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REACT Month, also known as National Radio Emergency Associated Citizens Teams Month, is celebrated throughout May. Initially, REACT volunteers were primarily responsible for keeping an eye on C.B. Emergency Channel 9 to assist motorists. After a while, responsibilities expanded to encompass media relations in the wake of natural catastrophes (such as tornadoes and floods) and even prevention in some cases (storm spotting). REACT Month seeks to appreciate and honor their efforts in disaster and emergency communication. Today, you can thank a volunteer you know or you can volunteer as well.

History of REACT Month

In 1962, Henry B. (Pete) Kreer was inspired by a sick baby, a broken-down car on a Chicago freeway and a January snowstorm to imagine using C.B. radio to get help in such situations. First sponsor Hallicrafters Radio and executive director Kreer were in place by April. Initially, REACT volunteers were primarily responsible for keeping an eye on C.B. Emergency Channel 9 as a monitoring group to assist passing cars. Communication after disasters (such as tornadoes and floods) and in some locations even before disasters (storm spotting) became part of the job description later on. The REACT safety communications for parades/runs/walks and other community activities have also become more visible.

Each REACT Team serves a specific role in its community. Due to the widespread availability of cellular phones, the initial purpose of monitoring Emergency Channel 9 for distress calls has diminished, but it is still done in some remote areas. When the need for CB 9 monitoring decreased, some teams disbanded, while others were able to come up with inventive ways to spend their time in their communities.

React Team members often provide more than just communications; they also assist with large-scale public events like sporting tournaments or concerts; help with traffic flow monitoring; assist in search and rescue; aid in search and rescue, and participate as storm spotters in the National Weather Service’s (N.W.S.) Storm Prediction Program (S.P.P.). The mobile communications that many REACT Teams rely on, however, are required for many of these duties.

REACT Month timeline

1962
The Founding of REACT

During a Chicago snowfall in January, Henry B. (Pete) Kreer has the idea to use C.B. radio to summon help for a sick baby and a broken-down car on the freeway and by April, REACT is created.

1969
New Sponsor

REACT welcomes a new sponsor: General Motors Research Labs.

1977
Highway Safety Break

In collaboration with the American Trucking Association, REACT introduces its highway Safety Break Program.

1986
REACT Month Takes Place

For the first time, REACT Month takes place.

REACT Month FAQs

Can a C.B. radio be useful?

C.B. radios can be life-saving tools in times of disaster. It is common for emergency personnel to use C.Bs to communicate when the infrastructure is compromised or nonexistent.

Is it possible to use a C.B. radio to dial 911?

CB Radios cannot be used to directly contact 911 in an emergency, although it contributes to enabling communication during emergencies.

Who was the brains behind the C.B. radio?

Al Gross is the man credited with inventing wireless telecommunications technology. Walkie-talkies were first introduced in 1938 by him. Citizen’s Band radio was the first of its kind in 1948.

REACT Month Activities

  1. Show your appreciation

    There are so many ways to show your appreciation for people who volunteer to help out during emergencies and disasters. Their communication has helped save countless lives so thanking them for their service can go a long way.

  2. Volunteer

    You can volunteer to be a part of the REACT teams. Volunteering is one of the ways they are run, and you can positively impact people's lives during emergencies and disasters.

  3. Spread the word

    You can celebrate by spreading the word about the month and the important work they do. You can share about it online and offline to let people know more about it.

5 Interesting Facts About REACT

  1. 24 hours

    Emergency calls from personal radio service operators are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week by volunteers who report them to the proper authorities.

  2. Crime prevention

    They participate in citizen crime prevention initiatives developed by the proper law enforcement agencies.

  3. Communication

    They communicate with other groups such as the Red Cross during emergencies and disasters.

  4. Proper use

    They educate on the appropriate use of the personal radio service to individuals, organizations, industry, and government.

  5. Hurricane

    The REACT teams were Involved in the response to Hurricanes Irene and Lee.

Why We Love REACT Month

  1. Safety

    They improve the safety of transportation by establishing initiatives that give drivers information and communication help. They also coordinate help to groups such as Red Cross, and local, state, and federal authorities, during emergencies and disasters.

  2. Additional source of communication

    To expand the usage of personal radio services as a second line of defense in case of an emergency, both natural and man-made, as well as to those in need. The REACT Teams use mobile communications to do their duties.

  3. Implement projects

    They implement projects aimed at educating the general population about the potential advantages and effective application of personal radio services for individuals, businesses, and governments.

REACT Month dates

YearDateDay
2023May 1Monday
2024May 1Wednesday
2025May 1Thursday
2026May 1Friday
2027May 1Saturday
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