Most of us think of survival skills and picture land, mountains, a beautiful placid lake, or a desert. The truth is surviving in modern society can be pretty dangerous too. We can all look to the summer of 2020 and realize that riots and looting can lead to fires and deaths. During the latest incarnation, a 17-year-old kid in Kenosha had to defend himself with a firearm. Previous to 2020, however, there were significant riots that occurred inside Los Angeles during the 1992 L.A. riots. A small minority mounted an effective resistance against the rioters and looters when police aid could not be found. While we all remember the iconic rooftop Koreans with their guns and vests, the key to their success wasn’t just firepower. The key to their success was community and effective communication.
During the L.A. riots, the mode of communication which the Korean community used was Radio Korea. The local radio station which spoke Korean served as a conduit for people within the community to share which buildings were on fire, which buildings were under attack, and where people were injured or in need of assistance. It is truly a unique part of history that seems to be forgotten when we talk about standing up for ourselves, our community, our rights, and our survival.
Communication is everything in a situation that is rapidly moving. It’s your intelligence about what threat is on the ground, it’s your lifeline to back up, and it’s your ability to find a rescue. That’s why if you’re wanting to survive anything you need to have communication abilities. The following are different communication modes and levels based on what you expect and need.
A two-way radio would be great for communication within a family or between two to three families. When we were children and played manhunt, each team leader was given a two-way radio and we split off into two or more cells with three men each. These are great for Recon missions to spot an enemy and quickly relay it to other teams. In an urban situation, it would be helpful to see where mobs of people are headed or leaving and to relay that information to others within your community to watch to help people get out of the way.
Another great communication device would be a CB radio. It doesn’t require any registration, just about anybody can use it including a child, and it’s very portable. You can take a CB radio with you as you leave your home to bug out. The range of a CB radio can be up to 20 miles depending on the terrain.
While cell phones aren’t high on the list of must-have survival communications gear, it is important to have one. You can dial 911 with a cell phone that doesn’t have active service. Throw an inactivated cell phone in the glove compartment of your car so that you always have 911 within reach if there is any signal. My children had a cell phone they were playing with in the back of our car which had never been activated and we saw a wreck. It was with this cell phone which had never been activated that we were able to call 911 and save that person’s life.
Ham radios are very popular within the prepper community and for good reason. They are more reliable during disasters. While a cell phone tower may be down the ham radio will still be going strong. They’re also easy to set up on solar so they can continue to function in a grid-down situation. There are some requirements to have a ham radio which vary according to location but the United States requires reliance licensing via a test.
Satellite phones are quite popular as well as they are more reliable than a cell phone but still function much like a cell phone. However, satellite phones are very expensive, and they can’t broadcast messages to the wider community.
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