How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Topics on Radio (CB, GMRS, Ham, etc), GPS, Smoke Signals, or whatever else you can use to talk to other people who are not within yelling distance.

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How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by EODguy » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:03 pm

NEW TOPIC:

I would like to ask how important or how much emphasis you are placing on
communications in you SHTF or Post Apocalypse Scenarios?

What are you taking or using? Is ammo more important or less important? What are
you doing or would like to do to increase your communications plan? I would like
your comments and thoughts.
Do em' do em' do the whole village!

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Re: How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by Whackpack7 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:31 pm

I am new (obviously) to this site, and new[er] to the large scale disaster planning with the cooperation of others. I am not one of the gurus of comm, and trust me there are a few on this site who are very very well trained in comm and can give way better advice than me. However, I feel that comm plays a very important role in the PAW. I feel that you will need a comm setup among your group members (your group individuals all having a 2 way radio or something of the sort if you are ever separated for some reason foraging for example), and also having comm to communicate with other members of ZS or other groups nearby.

You could use 2 way hunting radios within your group (battery dependent obviously) sparingly for ops you undertake, and something like HAM or CB to talk to other groups. I have no idea on the specifics pertaining to this however, someone will clarify on just what that takes with amplifiers and repeaters and such. I personally keep a set of 2 way radios ready to roll with spare batteries and a CB that can be operated from a 12 volt battery and antenna. I also keep my county and statewide fire department radios with a spare battery back. I have access to a set of 12 high band radios that were deemed obsolete by the local town police. They come in charging banks of 6 each, and the freq repeats however is no longer used. I assume that I would resort to using those since they are more suited for a PAW and have more freq variability over your standard hunting radio. They however are heavy and only have 12-16 hour batteries and suck power to operate the charging bank.

Someone with more knowledge, please stop my diarrhea mouth and write something that makes sense haha

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Re: How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by TacAir » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:36 pm

Welcome to the board.

If you have good comms, you m,ay just find that you need less ammo.

I've got about 1/2 my group Amatuer licensed, the others carry commerical radios.

Not only do you needs comms, you need a (wait for it)


a communications plan.

That plan will be group/location and to some extent resource dependant.

Comm planning is a subtheme in the work I have posted over in the Fiction section.
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Re: How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by mantis » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:52 pm

EODguy wrote:NEW TOPIC:

I would like to ask how important or how much emphasis you are placing on
communications in you SHTF or Post Apocalypse Scenarios?

What are you taking or using? Is ammo more important or less important? What are
you doing or would like to do to increase your communications plan? I would like
your comments and thoughts.
Both ammo and communications are lower priority than the essentials like food and water but important none the less. At a minimum, I would think an AM/FM radio is critical to getting news about what is going on. In addition to that FRS/GMRS radios are an excellent cost effective tool for two-way communications that does not rely on outside infrastructure (cell towers, etc) in order to work. My preps include a shortwave radio (hand-cranked), a backup hand-cranked AM/FM radio and a couple of pairs of long range GMRS radios.
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Re: How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by jamoni » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:09 pm

My essentials, pretty much in order:
1. Shelter
2. Water
3. Food
4. Fire
5. Medical
6. Commo
So it's definitely an essential, but not at the top of the list.
I have a 2 Meter HT radio, which is a pretty sweet piece of gear. I also keep a signal mirror, whistle, and glowsticks. The glowsticks, when attached to a string and swung around, are surprisingly visible at night.
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Re: How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by TacAir » Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:22 am

jamoni wrote:My essentials, pretty much in order:
1. Shelter
2. Water
3. Food
4. Fire
5. Medical
6. Commo
So it's definitely an essential, but not at the top of the list.
I have a 2 Meter HT radio, which is a pretty sweet piece of gear. I also keep a signal mirror, whistle, and glowsticks. The glowsticks, when attached to a string and swung around, are surprisingly visible at night.
What, no bullroarer?

or this real life one

Low frequency travels much further than high pitched sound, so - bullroarer or police whistle?
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Re: How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by EODguy » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:05 pm

Tac, I have an Extra Class and a MARS operator. I have read your posts, you are the commo guy on here. Just asking. I have an 857D and a small 2m/440 rig with solar and battery. I keep an old 170 in an old microwave in case of an EMP. I would like to encourage others to get licensed and get in the game. I also have a couple of old radios with MURS for the few in my pod that are not licensed.
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Re: How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by yale » Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:12 am

I really don't plan for a PAW type scenerio as I place it so far down the list of possibilities that I concentrate on other possible scenerios. Now a SHTF event might be a Hurricane Katrina event which I have personal experiance with. In that case I prioritize Mobility (having a car to get out of the evac area) and shelter (a place to ride out the storm such as a motel or friends home). I take personal documents and items such as blankets and clothing and extra cat food for the fur babies. I also take my ham radio gear including my mobile radio in the car and my several dual band capable HTs. My spouse and I are both hams and will volunteer for EOC and Shelter duties if able as we did after Katrina. Guns and ammo will be taken with us when we evac and I will always keep a firearm close at hand. That said IMHO, the need for a firearm in most emergencies except for a riot seems to be a low priority.
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Re: How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by NT2C » Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:53 pm

Speaking as a ham who is very active in EmComm I have to say that commo is pretty high on my list. Our EmComm team partners with the county, the state, and with ARC, FEMA and other served agencies. Effective communications in emergency situations is our primary goal, and reason for being. That said, on a personal level, and in regards to my own bug out preps and plans, comms is still very high on the list because with effective communications you're never alone. There may not be anyone else around for miles, but with good comms you can get help, offer help, consolidate resources, pull together other individuals and small groups into a community and build your strength.
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Re: How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by Supressed223 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:31 pm

The military spends more money on Commo than they do weapons.If that tells you anything.
For the most part my group use's 2 meter ham Packet with minimum power and a directional antenna. That way we are not broadcasting to the entire world and only someone with our same set up would be able to hear it. Working on converting all commo to directional antennas.all this is contained in a S-280 communications shelter (military) Bolted to a modified boat trailer
Basic features are:

300 Watt 12Volt/110 Inverter
200channel Scanner
40channel CB
2meter/440 dual band
35 watt 2 meter power booster
12 volt light system
4-110 power outlets
1-110 light bulb
110 battery charger to charge 12 volt batterys
12 volt Amp meter
110 space heater
5 gallon bucket w/Toilet
Solar shower
3 Miltary sleeping bags
3 case's of MRE's
3 case's of bottled water
I still need to add a solar charger and a vent fan
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Re: How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by NT2C » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:16 pm

Supressed223 wrote:The military spends more money on Commo than they do weapons.If that tells you anything.
For the most part my group use's 2 meter ham Packet with minimum power and a directional antenna. That way we are not broadcasting to the entire world and only someone with our same set up would be able to hear it. Working on converting all commo to directional antennas.all this is contained in a S-280 communications shelter (military) Bolted to a modified boat trailer
Basic features are:

300 Watt 12Volt/110 Inverter
200channel Scanner
40channel CB
2meter/440 dual band
35 watt 2 meter power booster
12 volt light system
4-110 power outlets
1-110 light bulb
110 battery charger to charge 12 volt batterys
12 volt Amp meter
110 space heater
5 gallon bucket w/Toilet
Solar shower
3 Miltary sleeping bags
3 case's of MRE's
3 case's of bottled water
I still need to add a solar charger and a vent fan
Image
Nice! I like the way you've set it up and I think I'd only make a couple of changes... 12v LED lighting in place of the 110v, maybe a bigger inverter, and a propane heater.
Nonsolis Radios Sediouis Fulmina Mitto. - USN Gunner's Mate motto

Sic quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit; occidentis telum est - Seneca the Younger, Epistles

We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who would pervert the Constitution. - A. Lincoln

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Re: How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by EODguy » Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:37 pm

What a great setup, both you guys have nice rigs! I'm a go fast travel light, but starting to rethink the trailer approach. Thanks for the input.
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Re: How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by Supressed223 » Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:13 am

EODguy wrote:What a great setup, both you guys have nice rigs! I'm a go fast travel light, but starting to rethink the trailer approach. Thanks for the input.
I live at my bug out location year around I don't really move this around much I mainly have it on the trailer so I can stash it in a differant location if i need too.Its not something I'd want to haul down the freeway.

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Re: How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by SiXiam » Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:21 pm

Supressed223 wrote:The military spends more money on Commo than they do weapons.If that tells you anything.
That can't be true. Unless you are only counting small arms, not tanks, the fighter planes, precision guided munitions, etc.
If you read the Iraq war wiki leak of all the equipment used communications seems very miniscule to the budget.

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Re: How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by Supressed223 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:53 pm

SiXiam wrote:
Supressed223 wrote:The military spends more money on Commo than they do weapons.If that tells you anything.
That can't be true. Unless you are only counting small arms, not tanks, the fighter planes, precision guided munitions, etc.
If you read the Iraq war wiki leak of all the equipment used communications seems very miniscule to the budget.
commo satellites are very Pricey delivery into the outer atmosphere will flat out kill a DOD budget. re think that one

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Re: How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by YllwFvr » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:08 am

I have batches of rechargeable batteries and a solar panel at my bol. I keep a pair of gmrs in my bob and on my hiking pack is a handheld cb with a quarter wave antenna. Its got a ten foot coax so I can hoist the whip into a tree. I've yet to test the range well to see if I have any real performance increase but I did nail a mobile rig a touch over two miles away from in The woods. I know the gmrs wouldn't have done that.

Keeping in touch is very important for us. We all have cbs in our vehicles. Id say other things take the top few but comms is Def in the top ten. Im better prepared with that than ammo. My rifle only has about 500 rounds left and I'm down to 100 for my pistol.
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Re: How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by buck85 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:02 am

It is very important to me!
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Re: How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by RadioShooter » Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:17 am

Fairly important. Most of our groups will require local trips to get water, firewood, and food (hunting). What happens if the person(s) do not return on time? Full response by all armed units into an ambush?

A radio might save a lot of tears and gunpower.

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Re: How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by Quietus » Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:20 pm

Communication is one of the essentials.

As a minimum, I would carry:
-2 way radios.
-Mobile phone (water and shock proof). If networks are still up, this would be very useful. If not, it still has plenty of other features that can come in handy.
-AM/FM/shortwave radio.
-Signal mirror.
-Smoke markers.
-Chem lights.
-Emergency flares.
-Emergency whistle.
-Emergency strobe (usually attached to my pack).

The FM/AM/SW radio can be used to charge every other thing I carry that requires electricity.

Communication is more than keeping in contact with your buddies. Most of my stuff is for attracting attention in case I need rescuing.
Gear is a poor substitute for knowledge. And much heavier.

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Re: How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by Redshirt » Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:48 am

I've planned for my gear in accordance with what I think are high probability events vs low probability events:

1. Mugging/assault/individual altercation
2. The above, but a group scenario
3. utilities outage (up to 72 hours)
4. "civil disorder"
5. "omgzombiesgetinthecar!" - Disaster area declared, or worse.
6. Gay Deceiver drops out of irrelevancy in front of me and Sharpie yells at me to get in the car!

Thus, my preparations revolved around me first getting everyone that lives with me CCW permits, classes, and continuing education. That is now happily done.
Then I got a lawyer. Also done!
I'm fortunate with the "utilities outage" scenario in that I have police and fire services located under .4 miles from my location. Power restoration to this area is a bit of a priority! That being said, we have crates of potable water just in case, among other preps.
Civil disorder is where comms come into play. I got my tech license, but my roommates aren't interested at this time. One is interested in soldering work, so I've given him a carrot where I'll get a soldering iron he can borrow when he passes his tech license. He'll try probably in 3 months or so. The lady, not so much on the radio thing. I may be able to trade learning how to use a bow for her getting a tech license. I want to be able to know we have all gotten ourselves and respective loved ones out of dodge or be able to help them get out of dodge.
After comms, I plan on retrofitting an old Bronco with appropriate supplies for our mobile GTFO vehicle. The Bronco gives us space and hauling power, and the bug in locations have repair equipment for it along with parts. (broncos are cheap, I have discovered, and have several swappable parts!)

And of course, if Sharpie calls, I'm really just grabbing my BOB, I can get everything else earlier.

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How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by nacho » Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:11 pm

I'm in the party that comms = info = knowledge = power. In the standard disaster I can stock pile water and food, I can't store up current info, You have to constantly gather it. I think it's way more important to have receive comms; AM radio, Short Wave, public safety scanner, then two way comms. Two way comms are important in sharing gathered info. This is why I still pay for DSL over subterranean twisted pair, when we lost power, and cable for four days in December we still had the interwebs, one of the best comms tools available.

On the show Jericho, one of the biggest issues was the unknown They couldn't gather info on what was going on around them, because they had one ham radio and no one, but Hawkins, knew how to use it.

I volunteer with the USFS, the only piece of survival equipment we are required to carry with us when we go into the field is a two way radio.
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Re: How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:36 pm

I've got a solar/handcrank/battery AM/FM/NOAA radio, and other than my cellphone, that's as far as I care to go. The cost/benefit analysis I've done says that for the next ten years, there will not be enough benefit for the cost of getting a 2 way. If I lived closer to a "bug out buddy" whom I trusted and had a reason to communicate with them, I might invest in something like that.

So, if my internet and cell network of friends don't count, then I guess the AM/FM/NOAA radio is as far as I go.
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Re: How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by Mister Dark » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:39 pm

Comms are very important for my plans. I am a HAM, and have a fairly nice HT setup right now, giving me the ability to communicate over a fairly wide area. It recieves well in 6meter, but doesnt transmit so well at the moment. But, it does have wideband recieve, so In addition to that, me and the wifey have GMRS radios in our car kits (we work relatively near to each other, so the range limitations of the radio isnt as big a deal) so we can communicate and link up if for some reason cell goes out. Eventually I'll put together a good base station ham rig, but that is still somewhere down on the list.

For group commo, even the cheap GMRS sold at sporting goods stores are better than nothing. A mile or two of range, can work with the inexpensive earbud/microphone combos, and decent battery life.

At the very least, I think every bugout kit should have a basic AM/FM radio, with NOAA bands if at all possible. Just being able to receive emergency broadcasts and have an idea of whats going on is critical. For that, I am a big fan of the Eton FR160 emergency radio. Almost every camping outfitter (Hint: REI!) have them. They are cheap. They work. Get one.

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Re: How Important is Commo in You Planning?

Post by Boyscoutdreams » Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:14 pm

Good commo comes just below preps for self defense. Which of course falls below food, shelter and water. Love the COM trailer and also the reference to Jericho. Not knowing what is going on around you can be anywhere from frightening to dangerous in my opinion. A good scanner can let you hear a whole lot of whats going on around you, esp the newer ones that automatically scan a very wide variety of signals very quickly (use an outside antenna when ever possible to pick up even weak signals). Every type radio (band) has it's uses. Short range for friends out walking the property (GMRS and FRS are UHF) to long range HF radios with 600' antennas for serous long range communications using NVIS so it cannot be easily traced,,,, not that I am expecting that to become an issue.

In the COM vehicles, for serous lighting I'd look at the 12vdc cold Cathode lights,,, very bright and energy efficient. Available in a number of colors but I would be torn between white and red. Red does not affect you night vision as much but the 12" white is easily bright enough to read by. They can be had in an assortment of sizes also.

Here is one site but not necessarily the best. http://www.xoxide.com/dual-white-cold-cathode-kit.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; I've picked up a few of these for my radio shack which has battery back up.
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