The Importance of Incoming and Outgoing Communications
Communications are a vital part of any operation. Whether we are talking about military operations, business or even in a family; communication is everything. For preppers the idea of having plenty of water and food is part of the plan. Security, hygiene and first aid are all parts of the average preppers plan. If there is any area that suffers in the average disaster response its communications. To me this is very troubling.
Not only should you have a method for incoming transmissions but also a method for outgoing comms in case you need help when the phone lines and wifi are down. Aside from the immediate concerns incoming and outgoing communications are the best way for a prepper to decide the next course of action. In a disaster the scenarios will change rapidly. If we are talking about a complete collapse of society large scale events will happen even faster. All the intel you can get from your local area will be necessary.
There are many ways for you to receive incoming communications. As a prepper I think your best bet is to consider power source and scope. What information can you pick up with a particular device and how will you be able to power that device over the long haul.
Any radio that is powered by battery and some other off grid means is a survival radio. Whether you are talking about a hand crank radio or a solar powered radio these are great survival options. With these devices you will be able to tap into some local and national level intelligence. Both could be incredibly important following a serious disaster. Its important that you know what is happening and how things are changing? You wont get all of the info but something is better than nothing.
If you want to move into a deeper layer of communications consider investing in police scanners. For those of you who are uninitiated, you can use these devices to hear the police and EMT channels. On any given day you will hear some simple chatter from these brave men and women. When you are faced with a true disaster these channels will be alive with information that will keep you safe. Vital information coming from police communications at the ground level, as a situation unfolds, could really help your decision to bugout. Read more about buying your own digital police scanner.
Incoming communications are great until you need something. Once you have an issue, whether health or safety related, the need for outgoing communications becomes very apparent. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many avenues for outgoing comms at the local and national level. Still, if you prepare you will have options.
HAM or Amateur Radio
This method of incoming and outgoing communications is easily the most well known in the prepper circles. This method requires a license and some equipment to work but it is widely accepted as the best possible method for comms when the SHTF. This is because the radio frequency will travel even when phone lines and cell towers are down. There is tons of great in depth information about handheld ham radio in this article.
These are really only good for short range communications but they could still serve a purpose in a disaster. While you may find yourself buying a set that promises 25 miles of range it will only really function at about 3-4 at best depending on interference. That said, they can still be effective if you have no other way of communicating. Long range walkie talkies are great for family comms.
Often overlooked, because of our isolated way of life, the neighborhood meeting could be a great way to remedy issues. A cohesive neighborhood will care about their neighbors and check ins will be done even in the worst conditions. This may seem like an antiquated thing to count on in 2017 but I challenge you to look at this as the future of disaster response. The strong community is always what makes the news in times of disaster. I think now is the time to rehearse and get people on board in your own community.
Another tool in survival communications is the satellite phone. Now, these things don’t come cheap and are quite an investment. In a vast societal collapse you will have something that could get you in touch with outsiders or you could just have a lot of dead air. I think the satellite phone has a lot of benefits but for most preppers its a serious investment that should be well researched.
Measuring your Current Status
If you want to be good at anything you have to start measuring it. Knowing what you now know about communications, how do your current preps stack up? Its probably time to consider setting new goals. If you want to find true success in prepping you must measure or assess yourself and then set goals. For most of us we are falling short when it comes to disaster communications.
The tools are out there if you wish to procure them.