One area where most preppers fail in their preparation is alternative communication devices. Too many people don’t think about the impact of a disaster on their ability to communicate quickly and easily with their family and other members of their party.
Assume that the power grid is working. You and a million other people are going to be desperately trying to get through to their loved ones. While you might not get a busy signal these days on your mobile phone, the bandwidth of mobile phone towers is limited.
Then there’s the specter of the power grid going down and… we don’t need to spell that one out for you.
Either way, you’re going to need a backup way to communicate with your family in an emergency. This is absolutely crucial in the event that you get separated. Nothing is going to make a bad situation worse than having to search for a small child who got lost during a disaster.
Here are some alternative communication devices you can use to keep in touch and help everyone to stay safe during a bugout.
This is one of the best, most reliable forms of communication you can have to stay in touch with your family during an emergency, at least over short distances. The only real problem with them is that they require battery power, but you can plan for that by having a portable solar power source to keep your walkie-talkies charged up.
The other big drawback is the range, but they’re very compact and can fit into any go bag you need. The main thing to remember here is not to go cheap. What works for your kid as a toy is not going to work for keeping everyone together during a survival scenario. So go heavy duty, have some kind of solar backup supply to keep them going and these are going to be great for short-distance communication.
Check out this 4 in 1 Emergency Radio Perfect for Survival Situations for you and your family below!
HAM radios aren’t going to be practical for a bugout, but when it comes to sheltering in place, there’s really no substitute. Unlike a walkie-talkie you can’t just pull one of these out of the box and know exactly what to do when you start using it. This is a tool that requires some training to use, so don’t be catching it on the fly after a disaster happens – you’ll be setting yourself up for failure.
HAM radios require a license and they’re also not the best option for short-term communication. For long-term communication this is going to be your best bet. So if you have friends in the prepper community but they live on the other side of the country (or the other side of the world), these can be great for maintaining contact.
The flip side of the long-distance aspect of HAM radio communication is that you might end up inadvertently communicating with some unsavory characters. So if you meet someone new via HAM radio after a collapse or a disaster, you’re going to need to be very cautious about what information you share with them.
Finally, HAM radios require a license from the federal government to operate. You might not care about keeping something like that above board, especially after a disaster, but you should at least be aware that you can run afoul of the feds if you don’t have your HAM radio properly licensed.
Citizen Band Radio
A citizen band (or CB) radio is another great way for communication over longer distances and doesn’t take up as much space as a HAM radio. It also doesn’t require a license, so if that’s a concern of yours, the CB radio might be a better choice. What’s more, there’s not much of a learning curve to using a CB radio.
One great application for a CB radio is to mount them into different bugout vehicles. That way everyone can stay in touch while on the road. They’re somewhat portable so if you have to abandon your vehicle for any reason, you can take them out on the walk with you.
Staying in touch is important and honestly, it’s not a question of which of these you should have. It’s a question of having all tools at your disposal and knowing what situations they’re best for. We would strongly recommend that all our readers have a variety of ways to stay in touch after the SHTF.
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