4 Essential ways to communicate in times of disaster

These days, it has become very easy to cut down channels of communication – cellular sites can easily be damaged by a bomb explosion, a hurricane, a earthquake of a great magnitude, or even a really powerful typhoon. Even non-dramatic causes, such as severe snowfall, heavy rain, or equipment failure can cause communication and power lines to get interrupted.

You and your loved ones need not risk an occurrence wherein you search the ends of the world for each other. This is possible if you maintain a method of communications with your family members and loved ones even when conventional methods of communication are no longer working. Here are some tips on how to stay in touch with them even during the apocalypse. (h/t to OffTheGridNews.com.)

  1. Make a plan — You and your family members should have a basic plan of action for times when most conventional forms of communication might be cut. Everyone should be informed of each one’s role during a crisis situation – are they the designated driver who would go to that specific place all of you had talked about to pick everyone up and head straight to your designated area? Are they the one in charge of securing food sources? Are they the one who should pack a first-aid kit? You should also make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to your rendezvous point. What we’re getting at here is, it’s important that when the actual time of the disaster strikes, everyone goes into autopilot and is focused on fulfilling the tasks at hand that they had already talked about instead of coming up with survival ideas on the fly. Being prepared saves on time and effort, and ups the chances that the family survives in one piece. (Related: How to prepare yourself to survive a hurricane.)
  2. Exhaust all possible means of mobile communication  Barring the unfortunate event that cellular and internet lines are down, you and your family members have to try using all forms of mobile communication – as these are still the fastest and surest way to reach anyone. Also, inform your family members to contact you and each other based on the messaging platform that you all frequently use – texting is the most preferable, for they require far less bandwidth than phone calls. If internet lines are still okay, don’t discount sending S.O.S. messages via social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter.
  3. Search for the nearest phone booth  However, if you find that you have the luck of the Egyptian soldiers who were forced to cross the Red Sea that day when Moses parted it because when you looked at your mobile phone it’s as dead as a doornail, you have no choice but to rely on landlines. Let’s hope to God that you have change, at least.
  4. Use a ham radio  So, the situation has gotten from worse to Oh-my-God-I’m-not-panicking-but-this-sure-feels-like-it. Your family members are lost, you have no mobile communication, phone booths are nowhere to be found. What do you now? Suddenly you smile, because you remember that you have a ham radio locked inside one of your basement cupboards. Plus you’re sure one of them has a ham radio on their person, and you already told everyone what frequencies you can be reached on.

It is important to be prepared and proactive in times of calamities – may they be natural or man-made. Doing this not only helps you ensure that your life and the lives of your loved ones will be protected, you also have the ability to extend a helping hand to those in need.

This is what 46-year-old former Navy commander Heather Beal plans to achieve when she signed up at Martha & Mary Kids Child Care Center in Poulsbo, Washington. “Child-care providers are the first responders for our children. I want to bridge that gap between emergency management and child-care centers.”

Beal is the author of a children’s book about earthquakes called “Tummy Rumble Quake”. She provides simple training sessions on basic duck-cover-and-hold on tactics via her nonprofit organization BLOCKS. She is also working with day-care centers to improve their earthquake emergency plans and procedures.

Read more stories on how to be prepared no matter what happens at Preparedness.news.

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