Category Archives: Communications

Top 12 Things to Listen to During an Emergency with your Police Scanner Radio

During an emergency situation such as a hurricane, tornado, terrorist attack or nuclear emergency, access to information and knowing what’s going on around you can save your life. When traditional communication like phone, internet and TV are not available, police scanner radios are a popular way to stay informed. While the type of emergency (tornado vs. nuclear disaster) certainly determines what you’ll listen to, a police scanner will keep you informed with unfiltered, up to the minute information. The 12 most popular things to listen to on a scanner during an emergency include: NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Agency) NOAA … Continue reading

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Disaster Preparedness and the Single Sideband Radio

Here’s a PDF of an article on using Single Sideband, often abbreviated SSB, for disaster communications. SSB is an efficient method to transmit information and you should take the time to become better familiar with this mode of radio communication. You can view and download the PDF here:

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Episode 234 – Off Grid Communications with the goTenna

An interview with Jorge Perdomo, co-founder of the goTenna. The goTenna is a unique device that allows you to send text and map data from one smartphone to another, without the need for the cellular phone infrastructure. Whether in an urban city or out in the field, the goTenna allows you to communicate with others goTenna users. In this interview, Jorge and I discuss the abilities of using the goTenna and your smartphone.

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Episode 189 – Carrington Non-Event, The Coming Pandemic, To Ham or Not To Ham

-= PODCAST TOPICS =- Carrington-level event near miss – False! Notes for this section: Recently, EMPAct America released a statement that we had a near miss of a Carrington-level event: “There had been a near miss about two weeks ago, a Carrington-class coronal mass ejection crossed the orbit of the Earth and basically just missed us,” said Peter Vincent Pry. Turns out, this was wrong. What was he thinking? The news that we had a near-miss in inaccurate. In a newsletter from, they had this to say about the Carrington-sized near-miss event: QUIET SUN: Many readers are asking about … Continue reading

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Episode 188 – Gun Rules, Lethal Force Follow Up and Information Privacy

-= PODCAST TOPICS =- Data Security and Privacy Notes for this section: Encrypting your communications Tails, The Amnesic Incognito Live System Anonymous searching – There are also browser plugins that can alert you to tracking as well as block these. attempts 4 Gun Safety Rules Notes for this section: Good reminder All gun accidents break one of these rules.  If you follow these rules, you will never have an accident. ALWAYS treat every weapon as if it is loaded. NEVER put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to fire. NEVER point the weapon at anything … Continue reading

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What Can We Expect in a Disaster or Major Emergency

When I was in EmComm (Emergency Communications), there was a list that was passed around as a way of helping emergency coordinators make better plans for disasters. I originally found the information online here:, though now it seems this page exists here: The following list is primarily for emergency communicators, but it’s applicable to all emergency situations. It’s point-of-view is that of the emergency rescuers and coordinators, but you can easily extrapolate each of these to a personal POV and see how the reality and the plan often differ greatly. The need to over-prepare is emphasized, whether on … Continue reading

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Episode 156 – Family Communications Plan, Part 2

            This is part 2 of continuing to talk about a Family Communications Plan.  In this podcast, we continue covering the various types of radios that are available, using dead drops and other aspects of putting a plan together.  This podcast was broken into two parts for convenience and not based on subject matter.  They should be listened to together, as they are a complete topic. Part 2 Continuing with radio types FRS – Family Radio Service Is in the UHF band, and is limited to one-half watt.  Also, you can only used a fixed, non-removable … Continue reading

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Episode 155 – Family Communications Plan, Part 1

            This is part 1 of discussing a Family Communications Plan.  The main question people have is how they can communicate with their family during a disaster or time when the phone lines aren’t working.  This podcast was broken into two parts for convenience and not based on subject matter.  They should be listened to together, as they are a complete topic. Part 1 Why you should have a Family Communications Plan (FCP) Communication options cell phone voice texting email How to communicate in a crisis? Typically, when there’s an disaster or other crisis event, people … Continue reading

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What Is A Grid Down Scenario?

A “Grid Down” event or situation is an event where the power grid goes down.  In other words, a blackout.  Typically, Grid Down refers to a widespread event and one where the power isn’t expected to be quickly restored. A Grid Down Scenario, then, would refer to any event that impacts the ability to generate power on a wide basis.  Further, because the more serious of grid down scenarios involve very long periods of time before the power would be restored, if ever, planning for it usually requires a combination of tactical and strategic planning. Electrical power is so ubiquitous … Continue reading

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An Easy Diagram to Learn Morse Code

And easy chart to learn Morse code.  I haven’t tried it, but it’s so simple to figure out that I’d bet that it would work. vvEsG.jpg 1,024×782 pixels Update: I decided to grab this image and put it locally on my site, just in case this disappears from the ‘net, as it often happens.  I’m keeping the original link above, but JIC it disappears, here it is.

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