Monthly Island-wide radio test 3/26

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Test date and time

If we experience a worst case scenario - like a 9.0 earthquake - cell phones, land lines and power will be unavailable. Trees could be down and you could be stranded in your home. You or a family member might need immediate help. Communication will be critical. And our only means of communication will be face-to-face and battery operated two-way radios - if we have them and they are working.

Since some Islanders have two-way radio systems like an FRS or a GMRS or a CB radio (see Communication gear), I will propose a short radio test once a month on Wednesday night starting at 7 PM to see how many Islanders can communicate with each other.

  1. Before 7 PM ...
    1. Check your radio batteries and tune to channel 8 and (sub-channel) privacy code of 8 (8-8).
    2. Have paper and pencil ready to record the following information about each person you talk to.
  2. When someone responds to your question "Is there anyone there?" record their responses to the following questions, then listen for the next person.
    1. what is your address?
    2. estimate how far away you are from me (after you give them your address).
    3. on a scale of 1-5 (5=best), how well could you hear me?
    4. what kind of radio are you using. (Either FRS, GMRS, CB or Ham)
  3. From 7:00 - 7:15 PM, test your FRS or GMRS radio on channel 8-8 and collect information from those you talk to.
  4. From 7:15 - 7:30 PM, test your CB radio on channel 8 and collect information from those you talk to.
  5. From 7:30 - 7:45 PM, test your MURS frequency on 151.820.
  6. From 7:45 - 8:00 PM, listen to HAMs on 145.150.
  7. From 8:00 - 8:15 PM, listen to Marine VHF radio (ch 68) on 156.425.

Until we get more Islanders borrowing, buying and testing their radios, you will most likely hear nothing since the FRS and GMRS (non-license channels) are low power and have a short range of around a few thousand feet line-of-site. But if you do talk to someone, it should give you some satisfaction in knowing that you might be able to help each other out in case of an emergency or disaster.

Immediately AFTER the test, click this link to submit the information you collected. Click here to view your submission as well as others. Since two-way radios usually come in pairs and you only need one for this test, please REPLY ALL, if you would be willing to loan your 2nd radio to a neighbor or an Islander to participate in this test. Post your address and phone number. I have five (5) FRS radios tuned to channel 8 that I can loan out. Call me at 385-0105 to arrange to come over to 824 Schwartz Road to borrow one.

Pete - Member of the (MI Emergency Preparedness) MIEP Team


(Private: Yahoo "Footer")

Feedback post

Four Islanders sent me reports of their communiques with other Islanders. I've listed them in this spreadsheet.


    1. Radio clarity on shoreline property on the east side is excellent. (It should be equally good on the west side.)
    2. FRS/GMRS communication “over the ridge” between east and west Marrowstone is very poor to non-existent.
    3. CB and HAM communication is excellent.

To improve these results, please ...

  1. encourage more Islanders to join the "Island Net" so they learn about future tests and participate,
  2. encourage those who have pairs of radios to loan out the 2nd (just for the test) to those who do not have one - yet, then conduct your own radio tests with them - before, during and after the bi-annual radio test, and
  3. encourage Islanders (particularly your neighbors and friends) to purchase radios (see Communication gear) and conduct your own radio tests with them.

If you both can talk to each other, it should give you some satisfaction in knowing that you might be able to help them or they help you in case of an emergency or disaster.

Keep your radios and extra batteries and chargers in or near your Grab and Go Bag.

Tell your spouse or other family members where your radios are and how to use them?

The next tests are on the 2nd Wed. in January and July: 2014: 1/8/2014; 7/9/2014

Thank you for participating.

Pete - Member of the (MI Emergency Preparedness) MIEP Team


Test results XLS

  • Click here to view an XLS spreadsheet of test results.

2-way radio test results on a Google map