In today's world, it has become very easy to be dependent upon modern technology devices such as cell phones, the internet, social media, and television. For those of us in the prepper community, we must understand that a time may come when these modern conveniences may no longer be a viable resource for communication.
How will you be able to communicate when your cell phone has no service or the battery is down? Cell phones require working service or the internet and a charged battery to operate. During an emergency, you may need to rely on alternate forms of communication such as amateur radio, family band radios, satellite phones, landlines, or old-fashioned hand-written notes.
In this episode, we will explore the alternative forms of communication that we have available in the event of an emergency!
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Communications for Preppers
Keith Thomas 00:02
Welcome to Typical Prepping the podcast for those who would like to start their own disaster preparedness plan, or those who have gotten started, but are not quite sure where or how to take the next steps. Each week I'll present a disaster preparedness topic with actionable tips and strategies that you can implement to start or grow your personal disaster preparations. Thanks for stopping by to listen today.
Keith Thomas 01:06
Hi, I'm Keith, and welcome to Typical prepping. In this episode, we'll be talking about the types of communication you have available during an emergency.
Keith Thomas 01:15
In today's world, it has become very easy to be dependent upon modern technology devices, such as cell phones, the internet, social media, and television. For those of us in the prepper community, we must understand that a time may come when these modern conveniences may no longer be a viable source for communication. How would you be able to communicate when your cell phone has no service or the batteries are down? Cell phones require working service for the internet, and a charged battery to operate. During an emergency, you may need to rely on alternate forms of communication, such as amateur radio, Family Band radios, satellite phones, landlines, or old-fashioned handwritten notes. In this episode, we'll explore the alternative forms of communication that we have available in the event of an emergency.
Keith Thomas 02:13
So let's start with some of the more vulnerable forms of communication that we have available.
Keith Thomas 02:19
First of all, is social media.
Keith Thomas 02:22
Facebook, Facebook has a notification called safety check. If you're near an area where disaster occurs, Facebook will send a notification to your device so that you're able to mark yourself safe. You can also check on friends through the crisis page that can be accessed from the notification itself.
Keith Thomas 02:46
The next one is the Google Crisis Response. This is a resource page that provides tools, information, and interactive platforms for both emergency responders and those in need of assistance. It includes access to Google Public Alerts, or emergency alerts, Person Finder, Crisis Map, Docs and Spreadsheets, Fusion Tables, Google Earth, and Google Sites. Each has their own special application and usage to assist for better communication methods and time of need.
Keith Thomas 03:25
There are also mobile apps available. Cell phone apps are not only fun for playing games and keeping the kids occupied on a long car ride. They can also help in a disaster setting.
Keith Thomas 03:37
Life. 360 is a free app that allows access to a specific user's location, and also contains a messaging service feature. automatic alerts can notify the user when a loved one arrives or checks in at specific destinations as well.
Keith Thomas 03:53
The second app we have is the FEMA app. This application gives users access to preparedness tips such as survival advice, emergency checklists, and meeting locations that can be saved to a mobile device. It gives the user access to weather alerts from the National Weather Service tailored to a specific area. Users can retrieve information on disaster recovery centers, and find locations of the nearest shelters and apply for assistance.
Keith Thomas 04:28
Our next method is our cell phone. Mobile networks can quickly become overloaded due to the massive increase of users and unexpected surge that follows a disaster. Be sure not to discount text messaging and emails as a communications method. Even if you cannot reach a person by calling them and the line is busy, a text or email message may still be able to reach the specified destination. This is Because text and email work on a platform that is parallel to cell phones.
Keith Thomas 05:07
The other option is a landline phone. Perhaps not the most popular choice, However, having a landline phone can be a lifesaver when access to cell phones or other electronic devices is limited or nonexistent. Depending on the type of technology supplied by your provider, it may be possible that a landline phone will work even when Internet access is down.
Keith Thomas 05:33
Now, these options are fine. Unless the power grid goes down, cell phone towers are knocked out, or the lines that carry the signal are physically destroyed. All the aforementioned options require some type of physical infrastructure that requires electrical power or other physical components to carry digital or analog signals. If your cell phone battery dies, or the power grid goes down, cell phone use and the internet may not work. Most landline phones have been converted to digital technology, which may require computer access from a commercial phone company. However, if the physical transmission lines have been severed, a landline phone will no longer work.
Keith Thomas 06:24
A more viable option is satellite phones. Satellite phones are great for disaster communication, offering voice, short messaging service, and internet access. They use orbiting satellites completely bypassing any damaged equipment and systems resulting from a disaster. Satellite phones are cost-prohibitive for many of us, it is possible to purchase an emergency-only calling plan.
Keith Thomas 06:52
The next option would be two-way radios. A two-way radio or walkie-talkie is a pair of handheld devices that can connect with each other provided both are on the same frequency within a certain distance usually less than five miles. One user can talk while the other listens and vice versa. These are beneficial to have if you or members of your group venture outside your immediate shelter or encampment to relay back information.
Keith Thomas 07:25
Next, we have the citizen's band radio or CB radio. A CB radio is capable of short-distance communications on various frequencies. It is similar, although more complex than regular two-way radios, as it contains more functionality. Because it is open for use for both business and personal use. It is a good source of general information and generally has an effective range of 20 miles.
Keith Thomas 07:57
Next is amateur radio or ham radio. Amateur Radio is similar to a CB radio. However, it requires the user to be a licensed American amateur radio operator, thus giving it a bit more authenticity to the information that is being regulated across the airwaves. Depending on radio tower placement, and your experience level, As an amateur radio operator, you may be able to communicate nationwide or even worldwide. In my opinion is well worth the time and money to invest into amateur radio hobby now since it can become an important skill to have during emergencies, or even in a "the end of the world as we know it" scenario.
Keith Thomas 08:57
Next, we have old-fashioned handwritten notes. If all else fails, you may be able to send a handwritten note or letter to family and friends. This can be accomplished by sending one member of your family or group to another family member, friend, or rescue response team to deliver the handwritten note that could contain vital information such as your whereabouts or emergency needs.
Keith Thomas 09:25
Other sources of communication that may be employed are devices for one-way communication. This might be an AM/ FM radio, NOAA weather radio, or shortwave radio. These devices will at least keep you informed of the current situation and are a good source for receiving emergency alert broadcasts.
Keith Thomas 09:47
Whatever sources of communication you decide to adopt, make sure that these sources are adapted to your family emergency communication plan. Also, be mindful all the devices mentioned require a power source. Be sure to stock spare batteries or have a means to provide electrical power to your device. You may also consider a portable solar generator or solar panel to provide continuous charging to power sources for your communications devices. Make sure that all members of your family or group are trained in the proper use and etiquette for the devices you choose for emergency communication.
Keith Thomas 10:34
Well, folks, that's going to do it for this week. Thanks for listening, and join me next week for another preparedness topic. And until then, stay safe and be prepared.
Keith Thomas 10:47
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