If your finances can support it (or your prep needs require it) , you might also consider either a satellite phone or a satellite messenger device. I have a Globalstar GSP-1700 phone with unlimited voice and data for $64.99 a month, and during National Preparedness Month (September) the satellite phone is free (with a one year service plan). Yes, I realize that’s $780 for a year, but that’s only around $2.14 a day for unlimited voice and data on a satellite service. I know that Verizon is always rated highly for back country service, but I’ve found many areas of AZ, NM, and UT with no service. That’s never been an issue with my sat phone. If you don’t need voice, the Globalstar Spot X with BT costs $229.95, but monthly service plans (that can be turned on and off at your choosing) start out at just $14.95 a month. [removed by moderator] As for handheld radios, I like my 10 watt Wouxun KG-UV9H a lot, especially with the cross-band repeat option and 999 programmable memories (we travel a lot). Having multiple states programmed in advance saves me a ton of hassle when driving all over the southwest.