What comms tools are you prepping?

  • Backup cell phone

    Votes: 2 3.5%
  • Cheap walkie talkie

    Votes: 9 15.8%
  • Higher-end portable radio

    Votes: 13 22.8%
  • Basic HAM radio setup

    Votes: 22 38.6%
  • Nothing - I don't like talking to people.

    Votes: 21 36.8%
  • Other

    Votes: 8 14.0%

  • Total voters
    57
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Something I haven't seen talked about much in prep is communications - the ability to call for help or coordinate with family, neighbors, or members of your group. Does your prep include methods of communication? If so, what are you using and why?
 
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I have no specific plan but have lots of options.

We have cell phones. I have a pair of cheap FRS radios. I have a Baofeng radio (should pick up a couple more) with the common off road channels in it. I have a CB in one rig not that anyone talks on them anymore, but they are still common. I have a high end portable for Fire/EMS/Rescue.
 
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TCB-29179.jpg
 
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All of the above, except "none"

Other == Starlink - my primary as long as there is an internet and cell (I use WiFi calling). It is the easiest and as long as there is internet it interfaces with phone, internet and even radio. Eventually it may interface directly with cell phones without going thru a cell tower or the phone system - as soon as next year, T-Mobile will start having their subscribers be able to send text messages via Starlink satellites without having a Starlink terminal, and from there to the phone system. Eventually they will have email & even voice via satellite. I assume it may also allow cell <-> satellite <-> cell. TBD.
 
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I got one of those cool guy radios that scans all frequencies all the time and locks on to anything by distance from my location,,,,,,so I know where you are, before you know where I am …..
 
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I have VHF/UHF ham transceivers that can be used fixed or mobile for news and info. If broadcasting during SHTF it will definitely be mobile to prevent triangulation to my living location..

Don't discount the need for comms with your neighbors. You will likely have your best survival chances by working with them, especially if/when trouble comes from the outside.

For community comms I have a bunch of Motorola IDEN phones I picked up inexpensively. These are ideal for coms at local ranges as they have security features like frequency hopping to prevent triangulation. Learn more about them here:

A simplified configuration guide:

Likely some of the links in these posts are outdated, so you may need do some searching if you decide to go this route. These phones, due to their security features have been used by military, covert, and even the Secret Service.
 
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None, if SHTF involves an EMP then all comms will be unusable.
Depends on how you store them. Obviously, anything that relies on a tower or repeater will be impacted or out of action.

If you unplug any receiver or transceiver and disconnect the antennas then per the EMP Commission's testing they along with vehicles and generators will be just fine. I keep my fixed antenna IDEN phones in an old microwave for shielding.

Since the power grid will likely be toast you will need an alternate source of power such as solar to charge batteries. This is also a reason my ham gear is mobile. Solar panels, fixed or folding are not likely to be damaged by an EMP. With a CME, all bets are off.
 
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I have VHF/UHF ham transceivers that can be used fixed or mobile for news and info. If broadcasting during SHTF it will definitely be mobile to prevent triangulation to my living location..

Don't discount the need for comms with your neighbors. You will likely have your best survival chances by working with them, especially if/when trouble comes from the outside.

For community comms I have a bunch of Motorola IDEN phones I picked up inexpensively. These are ideal for coms at local ranges as they have security features like frequency hopping to prevent triangulation. Learn more about them here:

A simplified configuration guide:

Likely some of the links in these posts are outdated, so you may need do some searching if you decide to go this route. These phones, due to their security features have been used by military, covert, and even the Secret Service.
Just reviewed those links, that's great info. iDENs sound pretty useful, but appear to be discontinued. Are there any modern alternatives that would provide similar functionality?
 
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Just reviewed those links, that's great info. iDENs sound pretty useful, but appear to be discontinued. Are there any modern alternatives that would provide similar functionality?
There are no other phones I'm aware of in the civilian market with the security features like frequency hopping. That doesn't mean they don't exist.

You can find decent used and even NOS on eBay with prices running from about $35 for used uo to $150 for NOS. These are very rugged phones designed for harsh work environments. I also replace the batteries with new ones. In addition to the model I mentioned in my write up I have some flip phone versions that can be be worn on the shlulder.
 
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I have a Garmin Inreach that could offer texting using the satellite network. Other than that, a couple Midlands. I'd like to grab a few Baofengs.
Eventually (maybe as soon as next year), Starlink will provide texting on a cell phone, via its satellite network. At first this will be for T-Mobile phones, but they are saying they want to do it with other carriers too. They want to expand it to MMS and maybe voice.
 
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There are no other phones I'm aware of in the civilian market with the security features like frequency hopping. That doesn't mean they don't exist.
Most cell phones use some form of Spread Spectrum, which, depending on the type, is either frequency hopping or time domain (TDMA) or frequency hopping via code division (CDMA). There are a lot of transceivers that use FHSS - e.g., Bluetooth and some unlicensed walkie talkies.

Granted, these are not "security features" - they are used to share frequencies.
 

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