook the power of headphones.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) NATO or International Aviation Phonetic Alphabet for Radio Communications.

ITU-NATO or International Aviation Phonetic Alphabet for Radio Communications.

Key Takeaways

Color photo of a pair of black Shokz OpenComm 2UC Bone Conduction Headphones on a white background.
A pair of black Shokz OpenComm 2UC Bone Conduction Headphones available on

Armed with a Satellite Phone, like the Iridium Extreme Satellite Phone, and the Garmin inReach Explorer+you have the ability to reach others in an exteme emergency situation with gloabl connectivity. The Cobra 29LX CB Radio, is also an excelent dependable radio that keep be used in a vehicle or at home or office.

Then we have the BAOFENG BF-F8HP, a very good two-way Ham Radio, ensuring your voice resonates across vast landscapes. The cost effetive Midland GXT1050VP4 50 Channel Two Way Radios can be purchased one at a time or in sets of 2, 6, or more depending on your needs.

As we appreciate these remarkable devices, let’s not forget the unsung hero that completes our ensemble: the indomitable cell phone, like my iPhone 14 pro, and the lifesaving headphones, such as the H41-CF and the Shokz OpenComm2 UC Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones. 

In the face of grueling challenges, they stand as beacons of hope, delivering connectivity and crystal-clear sound, making them indispensable companions for emergeny preparedness preperation and kits.

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John Mortensen

As a kid I wanted to be an astronaut, geologist, or scientist. I became a project manager which is involved with many of those things. I am a project manager and tech writer who researches the latest alternative and green technologies. We write helpful articles about green electronics and green technology products. AI, extreme weather, electric vehicles, are all in our future and we want to know the best way to deal with the effects of these on the power grid and emergency preparedness.

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