Recommendation: Store a 2-way radio with batteries and learn how to use it.

Shopping List

Option 1: 2-way radio

Total Cost: ~$50


  1. Radio

  2. AAA Batteries


In the event of a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake, our communication networks will be overloaded and possibly destroyed.  This is why is it is so important to have a family plan in place.  If you have not done that yet, you should do that now: LINK

If the cellular phone systems are still functional, your best chance of communication will be via text message.  Be short and to the point with the text message.  Another good option is to contact "out of town contact" as a point of contact.  It is easier to connect with someone out of the region compared to someone within the effected area.  You should use your "out of town contact" to pass along messages to people within the effected region.

A good, but limited, form of contact within the effected region is 2-way radios (FRS radios).  While 2-way radios are advertised to have 30+ miles of range, you can expect to have a 1-mile range in city or around Lake Oswego.  These radios are a great method to communicate within the neighborhood. It is recommended to practice radio communcation with neighbors beforehand. Establish a common radio channel and practice with your neighbors to become familiar with your radios and its performance capabilities.


While the fire personnel will not be monitoring the FRS channels, amateur HAM radios operators, if available, plan to be monitoring specific FRS channel at or near the fire stations.  Here are the channels they will be monitoring:

Westlake Fire Station 210: Channel 10-0

Jean Road Fire Station 211: Channel 11-0

South Shore Fire Station 212: Channel 12-0

Downtown Fire Station 214: Channel 14-0

As you can see the 2-way radio channel that the HAM radio operators will be monitoring in Lake Oswego correspond to the last 2 digits of the fire station number.  If you are unfamiliar with 2-way radios, the "-0" at the end of the channel number is the "tone" or "security code" on your radio.  In this case the "-0" means we are not using a privacy code on the channels.  Write these numbers down and keep them with your radio.

Here is a map of the fire stations in Lake Oswego:

Optional - Satellite Phone

A Satellite phone will allow you to communicate even if the local telecommunication systems are down. The cost of the devices and required service plans are coming down since the latest deployment of satellites.  Refer to the following PrepLO presentation for all relevant information:  LINK

Optional - HAM Radio

Recommendation: HAM Radio with required license

Shopping List

Option 1: HAM Radio

Total Cost: ~$40

  1. HAM Radio


You can get serious and obtain a HAM Amateur radio license. It’s actually easy to get the basic technician class license which is the minimum requirement to operate a HAM radio. These radios reach farther, much farther with repeaters, have far more usefulness, and they may be the ONLY way to get information in and out of a disaster area when the big one hits. Plus if you join a local amateur radio club, they can teach you how to send messages for others and help emergency responders, too.

Here is more information on getting your HAM radio license: ARRL

Here is a great studying resource: No-nonsense-guides

© 2019 by PrepLO. Proudly created with