Lifesaving Strategies for Staying in Contact During and After a Disaster.
Communication is one of the most important things that is missing during a disaster. If we become separated from our loved ones, the stress of not knowing can be intense. We also need information about the disaster and what to do next. The new book, Prepper’s Communication Handbook by Jim Cobb, gives a wealth of information designed to help you stay informed.
Several years ago, when we lived in Oregon, I took my Ham Radio operator test and became licensed. I was excited about learning a new way of communicating and joined a local group. Then we moved to Texas and I let my skills slip. As a matter of fact, I haven’t thought about emergency communication at this level for a while now.
After reading Jim’s book I realize that my family is not prepared in the area of disaster communication. We have only a basic plan in place and one that will not serve us well if there happens to be a major event and my family is scattered over several miles.
This book really is a must-read source if you are serious about being connected during a disaster. It explored the best options for using satellite radio, shortwave, NOAA receivers, GMRS and FRS radios, citizen’s band, ham radio, radio scanners, and MURS radios.
There Is Much to Learn About Communication
Which kind of communication do you need? Well, that depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Jim takes us through several scenarios and goes in-depth about the pro’s and con’s of each type of communication. I learned a lot.
- Do you need a radio to hear important bulletins – certainly!
- Learn the codes that law enforcement and military personnel use on radio scanners so you can understand what they are saying.
- How might a two-way radio help your family stay connected?
- Is amateur radio for you?
- What about online communication during a disaster?
- When will a cell phone work and how to plan for alternatives if it doesn’t?
You will find information about every possible type of communication and then use this to create a personalized communication plan to fit your family needs.
Creating a Communication Plan
Maybe I’m a nerd, but I found the discussion about the different ways of communicating to be fascinating. I really had no idea about some of this stuff. The part that brings it all together for me is the plan…I am a big planner. Getting information won’t be of value to you without implementing what has been learned. Chapter 5 is where the rubber hits the road and you get to work.
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Every emergency communication plan needs to cover four basic elements:
- With whom will you need to communicate?
- What methods will you use for that communication?
- When will you communicate with them?
- How often?
Jim recommends setting up a PACE system so you can decide on the (P) Primary, (A) Alternate, (C) Contingency, and (E) Emergency systems that will be in place. This will help you figure out the details of your overall emergency communication plan. It might work something like this. My husband works outside of the home about 15 miles away. If there is the threat of a tornado and I need to leave the house for shelter, I most certainly need to tell him where I am. How will I contact him?
P =Text Message. If he doesn’t respond then…
A = Phone call. If he doesn’t answer then…
C = Email to his Gmail account so he at least knows where I will be.
E = Call our out of state contact and leave a message about the situation.
There are other elements to your communication plan, but having just this one piece settled can bring relief during a stressful time.
Every communication plan is going to look different. Take the time to set up one that works best for your family. Prepper’s Communication Handbook is everything you need to put a working and effective plan into place.
Don’t gamble with the lives of you family. Take the time to put each and every communication tool you purchase to the test. Know how to use them in good times as well as under stress. Teach your family members, too, in case you end up away from home when disaster hits. Jim Cobb
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Finally, be sure to check out chapter 7 – Codes and Ciphers, that was a lot of fun. Even if you never implement ciphers and codes as part of your communication plan, your kids will love to try it. I have had the opportunity to review several books by Jim Cobb and I think that was by far, my favorite. I really did learn to think about a whole new level of communication and when implemented, these valuable tools will help to keep my family connected in a disaster.
About the author: Jim Cobb is the owner and lead trainer for DisasterPrep Consultants.com. His articles on preparedness have been published in national magazines, such as Boy’s life. You can find him online at SurvivalWeekly.com. Jim lives in the Upper Midwest with his beautiful wife and their three adolescent weapons of mass destruction. Read other PreparednessMama review of Jim’s books – Prepper’s Financial Guide – Countdown to Preparedness – Urban Emergency Survival Plan
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own. There are affiliate links in this post. Thanks for supporting PreparednessMama in this way.