As a survivalist, one of the most important things to prepare for is how to have a way to communicate during emergency situations. You need to consider that your phone might run out of battery or you can lose phone signal any time.
Some of the more reliable emergency communications channels you can use include:
- Owning a portable battery pack to charge your phone and other electronics
- Using a battery-powered radio
- Using a windup radio
- CB radios
- Amateur or ham radios
Portable Battery Pack
A battery pack is important for charging all of your electronics, particularly your phone. Your phone is important as it is the most accessible way to communicate with your emergency contacts. As such, it must have battery charge at all times. That’s only on the assumption that there’s still phone signal during the said emergency.
One example is a charger that plugs into a cigarette lighter. Another is an adapter that allows you to charge your phone from your car battery. You can also use any other energy source that yields 12 volts.
Portable battery packs are also versatile enough to charge your other devices like emergency light, tablets, radios, and more.
A radio is an easy way to keep up with announcements such as weather forecasts and evacuation warnings. Radio signals are more reliable than phone signals because of the low frequency and greater distance coverage.
Radios are used to stay connected with the local authorities, especially during emergency situations. As such, it’s important to pack extra batteries with you so that you’ll never lose touch with the rest of the world. A radio is also a great entertainment device while you’re waiting for emergency response.
Make sure your emergency radio has an AM/FM feature. Other additional features include the public alert feature and the National Weather Service. Another radio feature to watch out for is the Specific Alert Message Encoding or SAME. This allows you to identify which specific areas you wish to get emergency alerts on.
A windup radio is just like any other radio, with the exception of its unique power source. This is originally invented by Trevor Baylis in 1991, with the goal of helping the citizens of third world nations get access to information. It was initially used to spread awareness about AIDS but currently has applications in emergency situations.
A windup radio uses a hand-powered generator. It contains a magnet and a coil of wire that takes mechanical energy from twisting the crank. The coil will twist around the magnet as you turn the crank. Energy is generated within the magnetic field. This mechanical energy is then transformed into electricity that powers up the radio.
This is a very convenient power source because it doesn’t require batteries or an electric outlet. That means you can power it up even if you’re in the middle of nowhere. This handheld generator technology is actually incorporated in many other survivalist gadgets, from flashlights to battery packs.
To maximize your windup radio, you might want to get one that’s also a battery pack, a flashlight, and a radio rolled into one. The only downside is that it may be exhausting to repetitively do this.
CB Radio Or Scanner
The CB radio was created in 1945. It was designated a radio spectrum and was initially used by average citizens to communicate with one another. However, the original frequencies were hard to reach which gave birth to 11-meter wavelengths in 1958. At the same year, 23 channels were created to be used by CB radio users. It expanded to 40 channels today, with only one channel that can be used legally. This is channel 9 (27.065) and it is used mainly to call for help in case of emergency situations.
Originally, only licensed individuals were allowed to use the CB radio. Today, anyone can use it for as long as they underwent the proper training — this is one of the main differences between CB radios and ham radios. Their radio equipment should also be approved by the FFC.
As of today, the primary users of the CB radio include truckers, hobbyists, motorcyclists, off-roaders, and RV owners. That’s because CB radios perform well in mountainous areas where cellphones usually fail. That’s why they are widely used during disasters and emergency situations. Their signal is reliable and have wide coverage.
Truckers use CB radios to alert fellow truckers of the following:
- Harsh weather conditions like winds, strong rain, and heavy snow
- “Brake checks” which pertain to any possible cause of delay, like accidents or road construction
- Updates on when it’s safe to pass or merge
- Helpful tips to avoid confusing intersections or heavy traffic
Amateur Or Ham Radios
Amateur or ham radio is used for two-way communication among licensed communicators. They have assigned frequencies by the FCC both in the US and the entire world. As of today, this type of radio has a very wide frequency of up to 275 GHz. As of today, there are three million licensed ham radio operators all over the globe.
Most of these operators are volunteers on standby. They readily provide information for emergency communications, both for natural and man-made disasters. They also send out announcements for public service purposes, like special events.
Most of the operators underwent training to be weather spotters for the National Weather Service. They utilize this line to provide ground information to forecasters and emergency management agencies. This provide a head start in terms of evacuation ad emergency response.