prepper communications

Tools for Prepper Communications
Walkie Talkies, two way radios, CBs, Ham Radios and more

How to communicate when the world goes silent: preppers will rely on walkie
talkies, two way radios, CBs, and Ham radios.
In a time of crisis your cell phone likely won't be working.
Certainly they  stopped working following the 9/11 disaster when
cell phone communications overloaded with data and few got
information through to their loved ones. What will you do to
communicate with your family or group during a grid down

Preppers know their life might someday depend on information
supplied by good communications: phones, cell phones,
emergency radios, walkie talkies, two way-radios, CB radios and
ham radios...

There's much to learn about communications and preparedness,
including frequencies, adapters, antennas and whether getting
your license is necessary. This article sums up the various
communications methods available for preppers. Here's what to
get before the world goes silent...

Communications Methods for Preppers:

Communications #1: Cell phone (radio waves).
How will you power your cell phone when calamity strikes? It's
paramount that you have a way to recharge. Solar options are
available and even hand-crank methods!

Why carry a cellphone?

  • Texting features: On a cell phone you can text a message
    and your recipients will get the message at their

  • Stored telephone numbers. Cell phones stores your most
    important telephone numbers in case you haven't
    memorized the numbers or you get flustered because you're
    going through a crisis. However, given that your cell phone
    battery may die, you should always have a printed copy of
    all the numbers.

  • Soon cell phones will have global positioning to enable 911
    operators to find your exact location, but today the
    technology is not in place.

Communications #2: Corded phone that plugs into a jack
For emergencies, every prepper should have a corded phone that
plugs into a jack (a landline). A Landline is a telephone
connection exchange through a cable, which may operate even
though the electricity is out. Note that a landline is different
from a LAN (Local Area Network), which connects different
computers together.

Why keep your landline? Some families have opted to dump
their home telephone and landline, but they shouldn't. A
telephone with a landline is reliable:
  1. Works after power outages: Your landline is there for you
    long after your cell phone runs out of juice, and an ideal
    prep for ice storms, tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes
    because it operates without help from the power company.
    The phone company supplies its own power and phone uses
    very little power.
  2. Best 911 help: Your landline connects directly to 911, which
    means the operator knows your location. This is not true of
    a cell phone!
  3. Data security: Telephone landline provides privacy not
    afforded by a cell phone. Cellphones are easier to tap!

Why toss your landline? You could save $300 or more a year by
cancelling your landline, then spend the savings on another
communication device or preps.

Communications #3: Emergency Radios.
A one way radio to receive ambient Weather and alert systems,
is a necessary one-way communication for preppers to own.
According to FEMA,"Battery-powered radios with short antennas
generally would not be affected," by an ElectroMagnetic pulse;
however, preppers are leery about this and prefer to own a hand
crank emergency radio. A good one to own is the Ambient
Weather radio, pictured immediate right.

  • Ambient Weather Radio: With this Digital 7-Channel
    Weather Band radio, you'll have the confidence of knowing
    the severity of the weather conditions so you can keep your
    family safe.  Ideal as an everyday radio too, the ambient
    weather radio is as ready to provide vital information and as
    it is to provide illumination in any emergency. And it's a
    with smart phone charger! The self-charge mechanism
    converts over 70% of your kinetic energy into stored
    electricity. Best of all it has Mini, Micro and USB charging
    tips included (Apple™ owners can use the USB cable that
    came with your IPod, IPhone, or IPad). You can play this
    radio with sunlight or charge the Lithium Ion battery. You
    can play this radio with sunlight or charge the Lithium Ion
    battery or use the hand crank.

  • Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio. The Emergency Solar
    Hand Crank Radio, pictured in red at the bottom of the
    page, is a high quality digital tuner provides assured access
    to news, weather information and illumination whenever and
    wherever you need it. This dependable radio, with
    integrated LED flashlight, offers a choice of self-charge,
    solar and external recharge power options. What sets the
    emergency solar hand crank radio  apart from other crank
    chargers is that you can fully charge the WR-111B through
    the USB/AC/DC adaptor with no cranking!

Communications #4: Two Way Radios and Walkie Talkies.
Whereas a Ham radio requires a license, a two-way radio does
not. It's the easiest prepper communication tool you can buy to
keep your family and your network connected should the
unexpected happen. Of course, your radios are only as effective
as you plan, so plan practicing and having them handy in several
locations. Did you know that a two-way radio comes in other
varieties? You can get three-way or four-way radios as well. That
makes it super easy to stay connected.

  • Midland Two-way Radios. Midland two-way radios have a
    range of up to 36 miles, and include privacy codes,
    direct/group calling, NOAA weather radio/alert/scan, silent
    operation, whisper function, SOS siren, and plenty more.

  • Walkie Talkies (low frequency toys). Walkie Talkies keep
    a range of around  1000 feet, which isn't much. Technically
    a Walkie Talkie is a two way radio and they are very
    inexpensive. Kids will enjoy the Nerf Walkie Talkie pictured
    right, for under $15, and they could be useful in prepping,
    but the better way for preppers is to get a quality two way

  • Two-way Radios (higher frequency communications):

  • Motorola Two Way Radio

Communications #5: CB Radio (great for the car).
Anyone can own a CB Radio! That's a "10-4,good buddy!"
(obviously meaning: message received, affirmative, understood).
Nowadays you can enjoy your CB without restrictions. Having a
CB radio in the car is an invaluable tool for emergencies and for
keeping up on road conditions as it includes CB and weather
channels. The CB Radio, pictured immediate right, comes with
everything you need to get started in a hurry, including a battery
pack for times you want to run the unit on six AA batteries and a
cigarette lighter adapter for battery-free operation in your car.
This portable CB radio features 40 CB channels, 10 NOAA
channels, and 4 Watts of output power. Companion purchases
should include, Cobra adapter and antenna.

Communications #6: Ham Radio
A HAM radio requires licensing through an exam to operate. It's
legal to own and listen to them, but it's illegal to talk and
transmit on them without a license. There are different classes
of licenses and different frequencies. When it comes to
frequency, the higher the frequency, the longer the distance of

  • Get your Ham Radio License: Beyond operating wirelessly,
    today's ham radio operators can transmit data and pictures;
    use the Internet, laser, and microwave transmitters; and
    travel to places high and low to make contact.  Ham it up
    with a Ham Radio License! Some ham operators use their
    skills to provide communications during emergencies and
    disasters when all else fails. Others enjoy talking to people
    across the country and around the globe, participating in
    local contests and building experiments. One thing is for
    sure: operating with a Ham radio license is a worthwhile
    prepper skill.

  • Ham Radio License Manual with CD: The ARRL Ham Radio
    License Manual and CD, pictured above, guides your hobby
    as you select your equipment, setup your first station and
    make your first contact all in the interest of preparedness.
    Use this system to study for your first license exam. You’ll
    be on the air in no time. Every page presents information
    you will need to pass the exam and become an effective
    operator. A highly rated product, one Amazon customer
    wrote: "I studied out of this book and the General License
    Exam book for 4 weeks and passed both tests in the same
    testing section. ”

When to get a license

Do you need a license?

  • Family Radio Service (FRS) is a free service for short-range
    use by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) -
    used properly, there's no license required. The two-way
    voice communications is small hand-held radio similar to a
    walkie-talkie. The FCC provides seven channels specifically
    for two-way radio users, but it's limited to a half a watt.
    Under even ideal conditions you can get a radius of six
    miles without a license. According to the FCC, FRS is
    licensed by rule, which means you don't need an individual
    license  to operate an FRS radio if you comply with FCC
    rules. You may operate an FRS radio regardless of your age,
    and for personal or for business use if you are not a
    representative of a foreign government.

  • GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) requires a five-year
    license to operate GMRS bands. In a situation where life is
    in danger, you are legally allowed to transmit on any
    frequency per the Federal Communications Commission
    (FCC) to save a life when there are no other ways to
    communicate.  If you are thinking of using a two-way radio
    as an FRS two-way radio without the appropriate licenses
    under ordinary circumstances, the FCC will hunt you down
    and issue a large fine and or prison time. Get a license.  

Happy endings...
Keeping the lines of communication open is essential for
survival. Make sure at minumum you have a quality two-way

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