I am going to tell a tale on my husband. You're going to find this hard to believe, but he is one of those freaks that refuses to carry a cell phone. He hates the intrusion it causes in his life, and abhors the addiction that others have to texting. He finds it rude when meals are interrupted because someone can't wait to return a call until after we've dined. He actually has friends who are unable to turn off their cell phones ... even when sitting in the deer stand!
Now, the rest of this story is that I DO carry a cell phone; primarily for the sake of personal safety. Since we are self-employed, and work out of our studio, we are together much of our day, so our friends and customers just know that to reach either of us, you call the one number. However, there have been times that we have traveled together, but apart--- in two different cars and for long distances. Again, because I have been concerned for our protection and safety, we have come up with a solution in case we get separated: two-way radios.
These handy devices are actually useful for other situations, as well. We have found that traveling across country, cell towers are often few and far between. With these radios, we can still communicate with each other, or our traveling partners. PLW has found them to be an asset while hunting, and if we're faced with a grid-down situation (weather-related, or civil crisis), they will be a valuable tool (except in the case of an EMP, when nothing will work).
And you have to know my husband. He does extensive research on anything he deems essential for our welfare. He compares quality, price and practicality. The product that he felt met all our needs was the Midland GXT Radio. We have had these radios for 5 years. They run on re-chargeable as well as AA batteries, and we haven't had a problem with them. The manufacturer claims a 36-mile range, but realistically, taking into account terrain and atmospheric conditions, it's more like 2 miles. One of the reviewers on Amazon reports being able to receive communication from 6 miles away, but that was on top of a 14,000 foot mountain, with no obstruction between himself and his buddy. If you were on flat ground on a perfect sunny day, you might come closer to the advertised range. But for many of the scenarios that we imagine in a SHTF world, they will fill the bill.
Another nice advantage of this radio is that you have the choice from among 50 different channels, for a security bonus. And they are light-weight for easy transport. Priced at just under $60, they won't break the bank, either. They come with earpieces that permit you to receive transmissions, without the world around you hearing your radio go off.
Overall, the reviews have been good on this product, although you will always find someone who has had a dissatisfactory experience. I can only report what we have encountered, and it has been all good. So just consider this as another tool in your preparation kit. There's more than one way to stay connected.
1 John 3:11 "For this is the message which you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another...."