Need advice for 2-way in Sandy relief efforts

Hi, all.

I urgently need some expert advice on implementing a two-way comms system for the Hurricane Sandy volunteer relief effort. I’m new to two-way radio technology, so please excuse my newbie questions.

Looking for a system that could reach at least five miles so we can coordinate all of our field sites and supply hubs. I know that the Nextel/Motorola system only reaches about 0.5 - 1 mile, and I’ve heard of Verizon push-to-talk systems, though cellular service is still spotty in some of the affected areas, so not confident that’s the way to go.

Any suggestions for something fast + easy to implement? No time right now for getting a license.

Thanks in advance for your advice!

With this being a license free outdoor application, I personally would recommend a MURS radio. Two watts of power, license free use, and they are commercial radios so they will hold up better in bad conditions. There is several radios on the market that will work for this type of operation, it may be easy to find some used depending on quick you need them.

I don’t think that any system is going to give you a range you are looking for. Usually, the MURS and GMRS radios are good for 1-2 miles. You might actually get more range with a CB radio, especially one that is SSB capable.