Welcome to the Allen CERT Emergency Communications Resource Page. Herein, you will find product recommendation, as well as planning and operational resources for emergency communications.
The unofficially official handheld radio of the Allen CERT program is the Baofeng UV-82. This radio was chosen for it’s long list of features, dual transmit/receive capability, ease of programming, and affordability. Alternate radios that are supported by Allen CERT Communications team include the Baofeng UV-5R and UV-82HP. The UV-5R is the most affordable but sacrifices the dual transmit/receive feature. The UV-82HP has all the features of the standard UV-82 but with a higher transmit power (for twice the cost).
The factory antenna that comes with any handheld radio – often referred to as a “rubber duck” can be adequate for basic operations. As distance between operators/stations grows, a rubber duck antenna can greatly reduce your propagation. Thus, it is highly recommended that all radio operators purchase an after-market antenna for their handheld radios.
If you purchase your radio on Amazon, you will see recommendations on which antennas pair well with that equipment. Most often, any of these choices will greatly improve your radio’s capabilities. One popular brand is Nagoya, who makes several antennas with different lengths and flexibility.
Another new and incredible antenna is made by Signal Stuff, a small company that boasts a virtually unbreakable antenna. Several Allen CERT members have used this antenna with great success. Click here to view their website.
One of the benefits of owning a Baofeng radio is the many accessories available on the market at a relatively low price. A speaker-mic can allow you to clip a radio to your belt or backpack and provide remote transceiver operation. Extra battery packs are a must-have and are cheap enough to buy a handful. If you want constant power to your radio in your vehicle, consider a battery eliminator that plugs into a standard cigarette lighter plug. To charge on the go, look into a USB charging cable that can be coupled with a portable lithium batter or a any USB port. Lastly, if you want to program your radio using a computer, you’ll need a programming cable to do so. See more below on programming, or reach out to the CERT Communications team for assistance.
Select the link for your model radio and program through CHIRP
- Baofeng Channel Preset CSV File updated 06/15/2017
- Allen CERT Communications Plan (ICS 205)
- Texas Interoperability Communications Plan
- NIMS Interoperability Field Operations Guide (eNIFOG)
- NIMS Auxiliary Communications Field Operations Guide (AUXFOG)