Say Hello to the Two Way Radio


You’re in the middle of a storm, earthquake, or blackout, and SPLAT! Just like that, your phone breaks. Now what?

How do you call for help, stay up to date with vital information and alerts, and most importantly, reach out to your loved ones?

Turn on your Two Way Radio!

In the age of smart-everything, you might not even know what that is.

Developed during the Second World War, two-way radios are handheld, compact gadgets with extensive range that both transmit and receive radio waves. There is a speaker built into one end, a microphone on the other, and an antenna mounted on the top. It’s main purpose is for one-on-one communication and works by having two or more similar devices tuned into the same channel.

A lot has changed since WWII, and also long gone are the days when two-way radios were reserved just for kids or first responders.

Thanks to emerging technology, now two-way radios have become accessible, affordable, reliable and easy to use, making them a must-have for your emergency communication and preparedness kit.

In fact, the global walkie talkie market is expected to expand considerably in the coming years with some predictions even as high as USD 2.10 billion from 2020-2024 alone. All of this to say, you’re not alone in your desire to amp up your readiness game.

Now, some real talkie...

Before you start thinking you don’t need a two-radio because Siri, Alexa, and Google will solve everything, let’s dig into some common misconceptions: 

During an emergency I’ll just use my phone.”

Yes, phones are an excellent method of communication. However, this is only the case if they are fully charged, have adequate signal strength, and have access to the Internet. During a disaster, it's very common for cell towers and power grids to be negatively impacted - either by physical damage or sudden surges in call volumes from people frantically seeking help or connecting with loved ones.

Take for example, Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Even after the storm, 1 in 4 people’s cell phones were basically useless across 10 states. Five years later during Hurricane Harvey in 2017, not much had changed - many places in Texas lost 95% of cell service.

In other words, cell phones fail us when we need them the most. Thankfully, two-way radios will continue working even if cellphone towers and internet access is impaired.

Ugh, Radios are too expensive!”


Two way radios are significantly more durable and cheaper than your average smartphone. When it comes to your survival, it’s a one time investment that you won’t regret.

“Radios have all kinds of complicated buttons and a weird antenna.”

It’s no coincidence that the walkie talkie is often associated with kids having fun and playing “war” around the neighborhood. That’s because they’re relatively easy to operate.

Once you tune into the same channel, all you gotta do is push just one button to talk to the other person, saving you the trouble of scrolling through a contacts list on a cellphone.

Plus, if you’re afraid that your voice won’t be heard clearly, remember these were designed originally for war. Therefore, most walkie talkies actually include features that reduce wind noise and allow resistance to vibration, extreme temperatures, and wet conditions making your beautiful voice as clear as can be!

“They’re heavy and clunky and don’t match my outfit.”

Okay, you’re not wrong.

The first walkie talkie that was used in the early 1920s was so large that it had to be carried in a backpack! Crazy, right?

Luckily, thanks to years of technological advances, you can now get two-way radios that are lightweight and compact with some that are as small as the palm of your hand without compromising its key functionalities - or your outfit either!

Plus, almost all meet military and IP specifications so they are dust proof, water resistant, waterproof and are less likely to crack or break when dropped, making them suitable for any natural hazard that may come your way. So, next time you’ve got a MAYDAY MAYDAY situation on your hands, how about try using our brand new Kenwood Collection?

Kenwood PKT-23:
At only 3.9oz, smaller than a credit card, the PKT-23, with four pre-programmed channels, is truly one of the smallest and lightest two-way radios out there. However, don’t let its miniature size fool you. It is IP54 rated, meaning that it is splashproof and virtually dustproof. It also comes with a 3.5mm audio jack for added privacy and hands free operation. In addition, it may be small, but it is powerful with up to 15 hours of battery life and a range of up to 5 miles on flat ground and 17 floors in a high rise building.

Kenwood TK-3230DX
Coming in at a mere 5.5oz, the TK-3230DX is known for distinctively ergonomic form that’s handy to hold and easy to operate. Beyond it’s looks, this bad boy is extremely strong. It is IP52 rated, meaning that it is water resistant, perfect for hurricanes, thunderstorms, and floods, and has a battery life of up to 18 hours! In addition, you have greater flexibility with six pre-programmed channels. Plus, like the PKT-23, it has a wide range of up to 5 miles on flat ground and 17 floors in a high rise building. Finally, our favorite feature is that it has a built in VOX. This means that you can use your radio hands-free. When this mode is activated, the radio’s mic will be on at all times, but will transmit messages when it picks up the sound of your voice.

Kenwood NX-P500
Unlike the other models above, with a slim and comfortable design, at 5.6oz, the NX-P500 is a top favorite due to its mixed mode capability allowing for both digital and analog communications and its loud audio (750mW). It is IP67 rated, meaning that it is both dust and waterproof, making it ideal for any extreme weather event. With six pre-programmed channels and up to 15.5 hours of battery life, you can count on this radio to stay in touch with your loved ones. Plus, it also has a built in VOX making it ideal for hands-free operation.

Although disasters can be stressful and potentially dangerous, you’ll feel much better knowing you have a reliable form of emergency communication. Plus, who doesn’t love an added layer of fun to playing spies, superheroes, and even hide and seek with the kids?

Well, what are you waiting for? For more tips and tricks on how to use your radio, check out the harbor app today.

Until then, no matter what, don’t worry, be ready - OVER & OUT.