{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Vote -1 Vote +1Stu A.
August 27, 2010 at 9:32 am

Get a Ham radio license – it’s easy as the questions for the exam are published and in the public domain. Then get a radio – for you and appropriate family members. I’ve got a hand-hald and one in the Jeep. Practice – learn how to use it. Don’t start the learning curve at the end of the game.
Keep those batteries charged! 73 and cheers!

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Vote -1 Vote +1Father Daniel KB1TRR
August 27, 2010 at 7:46 pm

I agree that getting a basic ham license, technician, is a good idea. There are often ham repeaters where there aren’t cell towers. In addition, if cell towers are knocked down, maybe a ham repeater on the 2-metre band will still be working. Of course the reverse could be true, a good redundency.

A sat phone is also a good idea if one can afford one or if a group is going to work together and you’re the person in charge of communication.

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Vote -1 Vote +1john
August 27, 2010 at 9:47 am

movement and communication is vital after a disaster but one needs to plan codes and movements before a disaster should occur look at katrina when a disaster occurs it s to late and your smoked and takeing important gear with u and learing to hump it out is a good idea to train with to see what works and what doesnt to prepaire u for the hard road ahead

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
August 27, 2010 at 11:22 am

Great point, John on the codes. I go into that in the SurviveInPlace.com Urban Survival course. There are a few levels to this:

1. Unencrypted communication. Anyone can hear and gain intelligence.
2. Electronically encrypted communication. Illegal on many frequencies & it attracts the curious and people with bad intent.
3. Using code. This also attracts the curious and those with bad intent.
4. Using code that doesn’t sound like code. It sounds boring and will hopefully persuade people to simply switch to another frequency.

The more common the frequency that you’re operating on, the more important it is to keep this in mind.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Skeej
August 27, 2010 at 10:46 am

Good stuff David, and timely now that school has started, and thanks for the reminder about school lockdown plans – and the parent pickup backup- I grew up in northern midwest and like most kids in that part of the country 30 years ago, I had to get up early to walk the 1.5 miles to high school, and still miss the thrill of walking in a storm, and can recall more than one time getting there to find it closed for blizzards! Apply that today to other problems and kids not having that kind of practice- well, …the need is there for the well understood and practiced backup plan!

Our home communication plan is very simple- wihout going into more detail on family security online- we started with the weakest link-

The kids have cells and we’ve trained them to carry and use them religiously- texting was found to work after 911 when voice was blocked due network traffic overload- and they know to use texting for emergency use only, family only.

Given the chain-letters and spam going around, it wouldnt surprise me to see a network attack on phones, like the DOS attacks on websites, and state sponsored hacks on other utilities, so having the ability to use it, quickly, and avoid the vulnerability to the device, might be what makes the text get thru when others fail. So we dont allow downloads of apps, games, or use of text for any but family contact.

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Vote -1 Vote +1nmacret
August 27, 2010 at 11:31 am

Before you all run out and get ham licenses and think you can communicate around the world with a walkie talkie, may I spread some sunshine and clouds?

Yes, getting a ham license is great. Marvelous hobby. Can work off the grid BUT you have to have prepared all your equipment for that EMP that could come with the next sunspot. All gear shielded… Your outlay for a cross country or ’round the world set up, with EMP shielding you will need to build yourself (it’s not off the shelf stuff)…rough guess $7000.00 to $10,000.00! It takes several years for Joe Schmo to get that gear ready unless he’s Mr Deep Pockets. By the way, who are you going to talk to? Everyone who talks must have license.

Thanks for reminding me to throw a rock at daughter-in-law since grandson has started school this year. I’m too far away to help.

Keep us thinking Dave!

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Krue
August 27, 2010 at 2:20 pm

In the event of an EMP or PAW situation, I seriously doubt the FCC will be concerned with who is operating without a liscense.

The concerns you are sharing should not discourage people from pursuing this vital skil set and hobby.

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Vote -1 Vote +1momo001
August 27, 2010 at 8:03 pm

During an emergency you don’t need a license to transmit. If you have a license during an emergency you are part of Homeland Security to help with communications.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Ernest
September 2, 2010 at 6:45 am

Amen the Regs clearly say in an emergency situation any can use ham equipment for emergency purposes. A not about EMP. A study that I was made aware of demonstrated that some equipment will be protected by mountains and land formation depending on the direction of the EMP attack and depend on if the equipment is on line or no. I need more in put from the teacher.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Mike
August 27, 2010 at 12:00 pm

My brother (and fellow prepper) lives about 20 miles away, as the crow flies. We are looking at getting a Single Side Band CB radio for communications. Can be powered by a car battery, requires no license and is relatively inexpensive.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Mike
August 27, 2010 at 12:06 pm

With respect to the Hindenburg Omen, John Williams, the man who founded http://www.shadowstats.org, says in this interview that he estimates a major currency collapse in 6 to 12 months. Considering how many times his economic numbers are quoted by the big gurus, this is very sobering. It could begin that soon…

http://coyoteprime-runningcauseicantfly.blogspot.com/2010/08/economics-interview-john-williams_06.html

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Jerry
August 27, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Hmmm……interesting approach for everyone here…..true, communication is vital….however, have a plan worked out on where everyone is to meet……I have small pocket mirrors and still know some Morse code……the Native Americans did this with great effectiveness……they didn’t worry about currency(as everyone here should know by now……currency is fiat….worthless…..as well as gold,silver, diamonds, or platinum…….lose the baseball card collections, dvd collections, coin collections,…….if you can’t eat it, wear it, shoot with it, shelter yourself with it, barter with it, and it has no medicinal value……get rid of it. Also, when you do massive stockpiling, you are setting yourself up. You need a fair degree of mobility to keep others off your path and away from your stash. Seeds are important as well as small livestock(i.e. chickens, pigs, goats…..and skills if you know them. There’s a lot ot learn and little time to learn it in!

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Vote -1 Vote +1JB
August 28, 2010 at 6:38 am

Lots of great information and I thoroughly look forward to each week’s updates. Communication is extremely important and has to be redundant. I don’t believe that the average person is interested in Ham radios because in the interim it is just a cool hobby. Preps have to benefit you now or else you will lose interest and your spouse (mine especially) will cut the money supply. You can use cell phones w/texting, FRS/GRS radios, and MURS in your current day to day activities. The idea is to keep things simple, this relates to both your operational plans as well as your redundant equipment. With the economic predictions in this weekly post it is more important to take the ham radio money (7-10K) and buy food with it. Once the immediate crisis is over it will be time to settle in and sustain your family over the long haul. My advice to everyone is to concentrate on life sustaining preps and leave all the high tech gear for later when these basic needs are stockpiled.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Ernest
September 2, 2010 at 6:56 am

First off I already own the ham Equipment and in all I have about $2,000 invested over time including my CB equipment. I do not trust that which I can not control. I was there we the government let us civilians us the GPS system they my choose to not let us use the GPS system. Cell phones are unreliable now when there is a break in the system you believe that cell phone are going to work JB?

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Vote -1 Vote +1Rich
August 28, 2010 at 1:38 pm

“With the economic predictions in this weekly post it is more important to take the ham radio money (7-10K) and buy food with it.”

I would LIKE to have 7-10K in radio gear…. However my 2 M ham rig, which will easily let me communicate within a 50 mile area cost under $300.00 and that was ith some bells and whistles. There are a bunch of radils out there [used] for under $50 which will do the same.

I understand that a person can make a decent Morse code set for under $50 and text several hundred miles hich is way farther than we would have to.

ymmv
Rich

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Vote -1 Vote +1Adriennie
August 29, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Hi all,
I’m new to this site so can someone explain what a “Ham” radio is???

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Vote -1 Vote +1Deanna
August 29, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Does anyone know or think that just a CB radio (like truckers use) would be very useful? Do you think that many others would have one? And do I really want to communicate with others?

My partner and I have two small boys and to be honest with you, we know that alot of people do not like our life style. Wouldn’t communicating with others just be putting ourselves in danger?

Also, do I really want to find a group of people who I may not get along with or who have no clue how to survive? That could put a burden on my family.

Questions, questions, questions.

Anybody have any suggestions?!?!

Deanna

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Vote -1 Vote +1JD
September 7, 2010 at 9:16 am

Maybe just being able to LISTEN to others will help you avoid problems.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Marcia
September 1, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Great info! My husband works 40 miles from home and I worry how he will get home especially if cars are disabled. I have thought about a bicycle being kept in the trunk. Is that just too unrealistic? Thanks for all the input out there.

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Vote -1 Vote +1charvel
September 3, 2010 at 3:36 pm

I think a bike should absolutely part a part of everyone’s stash. No need for gas, just a banana once in a while. I have a bike that’s capable of carrying heavy loads. Also, a good supply of parts—-tires tubes etc.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Curt Struebing
February 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Thanks , I’ve just been looking for information about this topic for a long time and yours is the best I have came upon till now. However, what concerning the bottom line? Are you certain in regards to the source? Executive Elite, 18a Greycoat Gardens, Greycoat Street, London, SW1P 2QA, 028 2088 0135

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
February 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Hey Curt,

Which topic in particular?

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