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By August 1, 2012 Read More →

Communications Essentials

Evidenced by many recent postings, Disasters occur regularly, and just about everywhere!  I just finished scanning a series of emails from another organization, called Americans Networking To Survive (A.N.T.S.).  There was a tornado in New York just the other day.  One of the major issues for this emergency was NOT the supplies necessary for a person in the affected area, but to actually CONTACT this person to get details of their situation and needs.  There were many people willing to help this person, but didn’t know how to contact this person and offer assistance.

Here is where people like me come in to the situation.  I am an Extra Class Amateur Radio operator, here in Colorado.  We routinely study and utilize our skills to help others.  In recent emergencies, like:  The Waldo Canyon Fire, other Colorado Wildfires, and many similar emergencies,  We are there.  We provide the broad dissemination of information to many people, both in the affected area, and family / kin far away.

What I am suggesting is this:

Help yourself and others by both learning more about communications, and possibly becoming an amateur radio enthusiast yourself!  The first test you take costs about $15, and covers the fees with the FCC and the like.  What this enables you to do is get started in learning more about communications, and get active in the survivability of your family, neighborhood, city, etc…  You will need to buy your own amateur radio setup, but there are so many people willing to help you get started that you won’t get ripped off!  You will also be able to network with others to improve your own emergency preparations.  There are even small transmitters that fit in Altoids (c) tins! Can you fit this into your bug out bag?

An example:

Here in Colorado Springs, CO, there is a Traffic Net.  Actually, this extends to just about everywhere on the planet.  This is now it works:

At the prearranged time, you call up on the radio frequency and present your message, recipient, and address, and it gets transmitted to the destination.  Get this:  This is all done for FREE, by amateur radio operators! In emergencies, these nets stay active 24/7.

Key note:

Just about every amateur radio operator has their equipment ‘off grid’ capable.  This means that they can usually run it off of their vehicles, solar power, etc…  Therefore, it won’t be a problem if cell towers stop working, the power grid fails, etc…  These operators will be able to get the message through.

In the recent Waldo Canyon fire here, the local law enforcement / governmental system relied too heavy upon cellphone towers.  They were swamped and didn’t work for many people.  The local TV stations put up messages to their audience to not use their cell phones because the government needed the towers.  Us amateur radio operators have been effectively using the radio wave spectrum authorized to us by the FCC, for many years.

The reason I have only mentioned Amateur Radio communications, and not ones like:  FRS, MURS, and GMRS, is because these are good only for short range, less than 30 miles typically.  Many amateur radio operators have the capability to communicate across most of the country, along with all local and regional communications.  Why stop with these other equipment / frequencies (FRS, GMRS, etc…), when you can do much more with Amateur Radio?  The equipment costs about the same, and is usually of better quality and more upgradable.

Here is an important link:

http://www.arrl.org/

If you would more information, please check this link out and let me know if you have any specific questions!  -Dave aka ‘Polar Bear Dancer’



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6 Comments on "Communications Essentials"

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  1. It’s like you read my mind! Thanks for the info!!

  2. Kelly Mason says:

    You need to wake up Patricia

  3. Remember what happened at the Superdome in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina? That was a FEMA “shelter.”

  4. No it wasn’t, “Savvy Survivalist”, the Superdome ended up becoming a shelter after hundreds of people assumed incorrectly that it was after a rumor spread that it was the only place where all of New Orleans could go. The chaos that happened in New Orleans was the result of a population who CHOSE to be ignorant of disasters plans, who refused to ignore warnings & instructions given by authorities, and willingly accepted the actions of a mob. The Superdome serves as case in point of what happens when people choose to not prepare, NOT as a failure of any authority.

    • David Marshall says:

      Well, since this is a moment of bearing each others’ souls here, here I go. I challenge the author ‘American Preppers Network’ to list ANYTHING that the ‘Authorities’ did RIGHT with regards to the Katrina situation in New Orleans. I am talking about the ones who were supposed to prepare for this event, and the ones who were supposed to handle the event after it started. ONLY when the U.S. Navy came in to help organize the rescue / recovery, did organization take hold. I have direct knowledge of many things that happened with this situation. First, since this posting is about Communications Essentials, lets start there. The local ‘authorities’ took federal (and some other) funding to purchase communications gear for their needed areas. Sounds good, right? Well, THEY (the ‘Authorities’) decided to place this gear in the BASEMENTS of many of their buildings!! Well, as you can guess with the flooding, the gear was ruined. Secondly, many of my Amateur Radio buddies around the country tried to go down there, in an organized fashion (we have a group called: ARES, which stands for Amateur Radio Emergency Services). They were turned away by National Guardsmen who wouldn’t pass on to their superiors that the support “Cavalry” had arrived.

      Now, some National Guardsmen friends of mine, from Utah of all places, were tasked with disarming locals in New Orleans, not assisting in the recovery. When the masses evacuated to ‘higher ground’, they were shuttled BY BUS (contracted by the ‘Authorities’) to the Super Dome. Heck, some of these Katrina refugees were even bussed here, to Colorado!!! I know, because WE were waiting as the government-sponsored bus arrived and only a couple of people got off! Tell me how this supports the Katrina disaster: when a local auto body shop, here in Colorado Springs, CO gets a $500,000 grant (didn’t have to repay it) for support of the Katrina refugees? What, are they going to drive their cars all the way up to Colorado to get their vehicles reworked? Come on. Where is the sense in this?

      Where are you getting your information at, ‘American Preppers Network’? I, Dave, the Editor here at the APN, spend my waking moments searching for ways to help others. I am highly trained in my fields of knowledge and experience, and seek out ways to further this ability. One thing I am good at is getting through the ‘crud’ and finding the core issues involved.

      Finally, you, ‘American Preppers Network’ author, seem to have failed to grasp the essential nature of this article! It is about Communications and the crucial part it plays. Sure, more success will come from more people being prepared, that is a given. But in no way, were the ‘authorities’ successful in their duties of taking care of the situation. When they made so many mistakes, their good works were over-shadowed by their bad mistakes.

      My name is Dave, the Editor here with the APN. I back up what I say, and look through the smoke screen to get to the truth to help others. Remember, the government should be afraid of the people, not the other way around. They serve us.

      This site is dedicated to helping those who want to make better choices in their lives, and the lives of those around them. This site is NOT a playground for political rigmarole or to prop up those who should stand on their own feet.

      Enough said. We have a monumental task before us, helping this country get back on their feet. Lets focus on that, will you all? Thanks, Dave.

  5. Wow! Interesting Article. I am thinking that this might be a new study we take on.