4x4JeePmaNthINg previously posted:
"Yeah, it would be a bit tricky to make sure they know how to use a ham for emergency, the satellite messengers idea is interesting. It would seem a satellite messenger would cost yearly, not sure how much as of yet, but a PLB would be free beyond original purchase it seems.
I'm curious how long it would take for the signal to be found and your info relayed to some authority/family with the PLB.
Gmrs radios are just a walky talky deal arent they, Its been a while since Ive read up on them, but I recall it was kind of limited distance like CB.
Ideally something that has as close to a direct contact as a 911 call would be optimal."
A PLB doesnt have a way to specify the nature of the emergency. They are intended for a life threatening emergency such as a boat sinking, plane crash, or being hopelessly lost in deep wilderness. The authorities are usually going to assume the worst and mount a full rescue effort (unless they have additional information).
A satellite communications device allows a text message to be sent (or two way text messaging) to tell the 24/7 monitors, or friends/relatives, what the problem is. The response appropriate for a routine disabled vehicle on a nice summer day is very different from that needed for someone with a medical emergency.