MURS Radios · Radio Training · Coverage · Amateur Radio · Communication Tree

One of the goals in our Mission statement is to "Strengthen our ability to communicate well during an emergency." Basically, this means two things: first, the ability to communicate between our neighborhoods and emergency personnel, and second, to be able to share communications within our neighborhoods.

MURS Radios

To help accomplish the first, we're deploying radios to our neighborhoods. That way, if we ever again experience a situation like we did during the 2013 flood during which our neighborhoods were cut off into islands and many of us lost all normal modes of communication, we'll at least have a way to receive updates from emergency personnel and to send out emergency messages, if any.

We are using the Vertex VX-450 Series, a rugged, water-resistant radio. They are programmed[1] to transmit and receive via the five MURS frequencies[2]. They're also programmed with additional receive-only frequencies, which enables us to monitor various emergency services in the area, as well as the National Weather Service[3].

Important! For reporting an emergency, the FIRST THING we should do is CALL 911 through normal channels, for example, via landline or cellular service. We should use the radios to report an emergency only when normal channels aren't available.

Hopefully, we'll never need to use these radios beyond testing them. But if we ever experience another communication failure like we did during the flood, it should be helpful to have this backup communication channel available to us.

1 - A shoutout to Scott Whitehead at the Boulder County Sheriff's Office Communication Department who initially programmed the radios for us.

2 - MURS stands for Multi-User Radio Service. In 2000, the FCC designated the five MURS frequencies as license-free and open for public use. Handheld radios broadcasting on the MURS frequencies can transmit at up to two watts, giving them an effective range of up to eight miles as long as there aren't significant obstructions blocking the signal. In some cases, the signal can even bend over the top of terrain blocking direct line of sight. The MURS frequencies are 151.8200, 151.8800, 151.9400, 154.5700, and 154.6000.

3 - Info about Programming and cloning the VX-450 Series radios: Radios: Programming and Cloning.

4 - Info about external antennas for MURS radios: MURS External Antenna Setup (PDF).

Lyons Prepared Radio Communication Training

This training includes information about using the Vertex 450 series radios for Lyons Prepared

The trainings also includes a bonus section about using Google Maps for GPS.

Lyons Prepared Radio Communication Training

To view larger, click the Full Screen button.

MURS Radio Coverage

Results based on actual field tests. Tap map to view larger.

= MURS radio in neighborhood

= Other temporary test location

Coverage lines:

Green = Good

Orange = Fair (may require standing outside)

Red = None

Amateur Radio

Some Lyons Prepared volunteers are also licensed for Amateur Radio and have set up the Lyons Area Amateur Radio Net ( to add another channel of communication between people in Lyons, emergency services, and other Amateur Radio emergency communication networks, for example, Boulder County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (BCARES).

Communication Tree