Hartford, CT (PRWEB) May 3, 2006
The Midland Radio Corporation, REACT International, the DC Emergency Radio Network, and NationalSOS.com have jointly announced their support for the National SOS Radio Network -- http://www.NationalSOS.com -- a free communications network based on the estimated 100 million FRS-compatible radios already in the hands of the public... and growing by up to 12 million radios per year.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, it has become clear that a major contributing factor to the tragic loss of life was the near total breakdown of communication systems. Once electricity, telephone, and cell phone services failed, people were unable to let rescuers know of their dire situation -- and died as a result.
A simple, instant, and virtually zero-cost solution: A "National SOS" public emergency network -- http://www.NationalSOS.com. This free public network connects the estimated 100 million Family Radio Service (FRS) and FRS / GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) combination radios already in use by the public with 700,000 amateur "ham" radio operators -- people renowned and prepared for emergency communications -- plus over 70,000 licensed GMRS radio users who are also proficient emergency communicators.
The National SOS Radio Network doesn't require new laws or any new legislation. It could be effective immediately. Once the ham and GMRS radio communities are made aware to listen for the public's emergency FRS broadcasts, the national network will be up and running. The goal is to create initial awareness before the upcoming hurricane season.
FRS radios and FRS / GMRS combination radios used strictly under FRS regulations don't require an operator license, can be used by anyone of any age, and are available for as little as $10 - $30 at many retailers and online stores.
The National SOS initiative recommends that public use FRS Channel 1 as its primary emergency-communications channel. Channel 1 is easy to remember and has previously been endorsed by radio manufacturers and by REACT in 2000. For universal communication amongst radio users, it's important that the FRS radio's "privacy tone" or "privacy code" be turned off. During a crisis, ham radio, GMRS, and scanner operators can easily monitor FRS Channel 1 by tuning to 462.5625 MHz. Other FRS channels are being considered to create a "channel plan" for overall emergency coordination. See http://www.NationalSOS.com for an endorsed "channel plan" and related emergency-communication protocols.
Eric Knight, a ham-radio veteran and developer of http://www.NationalSOS.com said, "We are honored to be teaming up with three fantastic organizations in the field of communications." Knight continued, "Midland Radio http://www.midlandradio.com is a long-time pioneer in innovative radio technology. REACT International, Inc. http://www.REACTintl.org has been at the forefront of an all-citizen emergency communications network for nearly 50 years and introduced FRS radio as an important public communications tool in 2000. And the DC Emergency Radio Network, DCERN, http://www.dcradio.org is a brilliant example of using FRS radios to connect people and neighborhoods in an emergency."
Chris Oehlert, Marketing Communications Manager for Midland Radio, said in regards to the National SOS Radio Network, "Midland is pleased to support such an important effort. The importance of communication cannot be over emphasized, particularly in times of crisis." Oehlert continued, "Midland 2-way radios provide a reliable, inexpensive means of communication -- even in situations where other technologies are disabled."
Since 1962, REACT -- Radio Emergency Associated Communications Teams -- has led major efforts in emergency communications and disaster-preparedness programs. Ed Greany, Executive Vice-president of REACT International, Inc., said, "REACT is pleased to lend support and encourage radio users of the Family Radio Service (FRS) and the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) to this important project." Greany added, "Both FRS and GMRS radios have already proven their importance and effective use in disaster communications in recent California wildfires."
Bill Adler, the founder of the DC Emergency Radio Network, DCERN, said, "It's my vision to see that every household in American has an FRS or GMRS radio. As we've learned from 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and other disasters, without communications nothing else operates effectively." Adler continued, "I envision a national network of ordinary Americans with FRS and GMRS radios who can relay information in an emergency. When a natural or manmade disaster strikes, the only good communications system is one that will actually work. The idea behind this new emergency network is to have a simple, reliable communications system that doesn't depend on electricity or standing cell phone towers -- and that anyone of any age can use."
For more details regarding the National SOS Radio Network, please visit: http://www.NationalSOS.com.
Marketing Communications Manager
Midland Radio Corporation
816-241-8500, Ext. 245
REACT International, Inc