People across the US make about 240 million 911 calls each year. Whether you operate a police team that responds to these calls or an emergency relief program to help people in natural disasters, emergency communication devices are a critical part of your everyday operations.

Here, we’re going to talk about some of the most critical things you need to invest in for remote communications. Read on to optimize your operations as a government enterprise responding to emergencies.

1. Walkie-Talkies

Walkie-talkies are the most basic communication devices for emergency response teams. They’re small and easy to carry while in the field. They also are high-quality additions to any emergency kit because they don’t require a network connection.

The average range for a walkie-talkie is about three miles. They also are secure modes of communication because they don’t store any information on them. You can set the device to block out other devices besides the recipients’ to protect your conversations, which is especially critical at crime scenes.

However, walkie-talkies have a very limited range compared to some other communications technologies. If you’re working with many police officers or other officials over several miles, you will need something with a bit more range and connectivity.

That’s where mobile command centers come into play.

2. Mobile Command Centers

MERC mobile command centers are spaces designed to provide a centralized base of operations for law enforcement and other disaster relief organizations. They’re portable and offer a lot of different communication channels. 

A mobile command center gives teams a climate-controlled and safe place to stay while working with officers on the field to achieve goals. LED lighting, overhead storage cabinets, equipment storage racks, a conference table, kitchen spaces, and bathrooms keep people comfortable even during long shifts in emergencies.

They come equipped with internet service and data so that those based in the center can access real-time information and convey it to their teams. They also have Hosted VoIP services for two-way voice communications and satellite services for phone calls.

3. CB Radios

A CB radio runs on a power source rather than batteries. Your field workers will need to carry a solar generator with them so that they can access the electricity needed to charge them. A mobile command center is a great place to recharge them.

These radios have a longer range than walkie-talkies offer. They’re also extremely secure because only other people with CB radios can access the voice packets that your team is sending through them.

However, CB radios should be a secondary communication method rather than a primary one. You’ll have a difficult time calling for help from outside teams or governmental employees. They’re strictly for predetermined teams trying to communicate within a given range.

4. Police Scanner Radios

Police scanner radios are slightly heavier than standard walkie-talkies, and they’re a bit more expensive as well. However, they’re still small enough to fit in a bag or on a belt. They’re battery-operated and easy to use.

Unfortunately, though, these are not equipped for two-way communications. They only allow people at a mobile command center to reach out one way to those doing fieldwork. Officers and disaster relief teams cannot communicate with the command center in return.

5. HAM Radios

Like police scanner radios, HAM radios have a range of about 20 miles. They also only weigh about 9 oz instead of 12, making them more portable.

Unlike police scanner radios, though, HAM devices are equipped for 2-way communication. They’re a bit more expensive than walkie-talkies or police scanners, but they perform more functions and have great range.

HAM radios can be a life-or-death matter for those responding to emergencies in real time, so make sure to keep some in your mobile command center and give everyone on your team an easy-to-access HAM radio.

6. LTE Service for Emergency Communication Devices

Speaking of the mobile command center, LTE service is essential for those staying there. This is because network connectivity depends on network availability, bandwidth, and cost. 

LTE solutions work because of a router installed within the command center. This router’s functionality is enhanced with roof-mounted (or mast-mounted) antennas. This structure means that it can support several different SIM cards and give you a backup if one goes out of service.

7. Satellite Phones

Satellite phones also let people communicate over an extremely long distance. Their unlimited range means that your mobile command team can talk with relief employees who live in other counties or even different states. They offer two-way communication and serve as a reliable method of giving orders and answering questions.

The only downside of satellite phones is their price since they can be worth almost $2,000. However, well-funded government organizations may want to invest in these devices anyway. Using them can be a matter of life and death for the teams you deploy and the people around them in emergency situations.

However, make sure that you give carriers a solar generator. The battery life of a satellite phone is only about 3.5 hours, so you’ll need a way for them to charge it for continued use.

8. Computers and Tablets

Those stationed at a mobile command center will want internet access. They can use this to communicate via the internet.

However, they serve the greater purpose of providing constant weather and news updates. Commanders can open various tabs on these devices to get real-time information to convey to workers on the field.

Both computers and tablets make it easy to type up and store notes as well. These notes are easy to email to other command centers, police precincts, and relief effort headquarters. Since you’ll have internet access via LTE service, you won’t need to worry about losing information.

Get Started

Now that you know some emergency communication devices required for effective law enforcement or disaster relief, it’s time to begin setting up your mobile command center in case of an emergency.

Comprehensive Communication Services offers portable devices for teams to interact and receive news. We also rent out physical command centers and air shelters to help you stay safe in combat zones, during active criminal investigations, or on stakeouts.

Contact us online to learn more about mobile satellite services for government organizations and relief agencies.