Week 4 of 52: Communications

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With the assistance of Daisy Luther, editor of The Organic Prepper, we set out  to add even more information to the original web series, organize and transform it into a book that encompassed all forms of disasters – both big and small. With all of the additional information added, the title even changed toThe Prepper’s Blueprint to help readers understand that preparedness isn’t just about having a plan, it requires drawing out a blueprint to set a preparedness foundation you can build upon and rely on when the time comes.

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About the Prepper's Blueprint

The Prepper's BlueprintAcross the ages, in every survival story, a disaster of some sort plays a prominent role. Sometimes the part is played by the government, sometimes it is played by Mother Nature, and other times, the role is taken on by a random mishap. If we have learned one thing studying the history of disasters, it is this: those who are prepared have a better chance at survival than those who are not.

A crisis rarely stops with a triggering event. The aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. Because of this, it's important to have a well-rounded approach to our preparedness efforts. Due to the overwhelming nature of preparedness, we have created the Prepper's Blueprint to help get you and your family ready for life's unexpected emergencies. To make a more comprehensive, easy-to-follow program, The Prepper's Blueprint has been simplified and divided up in a way to help you make sense of all the preparedness concepts and supply lists provided. We have divided the chapters into layers of preparedness.

  • Layer 1: Chapters 1-14, prepares you for those everyday disasters that have shorter-term effects: power outages, storms, injuries, and evacuations 
  • Layer 2: Chapters 15-31 help you to get ready for disasters that turn out to be much longer-lasting: economic collapse, long term power outages, and pandemics, to name a few 
  • Layer 3: Chapters 32-56 prepares you for the long haul and a complete change of lifestyle, the end of the world as we know it: providing food and water once supplies run out, security, retreat properties, and long-term plans
  • The goal of The Prepper's Blueprint is to help you find freedom through self-reliance, and ultimately, to get you and your family to a point where you can not only survive, but thrive, in a world that may be permanently altered.

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    The following chapter is part of the free 52 Weeks to Preparedness web series

    Week 4 of 52: Communications

    We have all witnessed a “communications down” scenario when going through natural disasters.  One thing that all of these natural disasters have in common, besides the disruption of our daily lives, is that they are immediately followed by an almost total loss of the ability to communicate with the outside world.  Power is lost, telephone services are discontinued, and cell phone service is either non-existent or is so congested that no one can get through.  When experiencing these “communication down” situations we realize how vulnerable and dependent we are on the system that failed.

    Having alternate communication devices on hand during a disaster can help maintain some sort of communication, as well as help maintain a sense of self reliance during difficult times.  Have at least one of the following alternative communication systems:  

    • Wind up radios
    • Emails (if there is a power source)
    • Amateur radios
    • Family radio services offered by the FCC
    • CB radios 

    When making your choice, you should examine your own needs and match them with the appropriate communication system.

    Here are some criteria for setting up an emergency communication system:

    • It should be easy to operate.
    • Have effective range.
    • Have a modest amount of protection against interference.
    • Be inexpensive (low initial cost, low maintenance cost and no monthly fees).
    • Be readily available.
    • Be able to operate “off the grid”.

    Preps to buy:

    • Signal flares, flashing beacon or flashing emergency light. (I bought mine at a camping store.)
    • Compass for all members of the family over the age of 6.
    • Two-way radio.
    • Battery operated or wind-up hand radio, preferably an NOAA weather radio.

    Action Items:

    When a hurricane threatens an area, the city suggests families back up important documents e.g., personal ID, security card, I.D. cards for the kids, proof of residence, insurance information, medical records, bank and account information, and place the documentation in a waterproof container or reasonable plastic bag.   

    Don’t forget to include documentation records for your pets, e.g., IDs, immunization records, and medications.  Having this information prepared and set aside will help save precious time when preparing a home for a disaster.

    The Prepper's Blueprint

    Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

    Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

    Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

    This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

    Originally published May 20th, 2011
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  • Dale Cundy

    by far the vast majority of people do  not  know how to use a compass……   

    whats the point??   

    • Matt

      The point is magnetic north, that’s how to use a compass.

  • Janie Gentry

    It’s not that hard to learn the basics of using a compass.  There are books at the library, instructions online, or you could ask a Boy Scout to teach you.

    I have a neighbor who has been a hiker for many years and he is willing to help anyone who needs assistance with orienteering.  I’m sure there are people like him in lots of locations who are willing to teach. 

  • Teri Goodwin

    Dale,
    If you should have to leave your familiar surroundings you will need the compass to insure you are heading in the right direction and not towards danger or in a large circle. 

    • Cardinal Direction

      Yes, most folks can’t take a compass and map and navigate 20 clicks to within a 10 meter point…but the compass can keep them honest by just using basic cardinal direction.  You don’t need to know magnetic north vs grid north…just know which way is north as the bird flies…
       
      Don’t forget HAM gear for two way comm or satellite phones (expensive) but not dependent upon the grid..

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