Should there be a catastrophic event that may interrupt normal routes of communication, two way radios or walkie talkies may be the only available means of contacting others. Whether it is a major weather disaster or apocalyptic, SHTF scenario, when the cell phones, landlines and satellites go down, the last, and quite possibly only source of short and long range communications will be the open airwaves.
Range – Range is absolutely crucial to emergency communications, especially in sparsely populated areas or if the disaster encompasses a wide area. A higher powered model can often provide more range, especially in urban or rough terrain. A removable antenna is also very critical to range, as it allows you to swap it for fine tuning or attach an external antenna that can be moved around or set at a higher elevation. A radio with more power and a removable antenna can actually provide much greater range than a model with higher wattage alone.
Battery Life - The importance of backup power during any emergency or catastrophic event cannot be understated, and in the event of an extended outage or complete loss of the power grid, keeping your radio charged and operational may be vital to survival. Look for models with extremely long battery life that can be charged and/or powered by vehicle DC voltage, plus the ability to operate on standard AA or AAA batteries when needed.
Durability – Reliable communications are a lifeline to others in any emergency, so it is very important that your radios can stand up to the rigors of such an event. Look for a radio with solid construction, greater durability and weatherproofing that can take the stress of extended use. A radio with an ingress protection rating of IP54 or higher is recommended.