Suddenly, the lights go out. No power, no water, no phone lines. You’re not sure if it’s due to giant asteroids, coordinated invasion or biological warfare, but one thing you are sure of is that you’re prepared for this. Doomsday’s got nothing on you. You’ve secured a water source, stockpiled food and readied the generator.
But what measures have you taken to ensure you can communicate with others? Surely you won’t be alone in this apocalyptic scenario; you know you’ll need an assembled team to improve your chances of survival, and you’ll need a way to stay in touch with each other. So when the traditional lines of communication are down, what do you do? Let’s examine which gadgets work best.
Short Distance Communication
First off, preppers need to anticipate the different kinds of communication necessary in an emergency scenario. For short-term communication within close proximity, like when patrolling a campsite or performing recon missions, two way radios are ideal. The light weight and durable device is perfect for keeping you connected to your immediate group because they do not rely on phone lines or cell towers and do not require electricity to operate.
Medium Distance Communication
The ham radio is an even better option as it can operate with longer distances between you and your crew. Those who already own ham radios are probably tuned into government frequencies and can receive emergency frequencies. One drawback to the ham radio is that in the event of a massive electromagnetic pulse (EMP) the radio would be rendered useless. Another is that you need to be licensed to use one. Although, during the apocalypse, I doubt anyone will be checking your credentials. Be sure to have spare parts on hand as well.
Long Distance Communication
A solar-powered or hand-cranked emergency radio can be a huge asset if you need to communicate over long distances. Consider buying one that has NOAA weather radio, alerts and radio data system (RDS). Not only do these devices allow you to communicate over short and long distances, but they also can alert you of hazardous weather and public safety concerns through radio waves when it is set to alert mode, explains in5d. They also have various power sources including AC/DC adapters, batteries (AA and Ni MH) and solar. This way, you are sure to have a device that will work in all types of emergenicies including solar flares, blackouts and so on.
When the SHTF, most knowledgeable preppers and survivalists are going to have a satellite phone at their disposal. These facilitate reliable communication no matter the circumstances. Sat phones offer the strongest signal available, which is crucial if you are lost, in danger or in need of back-up. It’s used by recreation globetrotters and combat journalists alike.
So when the SHTF, do not overlook the need to establish reliable communication. Plan for the worst by prepping with the best tools. Depending on the catastrophic event that brings down the grid, you may need different types of communication devices, so be sure to cover your bases.