During an earthquake, power outage, or even man-made event (riot or terrorist action), there is a strong possibility that communications will not be available.
This includes landline telephones, cellular/VOIP devices, and the internet. If there are some patches of communication, there is a possibility that battery operated systems will have very limited power & range. 

What’s one to do in a situation like this? As a member of LAFD CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), I’ll tell you that an effective mode for localized voice communication might be gathering dust in a drawer: FRS/GMRS two-way radios (aka “Walkie-Talkies”). You purchased them for those camping excursions you used to take, to keep the kids in check at the beach, or you bought them for business purposes like I did. It wasn’t until I joined CERT that I got full usage and understanding of the FRS/GMRS system. They are amazing devices that are ridiculously affordable. Today’s models are powered by rechargeable power packs and/or standard Alkaline Batteries. 

“Operation VoxCom” is an effort based here in MID CITY & WEST ADAMS to make sure our neighborhoods can communicate locally in a major event. The push is to get AS MANY residents to join and create a viable information network. We’ll guide you to the right radio if needed, show you how to use it, and tie you into the network. It is worth noting that this technology is not for just emergencies. Smart residents & neighborhood clubs use them for crime watch and other daily uses. 

One last thing…if you’re a licensed Amateur Radio Operator/HAM, we need your expertise to push the FRS/GMRS communications from local to official levels. Intrigued? Give us a shout and we’ll tell you more. We can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling (213) 595-1146. 

Chin Thammasaengsri is the Coordinator for LAFD CERT Battalion 18, a lifelong resident of Mid City, and Public Safety Liaison for the Mid City Neighborhood Council



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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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