Disaster Communication for Preppers

Categories: Tech

Disaster communication is important for our survival. There is no way for us to know exactly when or where a disaster can strike. Advanced technologies can help us predict these occurrences but try as we might, nature seems intent on finding ways to surprise the unsuspecting population.

Just think of the tsunamis, typhoons, and earthquakes that we have witnessed in recent years. As preppers, we should always be ready for anything that could happen to our nation, our homes and our families. And we should not only be talking about natural disasters but also the unfortunate incidents caused by fellow human beings.

Bottom line, we should be prepared for anything that might come our way. This is not to paint a dim picture of the future, but there is no other way to increase our chances of survival than to have a plan of action for any disaster that may strike.

Here are some ways to stay in touch with your family and the rest of your community or to get help when worse comes to worse.

1. Cellphones/Smartphones: Your Primary Disaster Communication Device 

The smartphone is the first emergency communication device for preppers. Via13wmaz.com

We will start with cellphones, because almost everyone has one. While cell networks are often overwhelmed during a disaster, they still might help you make contact.

If your initial attempts to make a call fail, try texting or using your phones data plan to make contact.

As we’ve seen in past disasters, texting and even social media apps can sometimes work, even when voice doesn’t. A text message takes a lot less bandwidth than a phone call, so during a disaster this might be your best bet for making contact.

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2. Think of alternate disaster communication. 

Preppers must be ready and open to all forms of communication in the event of a disaster. (Click to enlarge) Courtesy ofSlideshare.net

Fromoffthegridnews.com:Make sure your family knows which method of communication will be used, and in what order. For example, the first line of communication is cell phone, followed by text, followed by….you get the point. This will ensure family members know how – and more importantly where – to look for emergency messages from loved ones. Also, think of alternate communications, unconventional methods of communicating with loved ones, such as:

Text: Text messages require far less bandwidth than phone calls, and even when the ominous “all circuits are busy” recording comes on, texts will still work as they operate on a parallel network to cell phones.

Email: Don’t discount sending e-mails during emergency situations as a valid method of communication. Email servers are located globally, and it’s unlikely they will all be dead at the same time. But where do you get internet access if cell phone service is dead? Oftentimes, WiFi service will still be up and running, since the cables used for hard wired Internet operate on different networks than cell phones. For most WiFi, you don’t even need to be in the building to access the service. 

3. Phone Booths: Quick and Easy Disaster Communication

The lowly public telephone can be the key to your survival in a disaster

Yes, they still exist, and most of them are on landlines, which are inherently reliable; most landlines have been operational for nigh on 80 years. There are even apps online that tell you where phone booths are located. Make sure you carry change for that purpose. Read more. 

4. Satellite Phones: The Ultimate Disaster Communication Device? 

The powerful satellite phone can help you survive a disaster. Courtesy of Iridium.

While on the expensive side, during a natural disaster or crisis, having a satellite phone just might save your life.

Satellite phones offer a couple of advantages during a disaster. First, they don’t rely on local cell networks, so they’re less likely to be affected by an increase in call volume. Second, even if the entire local cell network goes down, your satellite phone is still going to be operational.

Recently I’ve been testing the SPOT Global Sat Phone , and I’ve been really impressed with its ability to call from even the remotest areas of the backcountry. In areas where my cell phone has zero reception, my SPOT phone is able to call out to anywhere in the world. 

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 5. Social Media: the Disaster Communication Wild Card 

When disaster strikes, social networking sites can help you survive. Viawww.graphicsfuel.com

New Forms of “Real Time” Communication Emerging

In recent years, the use of social media like FaceBook, Twitter, and web-based connections as a method of real-time disaster communication has skyrocketed. When these systems are up and available to both victims and responders, the ability to communicate assistance, needs, resources, emergency instructions, and “real-time” situational ground reports is superior to nearly all forms of information gathering.

One of the greatest tools that have emerged this decade is Ushahidi, which allows the mapping and tracking of a myriad of resources, needs, and the emergency status of both victims and responders. Created by spontaneous, international, all-volunteer programming teams, Ushahidi’s use for mapping in recent earthquakes (such as Haiti, New Zealand, and Japan) has proven to be invaluable in ways unimaginable only a few years ago. Look for these and many other social media toolsets to change the landscape of disaster information gathering in the months and years ahead.

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