Poor Man Survival
Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…
A Digest of Urban Survival Resources
Using ‘Old School’ Communications Devices to Keep in Touch…Or ‘Can You Hear Me Now’
Anyone who has read this column for any length of time knows I’m not a fan of so-called smart phones. Using them enables bad guys and police to easily track you, snatch your banking and smart wallet information if you use it for such purposes, easily track where you have taken photos and in the event of power outages, cell phone hacks, or an EMP strike – you’re out of touch and out of luck.
During natural disasters [such as the recent storms which struck Texas and our east coast], cell phones and land lines service could come to a crashing halt. What you really need is an old-fashioned CB radio. We keep two portable, hand-held units with plenty of batteries and a power cord for use in our vehicles in our go-packs.
CB [Citizen Band] radio, is made up of 40 channels within the 27 Mega-Hertz band. It’s a short range communication system used by individuals and businesses alike, but are usually associated with truckers.
All along our nation’s highways, truckers are linked up through CB radios, and they’re able to pass information quickly between themselves, usually about traffic and police patrols, saving their cell phones to communicate with loved ones and family members.
Every Prepper Should Have a CB Radio
To tune into the truckers and other drivers, listen to channel 19 and occasionally switch over to channel 17. These are the channels used most by travelers.
Another important channel to know about is channel 9. This is the lone CB channel reserved for emergencies by the FCC. That means if you have a CB radio, you can’t call out on that channel – during an emergency however, you want to listen to it regularly to gather information as to what is going on.
Many towns and cities also designate a channel for local residents. Finding out your own town’s CB channel gives you another source of information during a breakdown or emergency. Through this channel, you can learn from businesses, churches, and community groups about any news they have to share. Your chamber of commerce or fire department should have that channel available.
Make sure you pick a radio that has a few key features. The main feature to look for is RF Gain Control. This feature allows you to filter out weak signals to cut down on background noise. Consider also purchasing one with a sideband or SSB. This will give you access to the upper and lower bands on either side of the usual 40 CB channels. Those bands can come in useful for setting up a family-and-friends-channel.
You may also look into two-way radios such as those made by Motorola and sold at Walmart. Some offer a range of up to 50- miles but do not offer the emergency bands that CB radios offer. Other, new devices say they reach a larger radius and charge from your computer, etc. but cost up to $250 a pair. I just picked up a pair of working CBs with auto power plug-ins for $5!
There are plenty of reasons to take preventive measures so that you don’t find yourself in an emergency situation, but what can you do? One of the first steps that should be taken is to complete a survival skills inventory to assess your individual strengths and weaknesses or those of your group. On top of the skills inventory, have a clear understanding of what the bottom line, no joke, needs for survival are so that you not only have them, but that you have enough.
Plan several routes to get out of your area in the event that one or more is not accessible. Consider using a P.A.C.E. place where you have a primary, alternate, contingency and emergency option available. This will provide at least four ways out of the area. Also consider having an atlas or maps in the vehicle in case GPS is not an option for navigating.
Plan at least two locations where you can go if you do need to evacuate. If these locations dictate that you must pay for lodging or other expenses ensure that you have cash on hand in the event that electronic payment options are down.
- There are Four "Preparedness" Stages of Denial
- Why We Don't Prepare for Disaster
- A Survival Guide to Catastrophe
Yours for better living,
Bruce, the Poor Man
A Final Note…
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A Smoking Frog Feature, Shallow Planet Production
I still have an emergency CB tucked away & occasionally listen to the Chan 9 broadcast while on the road to hear emergency broadcasts...a handy device.
They still work for me! Good post.
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