Category Archives: Communications


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Electronic Disaster Preparedness 101: How to Prepare for Chaos

By: H. Davis Disasters – whether man-made or natural – strike in every corner of the world, during any season, and in a variety of sizes, which is why they’re so dangerous. Aside from the amount of chaos and destruction they cause, perhaps the number one reason why communities are affected so much has to deal with their lack of preparedness. Certainly, a case can be made that a lack of preparedness makes the situation worse. Fortunately, there are organizations – like food banks, shelters, and of course, hospitals – serving as key players when it comes to providing aid … Continue reading

Posted in Communications, Computers, Information, Entertainment and Plans | 2 Comments

8 Preparedness and Disaster-Ready Apps

(Ed. note: Social media, and especially social apps on your phone, have become a necessity in the prepper’s ‘bag of tricks,’ so I welcome this guest post from Beth on some of the apps worth considering.) A mobile phone is your lifeline: to the people you love, the places you visit, and the daily services you depend on. Increasingly intelligent smartphones even grant access to Internet search, serving as a portal to the digital realm and a mediator within the ever-widening “Internet of Things.” This is our totally-connected era. But in the interest of preparedness, there are even more practical … Continue reading

Posted in Communications, Computers, Information, Entertainment and Plans | 1 Comment

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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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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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

Posted in Communications, Defense (Safety and Security), EMP, Information, Entertainment and Plans, Light, Natural Disasters, Technological Disasters, Transportation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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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2012 Solar Storm incoming! (how's that for a 2012 coincidence?)

If you’re into ham radio, you’ve probably heard about Solar Maxima/Minima issues, and how they affect high frequency propagation, and the various other things good old Sol affects. This is for the other folks. Those of you that aren’t ham radio people, the effect the sun has on many of our systems is huge. Of course, I’m not talking about the weather – I’m talking about things like the GPS system, the power grid, computers, telecom, data storage, and all sorts of other systems that can, and have been, affected by “Solar Storms”. What am I leading up to? Well, … Continue reading

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BBC News – Call to improve password security

Hopefully, no one reading this blog is foolish enough to use simple passwords.  Even so, if you have a habit of using one password for every website and/or your passwords are simple, you should really rethink your digital security.  Personally, I use 1Password to keep track of all my website passwords, and I use its built-in password generator to create random passwords.  Since it keeps track of them for me, I don’t have to worry about remembering them (it will fill it in automatically for you – yeah, it sounds insecure, but it isn’t). Sites more prone to hacking (like … Continue reading

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