CRN email list - CitizenRadioNetwork@yahoogroups.com
Recent events have reminded us of how fragile our communications infrastructure really is. While we have a very technologically advanced society, the complex nature of it causes it to be prone to catastrophic failure. In the event of a breakdown of our systems - whether it be localized or nationwide - an alternative solution needs to be made available.
During an extreme emergency, local communities will need to band together to service its own needs as state or federal assistance may not be forthcoming. While this may have seemed apocalyptic in the past, it is something that should be considered even if this situation only occurs for a short period of time. Preparation is the first step toward taking care of yourself.
In response to this previously unthinkable occurrence, it has become clear that citizens need to be tied together for purposes of assistance, information distribution, and emergency service. Citizen Radio Network (CRN) is a proposal that addresses the needs of local groups of public service oriented citizens.
CRN is not an organization. It is an initiative to bring about a standard method and means for communities to stay in touch with and protect its residents during times of extreme emergencies. CRN is not about replacing existing emergency services like REACT, ham radio or any public safety organization. It is about the ability for concerned citizens to help themselves if these groups are not available or do not serve the particular interests of that community.
CRN uses readily available (and widely available) radio equipment that does not require a license to operate it. Citizen's Band (CB) radio and Family Radio Service (FRS) radios are the basis of the equipment involved. By using these two radio services inexpensive equipment can be acquired without much effort. Both radio services are designed for personal communications and the radio equipment reflects this by being easy to use. This combination allows a much larger and diverse group of individuals to become involved in a CRN operation than if ham radio or commercially licensed radio services were used.
Millions of CB radios have been sold throughout the country. Both mobile and base stations are in extremely wide use. Nearly every trucker has one installed and is used on a daily basis This is a large and established user base that can become a huge asset during a crisis. Simply adding additional stations in key locations can greatly benefit a community. Many times local CB radio operators will have extra equipment that could be pressed into service for the benefit of the community. Placement of a transceiver at the church or community center will allow anyone in the community to participate. Since most communications will be local, home made antennas could be used to customize the installation and keep costs down.
FRS radios can now be found in almost any department and sporting goods store. FRS radio are small and convenient. While their range is limited to less than 2 miles most communities can be serviced well with these radio.
CRN is attempting to create a standard that can be published and practice before a crisis occurs. This way anyone interested in serving their community will know how and where to start. It is important to be proactive if you are to be an effective service.
The following standard is a recommendation. It can be tailored to local
conditions but should be adhered to as much as possible.
CB RadioIt is important that some coordination of services occur. CRN participants should make an effort to monitor both radio services whenever possible. In all cases, CRN operators must operate professionally and courteously. Use of properly operating radio equipment is a must. Overpowered, overmodulated CB equipment and noise toys could actually cause a CRN to fail and render it useless due to splatter and bleedover. Profanity or improper language is absolutely discouraged. Even use of CB lingo is discouraged as it may cause confusion to an inexperienced operator.
Here are some examples of what a CRN can do for a community. This is
just a small slice of the potential a citizen radio network.
The events of September 11th have taught us that we need to stick together during times of distress and hardship. CRN helps to acheive this on a local level by enabling people to help their neighbors and community through direct involvement.
To contact us with suggestions or comments, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org