Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Praxis: If your family disaster commo plan relies on cell phones, it probably shouldn't.

Earthquake advice from Homeland Security: Don't call.


WarriorClass III said...

What do you recommend, Mike?

Sean said...

I don't know what Mike would recommend, but I would say a plan that included at least three rally points, and an SOP so that when the SHTF, everyone in your tribe begins working it, and nobody needs to make any calls. When something happens, and everyone already knows what to do, it runs much better than yakking on a phone and wasting time.

Deacon Matson said...

Based upon this post from Mike a while back:

I wrote this:

Here is part two:

Cheap, flexible, and reliable. H/T to Mike for the original idea and Calguns link.

millerized said...

Just like any system, and I do mean ANY system. You can only push it to accept so many users before it will collapse. Infrastructure, electronics, economic....even the human body and mind.

The breaking point for all systems isn't all that hard to find if you look. Even finding the tipping point isn't all that hard to find.

The hard part is figuring out what to do to prevent it from causing major issues or killing you when it does.

Anonymous said...

Check this out.

Never used it myself, so cannot vouch for its effectiveness nor veracity of its claims. But, it may be worth a look.

Maddawg308 said...

Get a ham radio license - getting a Technicians FCC license is EASY. Some 7-year-olds have a Tech class license. Once you do, you can communicate with anyone many miles away, you're limited only by the power of your radio and design of your antenna.

The Trainer said...

Get an old rotary phone at a flea market...make sure it can plug into your current phone long as the analog phone lines are up, you can receive and make calls.

It works.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in commiefornia so little quakes like that don't bother me...what bothers me are how people react with such minor inconvenience. I did get my ham licence for just such occasions though. One afternoon in class, 15 dollars for test, 100$ for a used portable, peace of mind...priceless

Einherjar said...

Get your Amateur Radio license and start learning how long range, reliable commo really works.

The majority of "Hams" are preppers by nature and are kindred spirits in the coming troubles.

FRS/GMRS, CB and business band radios could work but their versatility/functionality is very limited and you will not be able to get any practical experience like you will working with the Amateur Radio Community.

Just remember, an experienced "Ham" can make even marginal radio gear work like magic. Whereas the typical FRS owner is doing good just to get 1000yd LOS out of their HTs.

Things that can be learned operating in the Amateur Radio community...

1) Intercontinental voice and data communications using extremely low power.

2) Field operation of stations using portable power and equipment.

3) Interfacing radios, computers and network equipment to provide Amateur Radio Email services without direct access to the Internet.

4) Desktop to desktop transfer of computer files using just Amateur Radio equipment as the "wire".

5) Extreme low power, over the horizon and hard to triangulate communications.

6) Point to point transmission of real time video imagery.

7) Radio telemetry and tracking.

8) Electronics theory and repair.

Getting the license is relatively easy and does not make you a sellout to the "Man".

Look into it.


Anonymous said...

Good comments regarding the ham gear. I used to have a ticket but let it lapse a long time ago (wasn't cost effective - for me - YMMV).
The way I see 'catastrophes' like the Virginia quake is that they can and should be used as test runs for bugout or shelter in place plans. See what does or does not work and amend plans accordingly.
As to cell (or hard line) phones either not working or going into system overload - while everyone wants to check on the family and/or loved ones - a day or two to let things settle down is at most an inconvenience - not a major life issue.

Female III said...

You don't need the HAM license in an emergency situation so why get it? Besides....if you do...your name, address and phone number is posted public information online. No thanks.

Nobody in our group of friends and family has time for radio chit chat. All we do is test check weekly and never at the same time or on the same day or even the same words. Doesn't take more than 5 seconds. Even if someone heard you ...and they won't be on your frequency, you'd have to really piss someone off before they'd report you. The FCC has better things to do than come looking for you over one person's complain. What happens to you if they ever would? A whopping $100 fine. Big deal. We opted to fly low on that. On a local level we all have reliable encrypted handhelds. And extra batteries. As Sean pointed out, there should already be a Plan A, B and C in place and everyone should have it drilled into them what to do. As a kid I knew to head for the church in any emergency and stay there. Even if it is a rubble that is where I would expect to find or be found.

Anonymous said...

I have this to say about hams - I wouldn't rely on them for spit if the SHTF. They are soooo glad that the government lets them play in their little sandbox that they will be the first to report "unpatriotic transmissions" when the balloon goes up. Heck, during the Arab riots/revolts one the ham forums they were recommending against repeating any messages from Arab OPFOR as it was in violation of foreign laws!

Chef said...

@ Female III...My thoughts exactly.

Anonymous said...

Ham is the way to go.
Speaking as a disaster responder it works very well.

Also, if the towers are up but the system is saturated, text messages will often work when voice will not.

Just something to keep in mind.

Einherjar said...

@Female III

"What happens to you if they ever would? A whopping $100 fine."

No the fines can be in the tens of thousand and include prison time.

Nice "strawman" though. I hope you can find a commo method that doesn't need practice, you're gonna need it with that attitude.