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Communication lessons learned from recent storms

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posted on May, 3 2011 @ 10:52 AM
After going through the storms and its aftermath that went through the south last week. I thought I would pass on a few ideas that might be useful some day.These have to do with communication. We lost most cell service, the network was busy or the cell towers damaged. Electricty went out all over, no power no internet.

One of the lessons learned is our dependence on cell phones. How many people's numbers do you have memorized or written down. Common practice is to scroll down in our address book and click send. What happens when the batteries are dead and all your contacts are in a phone, it's a helpless feeling. Me and my family members carry a small phone/address book in our billfolds, purses and one stashed in our vehicle. They are 2 inches by 3 inches and I bought them at a dollar store. We store as many numbers as we can of people we know from all over. This is a good backup if your cell battery is dead and you can use some elses phone or find a landline.

We also have spare cell phone batteries that we try to keep charged at all times. These have been good to have on many occasions. It's easy to put them in your pocket and carry them with you. A few months ago I had to rush from work to the hospital to be with a family member. I had 2 spare batteries and was able to keep everyone informed.

When the storms hit we lost cell service but when my wiife and I went to check on our family members we had 2 way radios. She went walking in one direction and I went in another. We were only a few blocks apart and they came in handy. It was good to relay that everyone was safe and to keep a check on one another.

Have a plan talk it over with your family. Have a meeting place if all communication fails where you can find one another in an emergency.Store things where you can find them in a moments notice. Flashights, spare batteries, radios and of course a first aid kit where you can grab and go.

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 11:31 AM
Good points. I suggest that everyone have a printed laminated a laminated card with up to date "In Case of Emergency" numbers and information as well. It should list contact numbers and medical information.

Also I know that a lot of people are doing away with land lines in favors of cell phones but in an disaster a land line may be working when the cell service is over loaded or down.

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 11:43 AM
Great point about the address books. My oldest son and my husband both rely completely on their cell phones to store addresses, phone numbers and even important dates (not that a 3:30 root canal would be important in a bad situation..but you know what I mean). It drives me INSANE when they reach for their phones for something as simple as their best pal's phone number! I get that some people don't have the memory to store a million #'s but ones you use frequently you are too lazy or can't be bothered to memorize??

I have many many phone numbers and important numbers (drivers' license, SIN, bank cards) memorized and I realize to some I'm a bit of a freak but I have been blessed with a great memory. I still remember my phone number from when I was just a little girl. BUT, I do have 'brain fart' days where no matter what i can't pull someone's number out of my head. For those days I keep a small address book with everyone listed in it (even the ones I'll "never" forget like my dad's because you just never know).

I know it sounds simple but I've never thought of backup cell batteries..great idea! And also the landline suggestion. I know several without landlines..but also people that rely solely on cordless phones are just as much in deep doodoo if power goes out. We keep an old corded phone in a closet for just such emergencies, which I've encountered personally.


posted on May, 3 2011 @ 12:44 PM

Originally posted by Rede2go

Have a plan talk it over with your family. Have a meeting place if all communication fails where you can find one another in an emergency.Store things where you can find them in a moments notice. Flashights, spare batteries, radios and of course a first aid kit where you can grab and go.

Good advice. A pair of walkie-talkies won't set you back much and can operate at distances of up to 15 miles depending on conditions.

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 05:32 PM
i have read contradicting reports of gmrs handhelds some say 30 miles and 15 miles etc.

but they depend on line of site and terrain however alot of people set up a chain of gmrs radios and relay messages that way.

it always a good idea to have more than one way of communication for any given occasion.

grms and frs is one level

another level of commo is ham radio altho ham radiios do require a license to transmit a license is not required to receive.

another level is cb the range varies as well with it.

the most important reason for having multiple means of commo is simply this alot of people will be trying to communicate with others themselves.

in the end it all boils down to what you want to spend and what capability you want to have.
edit on 3-5-2011 by neo96 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 05:57 PM
HAM would rock it.

You can power a radio for days on a car battery.

All you need for an antenna is a length of wire.

If that wire gets blown away just stick out another piece of wire.

Tornadoes can level a town and satellites can fall from the sky but when all else fails HAM still works.

posted on May, 4 2011 @ 07:17 AM
reply to post by thisguyrighthere

I've been thinking about getting a Ham radio. I have a friend that has one and he enjoys talking to people from all over. This is the best way to talk when all other options are unavailable,

Midland sells a 40 channel cb radio that can be used as a portable radio. It can be carried around and powered by batteries or plugged into a cigarette lighter. This is a pretty good radio. There are several people in my area that communicate by cb.

posted on May, 4 2011 @ 07:36 AM
reply to post by Michelle129th

Michelle I agree about using our cell phone for everything. My son had his phone die on him and he couldn't retrieve any information and lost all his contacts. Fortunately I got his hand me down phone and kept all his numbers. I had an idea this might happen you never know when you phone might quit or break.

I don't know if this has much to do with survival & tactics but a little planning saves time in an emergency. I keep a phone list of friends, relatives, businesses and other numbers I call on a fairly regular basis. I update it regularly on my computer and print a copy and use a magnet to keep it on the fridge. My wife and I hate going through the cabinet looking for the bank or doctors office number, saves time.

posted on May, 4 2011 @ 07:42 AM
reply to post by Rede2go

Something I never knew about ham until I started the classes was that you can send/receive emails, video and photographs over the radio.

So you can send whoever a photo of your leveled town or an email or text message via packet radio with instructions or a "we need" list even if there isnt anybody actively listening for your contact.

So much neat stuff I never knew about.

And all with a much, much, much further range than citizens band.

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