The new and improved the Baofeng UV5RE
Baofeng UV-5REThe new and improved Baofeng UV5RE for 2013. Now with improved menus and easier computer compatibility making it easier than ever to program in your favorites frequencies.
The Baofeng UV-5RE transmit/ receives from 136 to 170 MHZ and 400 to 480 MHZ making it usable for every service within that range, including the Family Radio service (FRS) and the Marine bands. It can also be used as a way to monitor your local police department and fire departments or used in service for these agencies.
Baofeng UV-5RE emergency radio.
The Baofeng UV-5rE radio is a great addition to your emergency Grab N Go bag when the SHTF and you are mobilizing, or just need an inexpensive radio for ARES communications. Although these radios are NOT designed for the Amateur radio market, they are perfectly usable. Just make sure that you hold a license for the band you are interested in using.
The Baofeng UV-5RE radios have excellent receive coverage, if you need to keep up on the local activities of your police and fire departments. Although they are capable of scanning, the rate is very slow compared to a dedicated police scanner. You will also want to make sure the you inhibit the transmit capabilities on the service frequencies.
Baofeng UV-5RE programming cable out in the field.
One thing i would recommend is to buy the package that includes the programming cable. Although they have made it easier to program, you still need a PHD to enter the desired frequencies. You should at the very least be able to program the Baofeng UV-5RE radio from the keypad so that you can enter and use emergency frequencies when on the go. You may not always have a computer around when out in the field.