Category Archive: Communication

WEEKLY THREAT ROUNDUP 3-26-17

From AlertsUSA

 

Armed UK police officer - ALLOW IMAGES

New Threats to the Aviation Sector
Deadly Attack Outside UK Parliament

 

March 25, 2017

 

Between March 20 and 23, AlertsUSA issued the following
related Flash message to subscriber mobile devices:

3/20 – DHS now forbids nearly all elec devices in cabins of non-stop US-bound flights on 12 carriers servicing Middle East & Africa. No current impact on US carriers.

3/21 – UK to announce US-like ban on laptops and other elec devices in the cabin of certain airline flights from the ME and Africa. Move based on solid threat intel.

3/22 – Shots fired on Westminster Bridge outside of Parliament in London. Multiple injuries. Building on lock down. AlertsUSA monitoring…

3/22 – London incident began with SUV mowing down 10+ people on bridge, then crashing into Parliament fencing. Driver then attacked police w/knife and was shot.

3/23 – Islamic State group says through its Aaamaq news agency that the London attacker was a `soldier of the Islamic State’.

 

What You Need To Know

On six occasions AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding security threats. Beginning Monday, subscribers were notified of new restrictions on the types of electronic devices allowed in the cabins of non-stop US-bound flights from eight Muslim-majority countries: Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. Those traveling to the US from 10 airports in these countries will be barred from bringing laptops, tablets, or any devices “larger than a cellphone” as carry-on items. Instead, these items will need to placed in checked luggage.

 

According to the Dept of Homeland Security, intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation and are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items. Based on this information, DHS and TSA determined it is necessary to enhance security procedures for passengers at certain last point of departure airports to the United States.

At present there is no impact on domestic flights, or flights departing the United States. Following the announcement of the ban by DHS, the UK government announced similar restrictions.

 

Readers are reminded that on multiple occasions over the past several years, AlertsUSA Threat Journal has warned of increasing threats to the aviation sector:

 

In January 2015 we reported on a new issue of al Qaeda’s quarterly Internet magazine known as ‘Inspire’ that included what counterterrorism experts say appears to be the most detailed, and potentially lethal, bomb recipe published by al Qaeda to date. In addition, instructions are also provided on getting the bomb through airport security and even where to sit on the plane.

 

In July 2014 we reported on new warnings that Al-Qaeda in Yemen, despite the media narrative of their deep animosity with ISIS, was passing on bomb making expertise to militants fighting in Syria and Iraq.

 

In Feb 2014 we reported on intelligence indicating Islamic terrorist organizations were working with methods for smuggling individual components for liquid explosives onto planes. It was this intelligence that led to DHS banning liquids, gels, aerosols & powders above a certain size within carry-on baggage.

 

Also in Feb 2014, we reported on DHS warnings to domestic and international airlines of intelligence suggesting an increased threat involving explosives hidden in shoes on overseas flights bound for United States.

 

Vehicular Attack Outside UK Parliament

On Wednesday, AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of reports of shots fired on the Westminster Bridge outside of the Houses of Parliament in London. In the aftermath, London police report the incident began with British-born Khalid Masood, age 52, driving his SUV at approximately 70 MPH along the walkway of Westminster Bridge, intentionally mowing down pedestrians. Upon reaching the far end of the bridge, he crashed the SUV into the concrete and iron fence outside of Parliament, then fatally stabbed a responding police officer before being shot. As of the time of this report’s preparation, four people had died in the incident and more than 50 were wounded, some with what responders described as c atastrophic injuries.

On Thursday, the Islamic State formally claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the now dead suspect was a `soldier of the Islamic State’.

The group also released a new series of threatening graphics showing different landmarks buildings from London ablaze, with messages such as “we will bring the war in your countries: wait for the worse and be sure this operation will be the first but not the last”, and another which carries the vow “there is nothing but fire in front of you”.

AlertsUSA continues to monitor the overall domestic and international threat environment and will immediately notify service subscribers via SMS messages of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens as events warrant.


AlertsUSA.com

OTHER ALERTS FROM THIS WEEK
NOT DETAILED IN THIS NEWSLETTER ISSUE

 

3/23 – Satellite imagery of N. Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear site shows activity consistent w final prep for underground nuclear test. Regional forces on high alert.

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Two Marine Corps helicopters, an AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom, fly past Mount Fuji, Shizuoka, Japan, March 12, 2017 - ALLOW IMAGES

 

World News Roundup

March 25, 2017

 

Other Developments We Are Following

 

AMERICAS

Obama Admin Officials Could Face Criminal Charges Over ‘Unmasking’
US Senators introduce new Iran sanctions
Venezuela president asks United Nations for ‘help’ boosting medicine supplies
U.S. sanctions 30 firms, individuals for aiding Iran, North Korea arms programs
Saudi Arabia faces $6 billion U.S. lawsuit by Se pt. 11 insurers
The Navy Will Struggle to Build Trump’s 350-Ship Fleet
New amphibious landing tactics and technology
Pentagon, Air Force Continue F-35 vs A-10 Close Air Support Testing

 

EUROPE

Why Erdogan Seeks to Provoke European Leaders
Estonia’s lessons for fighting Russian disinformation
As the European Union turns 60, it starts to feel its age
Scottish independence might hurt defense industry more than Brexit
Germany blocks defense exports to Turkey
Why France is Boosting Its Military Muscle in Pacific
Poland mulls F-35, F-16A/B fighters acquisition
NATO forces assemble in eastern Europe

 

MIDDLE EAST

US Warships Being ‘Harassed’ By Iranian Forces In The Straits
Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak freed after six years in detention
US Senators introduce new Iran sanctions
US-led coalition vows to crush ‘Islamic State’.
One in five Arab Mediterranean youths hopes to emigrate: study
Syria army retakes Damascus areas from rebels

 

ASIA

U.S. general: Russia possibly supporting Taliban in Afghanistan
U.S. turns down Russia invitation to Afghan peace conference
Report: North Korea preparing for another nuclear test
Report: North Korea security agents are being purged
China dismisses ‘mi litarization’ of disputed islands in South China Sea
Japan commissions new $1bn helicopter carrier amid tensions with China
China says hopes new Japanese carrier doesn’t mark return to militarism
China Is Building a 100,000 Strong Marine Corps


ARM YOURSELF WITH KNOWLEDGE
USING THESE FREE REFERENCES

In order to help ground readers in the truth on Islam and enable you to crush liberal “Religion of Peace” arguments, AlertsUSA has compiled two free reports filled with passages from Islamic holy books covering some of the most controversial (and often denied) aspects of Islamic teachings, traditions and dogma. Now you can see them for yourself !

DEADLY VERSES - ALLOW IMAGESSEX, WOMEN AND ISLAM - ALLOW IMAGES

 

DEADLY VERSES
164 Passages about Jihad from the Koran


SEX, WOMEN AND ISLAM
80 Passages on Rape, Pedophilia, Misogyny, Female Inferiority,
Wife Beating and Related Doctrines from Islamic Holy Texts


Travel Security Update

The U.S. Dept. of State is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning on international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation prior to departure.

 

Latest USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings

Peru
03/24/2017

French Guiana
03/24/2017

Mauritania
03/22/2017

Cameroon
03/22/2017

Syria
03/22/2017

Afghanistan
03/21/2017

Eritrea
02/22/2017

Worldwide Caution

03/06/2017

 

Additional Sources of Travel Guidance

Canada Dept. of Foreign Affairs

Australia Dept. of Foreign Affairs

UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office


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Take Advantage of These Resources

Our social media channels provide a steady steam of important news and resources between issues of Threat Journal with little or no overlap of content. Combined with the AlertsUSA service for instant mobile notification of the really bad developments, you have an unmatched set of tools to keep yourself fully up to speed on the nation’s threat environment. With times getting worse by the day, we urge you to utilize these resources.

 

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

Via: threatjournal


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How to Successfully Still Get the Internet Even When You’re Living Off the Map: Off the Grid Internet

Living off the grid is a dream for a growing segment of Americans, especially as civilization goes to crap before our eyes. The one thing keeping most people from realizing this dream is the fear of losing the internet. Fear not! There are a few simple ways you can get the web even when you’re hundreds of miles from civilization.

Going off grid doesn’t mean you have to cut all ties to civilization. In fact, thanks to modern technology you can still live your off the grid dreams, while still staying connected to the rest of the world.
One of the questions that I receive most from people looking to go off-the-grid is how they can access the internet when living in remote areas of the country. This is especially important for those of us that rely on the internet for our jobs.
Offered Internet Options:
1) Cell phone connections

There are plenty of rural off the grid locations that still have accessible cell towers within reach of the land. If you live within range of one of these towers, you can use a data-capable cell phone to stay connected and surf the web. While these connections are usually pretty slow, they are one of the cheapest options on the market, and can be a good option for those that are not going to require a lot of bandwidth.

2) Your own hotspot

Depending on how remote you live, using a wireless provider for internet access can help keep you connected 24/7. Most Cell Phone companies and even some newer specialized companies offer wireless Internet services designed specifically for laptops and tablets.
3) Satellite Internet

For travelers and people who have decided to live in remote areas of the world, satellite internet is now a real possibility. Companies like HughesNet and WildBlue now provide fast, affordable service to almost anywhere in the country.

From personal experience I can tell you to avoid HughesNet. Horrible service, bad support, they charge a fortune to keep it working, hidden fees. Might better avoid it unless no other option, and then there’s always Ham Radio for good basic service.
4) Internet via Ham Radio

Although not really practical for large downloads or streaming large files, it is possible to build a repeater network that allows you to access the internet through a ham radio. In fact, during emergency situations ham radios can be used quite successfully to send email, data, and documents when all other forms of communication have gone down.

Even before the internet, Ham radio operators were using an internet of their own called Packet Radio. Packet Radio allows Hams to send files, update bulletin board systems, send text messages and even control remote systems and networks via their radios. Should some catastrophic event ever occur that takes out the internet, Packet Radio technology can still be used to link remote stations and form an ad hoc network — or emergency internet of sorts.

Today, through worldwide radio messaging systems like DStar and Winlink, Ham radio operators can send email with attachments, send emergency relief communications and message relays, and even access the internet. Although the legality of using it to access certain parts of the internet is still in question, and one would not want to transmit personal data or passwords via these technologies, it is a viable option for accessing the internet during emergency situations.

Here is a good video from Amateur Radio Operator Chris Matthieu showing that it is possible to access the internet with a Ham Radio.


5) Connect Via Dial-Up Internet. Remember dial-up? Yep, it’s still available, even though it has its limits (such as not being able easily to watch videos).  More than 2 million Americans are still using dial-up, saving lots of money along the way. Dial-up would work for a while when the electricity is out because landlines would still be working. Landlines are “powered” by the phone company, allowing them to operate when, for instance, a storm knocks out electricity to your town.

For most off-the-grid homes, a favorite choice and growing segment is the option of running a mobile hotspot. Of course, there are still many places in which this option doesn’t work due to the lack of a mobile signal, but those spaces are filling in daily, and until then, satellite internet is an option.

A surprising option, if you happen to be proficient at using a Ham radio, is using a repeater to get some basic internet. It’s not much, but for those of us who want to live off-the-grid, anyways, maybe it’s just what we need.

Internet Connections of the Future

One of the many projects of our wireless companies and Internet service providers is to develop a true nationwide Wi-Fi network. There have been reports that they intend to use every wireless device in every home as a Wi-Fi hotspot, providing true coast-to-coast mobile coverage. Of course, there be will many privacy concerns with such a system.

Another experimental program is being developed by Space X, the private space flight company. They have just received government approval to install a constellation of low altitude satellites, specifically for providing worldwide Internet access.

This isn’t the first time that something like this has been proposed. Other companies have either looked at the possibility or even made some strides towards launching a satellite. But in all cases, the program has failed. Developers say the big difference this time is that the plan is being fostered by a company that sends rockets up into space regularly. Then there’s the possible health issues they are coming out on this type of service.

Don’t give up on the Internet, even if off grid or even in a crisis situation. There are ways of connecting and there will probably be service available to use. The key is to have the right sort of equipment and connections available for what you will need.

This is a really good basic look at the options for internet away from the lights of the cities.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: offthegridnews,
offgridsurvival,
diehardsurvivor


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How to make an emergency communication plan for your family

Current communication plan information

There are a lot of agencies out there that suggest that you make a sound Emergency Communication plan for your family in case disaster strikes but unbelievably, a lot of them don’t tell you how to actually do this, and the ones that do are woefully inadequate. Ready.gov at least gives some information by suggesting that you use the acronym COMMUNICATE:

  • Create a family communication plan so you can get in touch with family members. Give copies of contact information and meeting locations to everyone in your family
  • Options are available: telephones, cell phones and e-mail are all great ways to get in touch with family members.
  • Make sure you know the emergency plan at your child’s school.
  • Make a decision about where you will meet in case you can’t get home during an emergency.
  • Understand that it may take time to get through to everyone. Try to be patient.
  • Needs of your pets should be kept in mind. Keep a pet carrier for easy transport.
  • Inform yourself. Watch news broadcasts, read online news updates or listen to a battery-operated radio for official guidance during an emergency, but also prepare in advance.
  • Copies of your emergency plan should be in your emergency supply kit in case you need to leave in a hurry.
  • Ask kids to discuss their concerns and feelings. Do they understand the family plan?
  • Take the kids to visit the “meeting spots” so that they are familiar and feel comfortable finding them on their own if necessary.
  • Emergencies take many forms. Categorize different types of emergencies and discuss the level of concern related to each and how that is reflected in your family plan.

That’s better than most but it’s still pretty dumb. You can tell they tried to come up with tenuous connections to each letter to make the acronym fit. It’s better than nothing, but it still doesn’t tell you effective ways of how you can communicate with your family during and after an emergency; it just tells you a few things to consider. Let’s see if we can do better, my Lovelies.

The purposes of emergency communication

There are three main purposes to communicating with someone as part of your Emergency Communication plan:

  • To order the initiation or change to a phase of your emergency plan
  • To acknowledge or communicate that a phase has begun or changed
  • To pass on information as to your status or requirements – a situation report (SITREP)

That should be it. If there’s any other reason you’re communicating, you didn’t prepare your plan well enough. Expect that you haven’t prepared your plan well enough. Your plan needs to be adaptable. Go with the flow, dude. The goal is to plan for everything but you also have to make your plan simple and easy to remember and follow.

If you’re planning for some eventual SHTF scenario such as a natural disaster, EMP/CME event, the collapse of society or the Cubs winning, your communication plan should be an intimate part of your bug out or bug in plan. If you’re just planning for how to communicate with your family in case of something like a fire or car accident or something, your communication plan will look different, but it should fit into the grand plan, Stan.

The Essential Elements of Effective Emergency Communication


There are five objectives for an effective emergency communication plan. I call these my Essential Elements of Effective Emergency Communication. Sounds pretty legit, doesn’t it? To be effective, communication has to be; Clear, Complete, Unambiguous, Concise, and Confirmed.

Just to be complete, let’s make each of these five clear and concise, then you can confirm they’re unambiguous by reading your comments at the end of the page. (Aahh. You noticed me starting to use repetition to get you used to the words so they’re more easily remembered).

Clear – Your communication has to get through somehow and they have to clearly get the message. That means not only hearing it clearly but understanding the intent of your message clearly. Remember, what you mean to say, what you say and what they understood you to say are three different things and if you’re not clear, they won’t be congruent. (we’ll wait here for a sec for the ones in the back who’re looking up the word congruent).

So, by delivering your message clearly by your choice of words and medium, your message gets across clearly. If you’ll notice, I used the word ‘medium.’ I did that on purpose to illustrate a subtle point in communication. Your choice of words, however correct they may be, may not be the most effective. The word ‘medium’ in this case means the method of transmittal of the information – like a phone. As correct as that is, because it’s not a word in general use, it’s not really the best choice to be clear. This is especially importan t if you’re communicating to a person who doesn’t speak the language as fluently as you or through a means of communication that isn’t clear in how it’s sent such as a radio full of static.

Complete – You need to mae sure that you tell the whole story. If you tell someone to meet you at a certain place, you need to tell them the time as well. If you are meeting up with them and they are assuming you have supplies that you don’t, it may be prudent to tell them then so they can adapt. Make sure you give them all the information they need to make informed decisions and not much else.

Unambiguous – Ever had someone tell you to meet you at the Circle-K on Main Street at 4pm and as you sit there waiting, you get a phone call asking where you’re at because they’re at a different circle-K on Main Street? That’s a pretty obvious one there but sometimes communication is confusing in more subtle ways. If you say, “we’ll meet you at the Circle-K at 1956 Main Street at 4pm today.”,  that’s more clear but who exactly is ‘we?” Don’t make the assumption that they know who you’re talking about, especially if they aren’t right in front of you for feedback; verbal or non-verbal.

Concise – Once you’ve figured out how to get your message across clearly, you need to make sure it’s as concise as possible. Communications in emergency situations is sometimes spotty and people have other things on their mind such as getting out of danger or performing first aid. You need to make sure your message is as concise as possible – but not at the expense of clarity. If you can say something in fewer words and still get your point across, do it. Especially if you’re communicating over a radio.

Confirmed – When you learned about effective communication skills in school (they still teach that, don’t they?), you learned that feedback is important to make sure they heard and understood what you meant them to. This is extremely important in communicating during an emergency as well because once you break comms, you’ll both be on your merry ways assuming the other is doing things based on the conversation you just had. If your message is understood differently, wouldn’t you want to know that? Nod your head up and down. Good. QUQ.

Emergency, SHTF or bug out plan basics

Before you decide how you’re going to communicate, you need to know what and when you’re going to communicate. For this, you need to come up with an emergency plan, bug out plan, bug in plan, take-mom-to-the-hospital-because-the-contractions-are 30-seconds-apart plan, or whatever. This article is about your family’s Emergency Communication plan and not a SHTF or bug out plan or evacuation plan but a brief overview of basic SHTF plan theory is in order here. Your Communication plan should fit in intimately with your overall emergency plan.  Let’s assume you’ve done a proper plan, and let’s also assume just to make things simple that it’s a bugout plan.

A proper bugout plan will have certain phases. These phases are designed so that once initiated, individuals in the group can function independently making certain assumptions of what the others are doing. Each individual will have a certain focus to what they’re supposed to do in each phase. These focuses (foci) should be planned out in advance and understood by all. If there’s a fire, you grab the kids and I’ll grab the beer, then we’ll both head outside and watch the lights and water show.

A plan phase is a separation or division of the focus of events by time, space or purpose. These phases should support each other and be part of a progression from the beginning of a plan to its completion. Each phase should also have its own definition of the start of the phase and the end of the phase. There should be no ambiguity as to which phase you’re in so you have no ambiguity as to what each person should be doing. Phase 1 could be getting in touch with everyone to find out their current location and status once an emergency situation has been identified. Phase 2 could be heading to the rally point. Phase 3 could be reaching out to extended family, etc. You can certainly complete items designated for a different phase, and you should if the opportunity arises, but the main focus of what you’re trying to accomplish at that point may be different. Don’t hang up on Grandma if she calls after a tornado because you’re in phase 2.

Essentially, something has to get the ball rolling. Your plan will have certain triggers that will initiate the plan. This is to alleviate ambiguity and allow for individuals to operate independently as much as possible, cutting down on the communication and coordination required. These triggers must be well-defined. You don’t want to start running for the BOL (bug out location) because the TV loses signal. It may not have been a high altitude nuclear EMP from North Korea that causes it. Just think it through.

Once you’ve gotten the ball rolling and you’re #$#%-deep into phase 1, at some point, you’ll need to communicate with someone else. This may even be the first step of phase 1. In my case, I like to actually call this phase zero. I reserve a phase zero in my plans just so I don’t look stupid. Phase zero is the let’s-make-sure-that’s-really-a-zombie part of the plan. Establishing comms with your group is a good idea during phase zero or you may overhear the mad giggling of Cousin Elmer as he’s doing double-taps to the head inappropriately.

The basics of the emergency communication plan

Once you’ve made your plan and identified under what conditions you need to contact someone you need to figure out exactly how you’re going to communicate with them. This is actually the meat of your Emergency Communication plan. There are hundreds of ways to communicate but if they aren’t listening or looking for what you’re telling them, they may not get the message. If, for example, your plan involved contacting each other on CB radio once you’ve reached a rally point, the others would have to know what channel to listen on and unless they’re going to have their CB radio on them at all times, they’d have to know what time you’re going to call out. Then what do you do if you’ve been calling out and you’re still not getting a response? You would build getting a response into your plan, wouldn’t you? That’s part of the ‘Confirm’ from CCUCC above. Let’s say you’re trying to communicate that you’re going to meet as part of your plan. In order to meet, you need to know:

  • Who is to meet
  • What you are to bring
  • What you are to accomplish before you meet
  • What general location you’re supposed to meet at
  • What specific location you’re going to be at
  • What time you’re going to be at the location
  • What to do if things change
  • Bona Fides

These items need to be communicated either as part of the understood plan, given at some point later in the plan, or some combination of both. So let’s see some of the ways that we could communicate…

The three four categories of emergency communication

Now that we’ve learned what the essential elements are, it’s time we got right down and learned how to actually put them into practice. There are four major categories to communicate with people that we’re concerned about: Personal Communication, Impersonal Communication, Tele-Communication and Coded. I was just going to tell you about the first three because coded communication can be used with all the rest but figured it’d be easier for you if I put it all together.

  • Personal Communication
  • Impersonal Communication
  • Telecommunication
  • Coded Communication

Personal Communication – This is basically when you can see the person you’re talking to. All this can be a bit fuzzy because technically you can skype someone so it’s personal communication and yet telecommunication, and you can record a video so it’s impersonal but you can still see them, but don’t think so hard about it. If you can reach out and tweak their nose as they’re explaining their shortage of ammo, it’s personal comms. Personal communication can be both verbal and nonverbal. There are different forms of verbal and nonverbal communication but we’d be getting a bit off-track and I have stuff to do.

It may seem at first that there isn’t much to consider with Personal Communication because you’d be right in front of them, right? Well, you have to be right in front of them. This can be pretty difficult but the concept is pretty simple. If you need to communicate with someone in person, you have to set up a time and place for them to be. This time and place can be a one-time event, a periodic event, or a conditional event.

-One-time event. This is just like it sounds. For a purely one-time event, you have a time and place set up in advance. This is pretty much most of the ad-hoc meetings that you already do.

“So after you’ve picked up the tickets to Enya, how’s about you and Biff bring them and that money you owe me to Billy’s Back Door Saloon and I’ll meet you guys at the bar inside so we can go over what we’re going to do this weekend. I’ll be there from about 9pm to midnight so any time then would be fine. Just text me if you can’t make it so I’m not sitting there all night if something comes up.”

So, this part of the commo plan is very CCUC and C. It should be very clear to whomever the Enya fan is, all the details they need to know. You don’t have to have every box checked, just do what’s necessary based on the circumstances. You need to make sure that they understand when and where to meet and what to do if something happens. From that point, you can sit down in person and discuss what you need to.

-Periodic event. This requires the same information as above but instead of just the one-time 9pm to midnight this Friday night as in the example above, you’ve set it up to meet them every Friday night between 9pm and midnight. Good luck with the wife.

-Conditional event. This one isn’t time-based like the previous ones. An example of this one is meeting at the hospital when the baby’s due. The same rules apply though, you need to set the conditions of when you’re going to go, which hospital, where in the hospital, and all the rest. Some things can be adjusted on-site depending on the circumstances but be clear in your plan what those things are.

Impersonal Communication – This is communicating when you and they aren’t at the same place at the same time and it’s not simultaneous communication. If you leave a note on someone’s pillow, it’s impersonal communication. Very impersonal.

Let’s say that you have a friend who lives out of town and has no phone but you know he drives through the same way on the bus every day. Let’s also say that you’re planning on having a party one Friday night coming up pretty soon but you don’t know exactly what day. If you coordinate with him in advance, you could just tell him to look out the Southern window of the bus as he’s passing through mile marker 15. If he sees a yellow ribbon tied around the old oak tree there, he knows the party’s going to be that next Friday. Another example of this is putting a sock over the doorknob of your dorm room to send a message to your roommate. Never figured out what that was about. The key thing with this form of communicating is that you need to plan a lot ahead of time because there’s only one thing (in this example) that you’re communicating: the initiation of the next phase of your party plan, which is to commence the Friday after the ribbon-tying mission. Some key things to consider:

  • You have to watch your OPSEC or you’ll have a lot of uninvited guests. If your method of communicating is too specific (like a note on a door), everyone will know what’s going on. If it’s too vague, it’s because you didn’t plan accordingly.
  • Someone or something may interfere with your method after-the-fact so your message might not get through. If you happen to be using a particularly lovely ribbon, a hobo may steal it.
  • Be careful that whatever you’re using for them to recognize isn’t too unique or something you haven’t already acquired. If you lose it or can’t get a hold of one, you can’t tie it to the tree, now can you?
  • Make sure you’ll be able to accomplish the steps required to communicate. If you don’t visit mile marker 15, you may not know that there’s an electric fence around it or that there’s a sign nearby expressly forbidding yellow ribbons from encircling that particular species of oak.
  • Make sure the person who’s going to be receiving the information can actually receive it. It doesn’t do any good to tie the ribbon around a tree that’s not visible from the road.

Telecommunication –  For our purposes, this is basically using communication communicating with someone when you’re not right there. Technically, telecommunications is communicating with any form of the electromagnetic spectrum. Cell phones, ham radios, GMRS, CB radios, and flashing headlights are all forms of traditional telecommunication. Beating a drum or tap code both use soundwaves, which aren’t part of the electromagnetic spectrum but since ‘tele-‘ actually means distance and not electromagnetic, I hereby call beating a drum or tapping a code to someone as telecommunication for the purposes of this lesson.

A cell phone is typically what’s used for telecommunication; either by voice or text. That’s not always possible though. CB radios have been used for decades but their range is limited. Plus, they’re creepy. One of the best ways to communicate in an emergency is by ham radio. It does require some learning and you have to get a license for it, but as you can read in my post about when I got my ham radio license, it’s not all that difficult.


Coded Communication – For the purposes of learning emergency communications here today, coded messages are just messages that you send to someone so that the two of you understand what’s being said but anyone else overhearing or overseeing will either think you’re saying something different or that you’re not even saying anything at all. It’s simply some form of subterfuge in your communication. Don’t give me all that code vs cypher blah blah blah. I know. Different post.

If SHTF, you don’t want others knowing what you’re planning. Coding your communications is a part of how your Emergency Communication Plan fits into your OPSEC Plan. The yellow ribbon example above could be considered coded communications because no one knows what it means (basically it comes down to whether you were trying to deceive someone or hide your communication and not just that it was expedient).

To communicate in code, whether it’s in-person, impersonal or by telecommunicating, you should have a few coded words that are laid out in your communication plan right from the beginning. The more complicated your coding is, the more difficult it would be for someone to know your plan but a complicated plan is harder to remember and easier to mess up. Plus, if you get overly-complicated, you’ll give away the fact that you’re talking in code. That’s called an OPSEC Indicator. If done properly, you should be able to communicate a CCUC and C message (see above if you’ve already forgotten what CCUCC means), and no one will know that you’ve done it.

If you saw two guys talking and overheard one of them say, “Hey, Freddie and I saw that movie you were talking about. Have you seen it yet?” “Yeah, I saw it the other day.” Would you be suspicious? If their demeanor and body language wasn’t incongruent with what they were saying, you probably wouldn’t. What you didn’t know is that those two guys are regular readers of GraywolfSurvival.com and even signed up for the super-awesome newsletter. Because of this, they knew to make a non-emergency party communication plan. Hidden in that sentence was the code that they developed, laid out here for your bemusement:

  • The word ‘movie’ mentioned at any point in our conversation means that I’m speaking about a party coming up.
  • In the sentence, I will mention a name. This name will tell you what day the party is going to be on
    • A name starting with ‘F’ means Friday
    • A name starting with ‘S’ means Saturday
    • A name starting with either of those plus a last name means that it won’t be this weekend but next weekend
  • If I ask you a question in the sentence, I am asking if you can make it to the party.
  • If you can make it, respond with a yes-type of answer.

If you look, you can see that this plan can get really complicated, really quickly. I recommend keeping things as basic as possible and as flexible as possible. If you notice, the first letter of the name is the first letter of the day of the party. The plan also dictates very little in the conversation. If you require that a certain phrase is said, you’ll not only have to memorize several phrases, they may sound out of place in a conversation. Also, you’ll see that he confirmed that not only his buddy could make it, by giving the answer he did, it is clear that he understood that a message was sent. This is a very important point in coded conversations that are natural-sounding. If you don’t build in some kind of confirmation, you may think he got the message but in real life, he’s sitting there wondering who the heck Freddie is.

Setting your emergency commo plan in motion

Now that you understand the basics of the plan, it’s time to start talking about what you should factor into your actual plans. You do understand the plan, right? If not, that’s what the comment form is for below. It’s a form of communication. Can you figure out which? I’m not going to be able to give you an actual plan because I have no idea what your OPSEC Plan is our your bug out plan, or whatever plan you’re trying to support.

There’s an acronym that’s used everywhere when it comes to planning. It’s called PACE. Show of hands for everyone who knows what PACE stands for. Bueller? … Bueller?

  • Primary
  • Alternate
  • Contingency
  • Emergency

You should consider these in not only your SHTF plan but also your communication plan. It’s a very simple concept.

Primary. This is just the Plan A of whatever you’re trying to do. Your primary communication plan for one phase could be to call by cell phone. The primary should be the best plan and one most likely to succeed without unintended consequences, such as uninvited drunks to your house.

Alternate. Your alternate plan, if possible, should be just as viable as your primary plan but just another way to do it. If one alternative isn’t quite as good as the other, it should be your alternate.

Contingency. This is what you’re going to do if something messes up. Maybe that hobo followed you home and stole your cell phone but you mistakenly made both your primary and alternate plan of communication dependent upon using a cell phone. In whatever case, if it’s not something critical, you should use your contingency plan. That’s why they call it a contingency plan.

Another part of your plan that could deal with contingencies is what’s calledBona Fides (pronounced bonah fye deez but I’ve usually heard it pronounced bona feedeez). If your team were separated for example, or had yet to team up, you or they might bring on different members – or you might already have a loose group that not everyone knows everyone. In this case, you need some way to know that the other person is who they say they are such as a code word, symbol or thing they carry. Just remember that a bona fides system should go both ways so they know who you are too. I’m not gonna go too deeply into bona fides tho because some methods are classified but you should be able to find ways out there on the web or in books like Spycomm: Covert Communications Techniques of the Underground.

One example that gangs have used is Ultraviolet (UV) tattoos. If someone had a UV tattoo of the right thing or on the right part of the body, you could assume to some degree that they were with your family or group. If you pulled out a blacklight looking at that location or for that symbol, they could assume to some degree that you were also. Obviously any bona fides could be compromised but they’d have to go to a lot of trouble to do that, and your group would have had to break OPSEC. A UV tattoo is a good example because under normal conditions if they’re incorporated correctly, no one would know that they had it except someone who knew to look for it.

Emergency. This is what you do if SHTF and you need to initiate the plan, or communicate, and not have to follow the requirements of your primary, alternate or contingency plan. Instead of calling on the cell phone, your emergency plan may be to go directly to their office and bang on the door until they let you in to talk.

Some suggestions for your emergency communications plan

Ham Radio. A ham radio, in my opinion, is hands-down a necessity for SHTF communication. Go get your freaking license if you don’t already have it. One problem is that there are a lot of frequencies and conditions that affect its effectiveness. I’m not going to go into that too deeply because you could have a whole blog on nothing but using a ham radio for Emergency Communication. There are also a LOT of hams out there who’ve planned for emergencies. Here’s what I suggest about ham radio for your emergency communication plan.

  • Get the highest level of license you can. Higher licenses mean more available frequencies.
  • Join ARESRACES or another group designed to help the community by using amateur radio in emergencies.
  • Establish friendships on certain frequencies that you could reach out to if need be. A lot of hams like to frequent certain frequencies frequently.
  • Don’t wait for an emergency to start figuring out how to work your ham radio or its associated equipment. Use it frequently.
  • Make communication a part of your bug out bag plan. Pack a hand-held radio, have extra batteries for radios and cell phones, have a backup charging capability for your batteries.

There are certain frequencies that are understood by some to be used in case of emergency, but these are not all hard-and-fast rules.

  • 34.90: National Guard emergency channel
  • 39.46: Used for inter-department emergency communications by local and state police.
  • 47.42: Red Cross relief frequency
  • 52.525: 6-meter band ham radio emergency channel
  • 121.50: the international aeronautical emergency frequency.
  • 138.225: FEMA disaster relief frequency
  • 146.52: 2-meter band ham radio emergency channel
  • 151.625: used by businesses that travel about the country.
  • 154.57: used by businesses that travel about the country.
  • 154.60: used by businesses that travel about the country.
  • 154.28: local fire department emergency channel.
  • 154.265: local fire department emergency channel.
  • 154.295: local fire department emergency channel.
  • 155.160: used for inter-department emergencies by local and state agencies during search and rescue operations.
  • 155.475: used for inter-department emergency communications by local and state police forces.
  • 156.75: This channel is used internationally for broadcasts of maritime weather alerts.
  • 156.80: international maritime distress, calling, and safety channel.
  • 162.425: NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.
  • 162.45: NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.
  • 162.475: NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.
  • 162.50: NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.
  • 162.525: NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.
  • 162.55: NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.
  • 163.275: NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.
  • 163.4875: used nationwide by the National Guard during emergencies.
  • 163.5125: national disaster preparedness frequency used jointly by the armed forces.
  • 164.50: national communications for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • 168.55: used by civilian agencies of the federal government during emergencies and disasters.
  • 243.00: used during military aviation emergencies.
  • 311.00: in-flight channel used by the U.S. Air Force.
  • 317.70 used by U.S. Coast Guard aviation.
  • 317.80: used by U.S. Coast Guard aviation.
  • 319.40: in-flight channel used by the U.S. Air Force.
  • 340.20: channel used by U.S. Navy aviators.
  • 409.20: national communications channel for the Interstate Commerce Commission.
  • 409.625: national communications channel for the Department of State.
  • 462.675: used for emergency communications and traveler assistance in the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS).

The If-All-Else-Fails communication plan. You should set up a plan in case all hell breaks loose and your other plans completely fall apart or something happens that your communication plan didn’t consider. You need some kind of fall-back. Imagine the worst-case TEOTWAWKI scenario; cell phone usage goes out, traffic is jammed everywhere, roadblocks are set up, whatever. You need ways to communicate. You need several contingency plans. This should all be covered in your overall emergency, bug-out or SHTF plan but there should be an emergency communications element to it.

Think of some kind of scenario where typical communication is gone and you can’t travel to where you wanted to according to your plan, and your family/friends are spread out to unknown locations. What will you do? You need to set up somehow to get a hold of everyone. In this case you need to use several methods because you don’t know what the situation is for anyone else until you establish comms. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Establish several locations where you could leave some kind of message (like the yellow ribbon) that you could visit without being noticed and no one would give any thought to whatever you leave there. These locations should be established in advance but spread out a bit in case you can’t reach them all. The message you’re sending could be that you’re ok and what location you are headed to, for example.
  • Set up a periodic radio transmission schedule that covers several frequencies. You need to cover different frequencies because you don’t know what the others will be able to listen or transmit on and different frequencies act differently with certain atmospheric conditions. Set up a couple of frequencies in a few different bands and a schedule such as ‘starting at noon every day, you’ll transmit and listen for five minutes on each of these 6 frequencies.’ Then all they have to do is somehow get to a radio and listen in on one of those frequencies. Set up your plan so that you could provide useful information even if only one of you can transmit. Remember your OPSEC.
  • Go over different scenarios with your family during and after you’ve made your communication plan. Not only will you fill in some missing pieces of the plan that you didn’t realize, you’ll also all get an idea of how each other thinks so you can anticipate what they will do.
  • Practice your plan! Actually go out and do the stuff that you sit down and come up with. You’ll find very quickly that a lot of things sound good while you’re sitting at the dining room table typing away on your laptop but don’t work worth a hill of beans in the real world.
  • Make an emergency contact list for everyone. If they can’t get a hold of you, they need to get a hold of someone.
  • Make sure every person in your family/team/whatever understands every part of the plan and can do each part. You need to all get licensed for ham radio if that’s going to be part of your plan.
  • Look into several other communication systems for your plan such asGMRS, The Family Radio Service (FRS), Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS), satellite phone and CB Radio.

I’ve uploaded a free .pdf on disaster communications by Doug Smith in case you really want to get serious.

 

Elements and Considerations of a Successful Disaster Preparedness Supplemental Communications Plan using the Personal Radio Services

 

 


Well, you should have enough tools in your family Emergency Communication plan toolbox now to be able to make some kind of plan. Just remember, the plan I’ve been talking about for the past while (I typed slow so you could understand it more easily) may be a lot more thorough than you’ll need. Don’t make it overly-complicated. Make it just as complicated, and have just as much stuff as it needs to, and no more.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: graywolfsurvival


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Reliable Ham Radio Post-Disaster Security Communications

Guest post by PrepperDoc

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Many preppers’ post-disaster communications plans are built upon low power (“QRP,”  typically 1-5 watts output power) ham radio equipment, able to easily obtain power from small battery or low-power solar sources.    They may believe that after a disaster, interference from higher-powered stations, noisy power lines, electric motors, and a host of computers will be squashed, and their 5-watt level signals will easily make all the necessary communications.  Depending on their communications requirements, they may be badly disappointed in the real event!

Survivors may have widely varying communications needs which might be broken down roughly into three categories:  1) ability to listen to (and possibly contribute to) news reports to/from undamaged states or nations;  2) ability to obtain same-city, intra-state and next-state-over reports of situation-on-the-ground (5-300 miles);  3) short-range communications within a neighborhood.   #1 is easily handled by low-power ham gear (or even shortwave radio receivers) because there may be multiple possible transmitting stations from which to choose; simply find one you can hear.   #3 can be handled by direct (simplex) communications using low-power walkie-talkie FRS/GMRS or ham transceivers.  (Store several in a Faraday cage!)   It is middle-distance #2 — reliable communication/information gathering from 5-300 miles — that is problematic.   You may find a network of several reliable early-warning sites in nearby cities and just across the state border, and have a need to maintain RELIABLE (not hit-or-miss) communications with them daily for updates on security issues.   It is nice to know of oncoming trouble farther than “smoke-distance.”

VHF/UHF walkie-talkies simply can’t fill this need with their line-of-sight propagation.   And ground-wave (limited at any frequency above 3.5 MHz) transmissions will not cover the distance.   One report found 7MHz ground wave unreliable even at 15 km.   This 5-300 mile range is the realm where Near Vertical Incidence Skywave communications (NVIS), bouncing near-straight-up radio waves off the ionosphere miles above us (usually the F layer but sometimes the E layer) is the only suitable propagation system.  [1]

The properties of the F layer are important to your success.   First, it is at least 150 km above the earth, so your signal is going to travel 300 km just to get to the other side of your town.   Modeling your antenna as a point-source, your signal is going to be significantly dispersed and therefore much weaker after traversing that 300 km round-trip distance!

Secondly, the F layer has variable ionization (more during the day, and during maxima of the 11-year sunspot cycle) and is only able to reflect signals at any given moment up to a certain “cutoff frequency” that depends on the both the ionization and the angle of incidence.   Vertical signals (needed to get to the other side of your city) are the hardest to refract/reflect.   The maximum frequency that successfully reflects vertically is called the Critical Frequency.    Somewhat higher frequencies may refract at lesser angles — but constrained by geometry, they will come back down much farther away, leaving you with a “skip zone” of impossible communications.

And unfortunately, you probably can’t use the exact OPTIMAL frequency at any given circumstance. Your prospective counterparties are mostly other amateur radio operators.   Ham radio equipment typically is designed to work only in certain designated frequency bands — the 3.5-4 MHz (“80 meter”) and 7-7.3 MHz (“40 meter”) are usually the key ones for reliable NVIS communications.   During nighttime around sunspot minima, only the 3.5-4 MHz band may be functioning for NVIS.   During the day, both 80 and 40 meters may reflect in more years of the sunspot cycle — but now add in the problem that the lower level D layer, activated by sunlight-accompanying xrays,  will all but wipe out 80 meter communications.   The D layer’s power-absorption declines by the square of the frequency.  As a result, you prefer to use the very highest frequency that works, optimally just below the critical frequency.  During daytime, the critical frequency may be 7MHz or even much higher, but many ham transceivers off only 7MHz,  14MHz, 21MHz & 28MHz choices.   Thus you may have additional D-layer absorption due to sub-optimal communications frequency.  During the night, the sun’s xrays disappear, and the D layer dissipates, so 3.5-4 MHz signals, which are usually safely below the critical frequency even during sunspot minima, become much more useful & important. For reliable nighttime NVIS, you probably need 80 meter capability, which requires large antennas for good efficiency (or else higher power).  [2]

The ultimate goal is simply to provide a signal to the desired receiving station that significantly overpowers the NOISE that the recipient encounters.   Inexperienced operators may require signal-to-noise ratios of 10 dB or more for successful communications.

Even after an EMP-type disaster, there may be more radio noise than optimistic low-power proponents expected.  Why?  Because much of the radio noise in the high frequency bands is the result of tens of lightning strikes every second, all over globe, whose radio-signature is carried around the world by the ionosphere just like any other radio signal. [3]   Even after an EMP, this noise source will still exist.   Further, ham radio stations in undamaged nations will still be on the air — and likely far busier than ever before!  There will be plenty of strong signals with which to contend.   Finally, while power lines may be silent and most computers dark, a new source of man-made radio interference may burst forth–dozens to thousands of power inverters of all types providing power to persons all over your city.   Even the sine-wave inverters have powerful switching signals as part of their makeup, and I was surprised to find a very troublesome amount of interference coming from my very own backup power system, wiping out weak-signal reception!   The addition of a heavy-duty filtering device in my inverter’s power lines to my home knocked this down considerably, but few survivors are going to have prepared this well, so houses all around you may be radiating radio hash.  (Consider a device similar to:   http://www.amazon.com/Power-Single-Phase-Filter-CW3-20A-S/dp/B00D0U83D8/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1428329468&sr=8-8&keywords=power+line+filter )

For NVIS communications, your antenna can also squelch your effort to overcome the noise at your intended recipient’s site:  vertical or whip antennas put relatively little power straight up, further damaging your low-powered transmitter’s chances.   A very comprehensive investigation in the Netherlands demonstrated that a horizontal resonant dipole at 0.15 – 0.2 wavelengths height was optimal [4]  (corroborating work done in the rainforests of Thailand).   For an 80-meter antenna, that means a height in the range of 40 feet; for 40 meters, 20 feet.   Survivors with antennas at first-story roof-level may face a significant power loss of as much as 90% of their effective signal (10 dB).   Likewise, too-high an antenna (from a skyscraper) may also lower vertically incident power.

You can reduce the effective noise (and thus improve your chances) by eschewing voice communications and moving to narrow-band techniques such as Morse code or digital communications — IF your receiver has the ability to filter more narrowly, your operator has the required experience, and in the case of digital, your conversion equipment survived the disaster.   In our group, we have some new operators who simply cannot use these more-powerful techniques, so we are limited to voice (single side band, about 2 kHz bandwidth).

Beginning to see why QRP low-power ham radio may not meet your security communication needs post-disaster?  Basically, there were very good reasons why the most popular ham radio gear of the 1960’s and 1970’s offered a full 100 watts of output!   Furthermore, what if there is a second EMP strike? Or third?   Will your transistorized low-power ham radio is connected to an antenna during one of those strikes because you depend on it for communications?   It may well be destroyed.    The most impervious gear to simulated EMP attack in testing was vacuum tube gear:  the type of transceivers that had the 100-watt output.

So what is documented about successful and reliable short-to-mid-range NVIS communications in the real world?   Working in the rainforests of Thailand, with relatively optimized antennas, 15-watt output transmitters were reliable for NVIS communications 80% of the time.   My own group found that with newbie operators and horizontal dipoles at various heights, cross-city (30 mile) communications were sometimes possible on voice, and even more likely on Morse code, but that experience made a very big difference.    A Netherlands group did extensive research at a near-optimum frequency of 5.39 MHz for their conditions, using a high-power 850-watt output transmitter and had excellent signal to noise ratios of 50 dB in NVIS communications.[4]   Their powerful transmitter even showed evidence of a readable signal that may have been carried the other way–traversing almost the entire globe to reach their recipient; but this signal was some 40 dB weaker.   Their advantages over many low-power stations were significant:   Their 850 watt station was 22 dB stronger than a 5-watt QRP station,  had an optimized antenna (possibly 10-20 dB better than a poorer antenna) and optimized frequency (excessive D-layer absorption due to lower frequency might have added another 10-20 dB of loss).   Hence their 50 dB signal to noise ratio could easily have been obliterated by a ham operating a 5-watt station (-22 dB), with a suboptimal antenna (-15 dB) and suboptimal frequency (-15 dB)  (total degradation:   52 dB) even before considering the difficulties of inexperienced operators.  An excellent advisory on NVIS emergency communicates notes success with 25 watt (output) signals. [5]

My conclusion is that your communications preparations should definitely include a simple wire dipole antenna at 30-40 feet, either resonant or long-wire horizontal dipoles (with antenna tuner) for both 80- and 40- meter ham radio bands, and possibly additional higher frequency bands for daytime use.    You should also develop a healthy dose of experience (Morse code ability and a narrow receiver filter would be great!).   But it is obviously easier to “turn down” the transmitter power on a 100-watt (or higher) tube type rugged EMP-resistant vacuum tube transmitter to save energy, than it is to try and make a low power 5-watt QRP transistorized transmitter communicate amidst stronger signals and broadband inverter-generated hash interference, while worrying that your equipment might at any time be destroyed by a follow-up EMP strike.    So it might be worth it to plan ahead to provide both ham radio equipment and electrical power for a higher power transmitter, even if you do succeed at times with a QRP transceiver.

REFERENCES

[1] NVIS Army FM 24-18.  Appendix M with Graphics.   http://kv5r.com/ham-radio/nvis-army-fm-24-18/   (An excellent tutorial.)

[2]   HF Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) Frequency Band Selection.    Accessed at:   http://www.idahoares.info/tutorial_hf_nvis_band_selection.shtml

[3]   Bianchi C, Meloni A:  Terrestrial Natural and Man-Made Electromagnetic Noise.  Accessed at:    http://www.progettomem.it/doc/MEM_Noise.pdf

[4] Witvliet BA et al, Near Vertical Incidence Skywave Propagation:  Elevation Angles and Optimum Antenna Height for Horizontal Dipole Antennas.   Accessed at:   http://www.agentschaptelecom.nl/sites/default/files/2015_-_witvliet_-_nvis_elevation_angles_and_antenna_height_-_ieee_ant_prop_mag.pdf

[5] Idaho Amateur Radio Emergency Service, HF near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) Frequency Band Selection.  Accessed at:  http://www.idahoares.info/tutorial_hf_nvis_band_selection.shtml

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

Via:  thesurvivalistblog


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What You Need to Know too Communicate and Receive Needed Information Now and After the SHTF – Prepper Communications Primer

Guest post By Chuck Findlay


Choosing a communications gear depends on what a person wants and how they qualify communications. Is it 2-way info, is it just getting info to be updated as to what is going on around your area, the world, how much money, how much time, how much knowledge are you willing to invest? Are you the kind of person that just buys things and plugs them in or putts batteries in? Or are you a builder / tinkerer that loves to know how and why something does what it does?

AMATEUR RADIO (Ham Radio)

Most will say ham radio and it is very good. But it takes knowledge that many people will never really try to learn good enough to be able to take advantage of all it offers. There are numerous bands, layers of the atmosphere, types of radios (AM/ FM, Sideband, HF, VHF, UHF, SHF, and a lot more) and each one does things in a different way and at different times of the day, different times of the year, and at different ranges) And it takes a lot of time and knowledge to make the best use of ham radio. And no you don’t have to use all of them, but then if not another type of radio may be a better choice if you don’t feel or want to invest time in ham radio.

If you need to talk to others, how far away do you think they will be. What will the available power source to keep the radios up and running. Other than QRP (very low power ham radios that is a hobby in itself) the farther you want to talk the more power you need to put into the radio. You can make up for this with antennas and height of said antenna (and a few other antenna options that hams use) Are you a person that is willing to build antennas and then climb a roof or tower to put them up to get extended range, and then take it down and start over if it didn’t give you what you wanted? Most hams are willing to do this all the time to squeak-out every bit of range they can. It’s called a hobby and some of us have it BAD!

Amateur radio is limited to 1,500 watts of power, and on HF (Shortwave) people run up to that much. Hand held radios are usually 1.5 to 7-watts, most being 5-watts. Auto VHF & UHF radios run normally 25 to 50-watts, but are allowed the 1,500-watts. I know no ham that runs much over 50-watts or so on the VHF & UHF bands. HF auto radios run hundreds of watts and can talk hundreds of miles to ½ way around the planet.

It’s kinda neat to be in Ohio and talk to someone on the other side of the country on your drive to work. Ham radios can be expensive if you buy new radios, but there are a lot of used ones at a hamfest st good prices. I see older Icom’s, Kenwood’s and Radio Shack radios that work fine for $20.00 and up. Radio Shack radios being the lower priced ones and Icom being the more expensive ones. But they all work well.

FRS RADIO

FRS radios are advertised to have a 2-mile range. This is pure BS, I have several sets (garage sales and the Good Will Store buys that I can use for barter) that I have played with and ¼ mile is about the best for any of them. These radios would be useful around a home or a small homestead. FRS radios by law have fixed antennas (Rubber-ducks) that are like 3-inches long and are not allowed an external antenna jack. This makes them next to useless. FRS radios are limited to ½ watt of power.

GMRS RADIO

GMRS radios have more power then FRS radios but again they have very limited range in my experience. ½ mile range. And they cost more then FRS radios by a good margin. GMRS radios are allowed to have jacks that allow external antennas, but I’ve seen many without this option. Again these are almost useless for any kind of realistic range. GMRS radios are limited to 1.5 watts of power.

MURS RADIO

MURS radio is in the VHF High band (150 MHz range) and use to be called the business band as many businesses use it for around town talking. With an outside antenna and a roof top auto antenna it has a range of 10-miles, or a bit more depending on your location, antenna type and how high in the air it is. These radios are usually hand held and come with a rubber 6-inch antenna on it. But most of them are able to use external antennas. These radios are probably the most private radios you can get outside of ham radios. They have been marketed to the prepper movement for several years.

They are $150.00 and more per radio and you need at least 2 of them to talk, plus outside antennas if you want range. I think http://www.MURSradio is a place to find them. They also make alarm / motion security transmitters that use this band. But if you are handy with electronics you can get a set of them for a lot less. Amateur radio guys have flea markets called hamfest, they are full of anything radio, electronic, and old electronic item that have seen a long and many times rough life. But you can get things for LOW prices.

I bought a set of business band radios with drop-in chargers for $20.00, yes they needed the battery packs rebuilt ($15.00 each radio) but now I have a set of what today is called MURS radios and it cost me $50.00 and a few hours work (I’m weird but I call it fun working on stuff like this) There are hamfest almost every weekend all over the USA. Do a search and you will find one close to you. http://Www.ARRL.org will have a list of them. A great hamfest, and the biggest one in the world is in Dayton Ohio every May. 80,000 people go to it, It’s said that if mankind ever made it, it’s been sold at the Dayton Hamfest. I have seen a German WWII Enigma machine there, this has to be one of the rarest things on this planet, but they had one there.

Be aware hamfest are cash sales and things are as-is. So buyer beware.

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Check this out:

Dakota Alert MURS Wireless Motion Detection Kit, Base Station Radio


Dakota Alert MURS Wireless Motion Detection Kit.

Features

  • Monitor activity in remote locations up to several miles away
  • Alert signals are in spoken English
  • Allows two-way voice communications between other MURS transceivers
  • Consists of one MURS Alert transmitter and one M538-BS base station transceiver

Be sure to order the birdhouse kit and hand-held unit that will allow you to monitor your property even when the power goes out + communicate with the base unit when you away from home.

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CB RADIO

CB radio is full of vulgar talk so you have to be prepared for that and keep it away from kids you don’t want to learn to swear like a sailor. You have a choice of 40 channels so you can always find a quiet one. But CB is the poor-mans talking radio. With roof-top antennas and auto mag-mount antennas you can easily get 25-miles (an honest 25-miles) out of a legal power radio. And if you are not so honest you can buy an amplifier (called a linear) that can take your legal limit of 4-watts to as high as you pocket will allow. The FCC long ago gave up on monitoring the CB band so there is almost no chance of getting caught. I would not use an amp and it’s not needed, I’m just making you aware of how it is.

CB radios are available for almost give-away prices at garage sales and flea markets as are the auto mag-mount antennas. I see auto CB radios for $5.00 many times with the antenna. And I also see CB hand held (walkie talkies) for $5.00. I don’t use CB myself as I have a lot of ham radios to use, but they again are worth stocking up on as they are inexpensive. Make sure you try them out before put them away for future use, and the antennas need to be tuned to each radio. The one drawback to hand held CB radios is that most of them require 10-AA batteries so you need a good supply of rechargeable batteries and a battery charger, preferably a solar charger. But almost all hand held CBs can be plugged into an external power source, be it your auto, a free standing 12-volt battery or through a power supply in your home. Auto CBs radios can also be used in a home with a power supply

You can also buy new CB radios at almost every truck stop in the USA, It used to be that Radio Shack had them as did most department stores, but not anymore. The 1970s CB craze is long gone.

AM FM

If you only want to receive and not talk an AM/FM battery powered radio is hard to beat. FM will allow you to listen to stations within 70-miles or so. AM will allow you to listen to stations within 500-miles or so. There are exceptions, but these ranges are realistic for normal people that don’t build long/ big antennas or buy $1,500.00 radios. An inexpensive AM radio will allow you to listen to stations hundreds of miles away. And of all news outlets, AM radio will be the one used the most after TV.

SHORTWAVE

Shortwave radios are always said to be a good source of news. Well yes and no. Shortwave is full of government propaganda from numerous countries and a lot of religious broadcasters. Neither of these give you very useful info these days. Also shortwave is full of a lot of things that are coded (military) are utility based information that while you can hear it, it will make no sense and be of no value. I have several shortwave radios up to and including top-end ones that allow me to listen to things all my other radios can’t even hear. When JFK Jr died I listened to the Coast Guard searching for his plane, I listen to military refueling, Hurricane hunters and the like. But it’s a hobby, not for useful news.

POLICE SCANNERS (Called Scanners)

I have several of these but I have not kept up with them as most police departments have went digital and it’s been years since I have bought a scanner so I have no updated info on scanners. (Maybe someone else could weigh in on the current state of scanning..) But while there was a lot of good info on scanners it takes a lot of time to listen to to get it and being raw data it has to be analyzed and interpreted to get the most use out of it. Scanners are probably not a good investment today. There are lots of used scanners at all kinds of price ranges from $2.00 to hundreds

BOTTOM LINE

For news a AM/FM radio will give you more and cost a LOT less.

And CB is the best value for talking as you can buy used radios for little money.

FRS & GMRS are of limited use as the range is very short. I would call them kids toys

Amateur radio is the best if you are willing to put the time, knowledge and like to build things.

ADVERTISED RANGE

FRS< GMRS & MURS all have an overinflated statement of their range printed on the package. It’s always a lie.

Amateur Radio makers NEVER state the range as they are marketed to an aware buyer that already knows what the radio will do and also Amateur Radios have talking range well beyond all other radios made bar none.

PRIVACY and the TALK BUTTON

Also be aware that every ham has a call sign that must be used, other hams will not talk to you without a real one, and you can not fake a call-sign, hams will know it’s not real. And anyone with net access and or an easy to get data CD can look up your address. It’s super easy to do. You will not likely want to talk about private things on ham radio. Or any radio as anyone could be listening.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

Via :  thesurvivalistblog


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Determine Your Food and Communications Preparedness

Ninety percent of Americans will have no idea what to do the day they turn on their water faucet and nothing comes out; the day they go to the supermarket only to be greeted by metal bars; the day that obtaining gasoline is no longer as simple as heading to your local convenience store. These are the people who will succumb to a government-administered dystopia where you’re rationed food and water as long as you comply with Orwellian-type rules.

Technology will likely still be around in some capacity post-apocalypse because the New World Order has seen how effective it can be controlling the minds and thought processes of the people. But free souls will know how to survive mostly from the land and hand hard work.

Food And Water

During the Great Depression and World War II, the U.S. government issued ration books to all Americans. You could only buy a fixed amount of meat, sugar, and other goods from the supermarket in a given month due to massive food shortages. Many pundits and scholars believe World War III has already arrived due to all the conflicts in several Middle Eastern countries which Washington D.C. has its hand in.

The best option is to have a few acres of land somewhere far away from urban areas, preferably near a water source or a well. Now is the time to buy several pounds of heirloom seeds to grow vegetables and fruits. Properly stored seeds can last for up to 10 years. Storage options include rubber-sealed jars or freezing.

Create renewable food sources for yourself. It’s simple to catch a few wild rabbits in cage traps, build a fence, and allow them to mate, resulting in a renewable food source. This gives you a fresh meat source anytime you want it. Wild turkeys are also an excellent source of renewable meat.

Communications

It’s all but guaranteed cell phone and Internet use will be rationed and monitored. Your whole survival plan might be compromised once government and other unsavory individuals know where you are and what you have. Communication with others who are not in your immediate circle should be highly restricted and selective.

The U.S. military uses sat-com devices to communicate, so this technology will likely be available indefinitely, but that doesn’t guaranteed  that it will be  available for you during a crisis, and like everything else will be monitored. It’s best to purchase the equipment now so you have the tools necessary to tap into the signals necessary for two-way communication. Old-fashioned CB radios will always be around, and are cheap to purchase. Shortwave and HAM radio also provide a means of listening for news and other developments around the world without television.

Regardless of your communication method, power will be necessary to run them. Buy at least two deep-cycle golf cart batteries and an inverter so you always have at least some off-grid power. Learn how to wire a stationary bike to the batteries to charge them from pedal power.


You knock out two birds with one stone: get exercise and keep a charge in your batteries.

 

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

Via :  thesurvivalistblog


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Emergency Communications

Guest post by Posted by Rob Richardson

As I learned from working in the areas ravaged by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and several others, cell phones and land-line telephones are basically useless.  It became obvious very quickly that I could not call home from most areas due to the telephone lines and cell towers being “down” or busy.  Fortunately, I was prepared by having a 2-meter, a 10-meter (both now replaced with a HF/VHF/UHF all band radio), a Citizens Band (CB) radio, and a Uniden Bearcat Scanner which all were mounted in my truck!  The scanner allowed me to hear law enforcement and other agencies that were responding to and working the disaster.

The 2-Meter radio allowed me to contact local authorities and also to monitor rescue and recovery efforts and to plan which routes and areas to work in due to massive damage and debris everywhere.  The CB allowed me to contact truckers and their fantastic network of highway/roadway information! With the 10-Meter radio I was able to make contacts that could get in touch with my family which were several hundred miles away and safely at home!

I use frequencies from five (5) different areas of the radio spectrum to aid in my travels, for safety, obtaining information, and in communication with others.  The areas were:  NOAA Weather Radio, CB (both AM and SSB), FRS/GMRS, VHF Maritime, and most importantly Amateur Radio (Ham Radio).

You do not need a license to monitor or listen to any of the frequencies provided in this article. However, you will need a license to talk on some of the frequencies listed.  I will start with “free-talk” frequencies or the ones where no license is needed.

NOAA Weather Radio


NOAA broadcasts are tailored to specific areas and give specific information to fit the needs of people in the listening area of each NOAA transmitter.  There are currently over 425 transmitters in the United States, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Guam, and Saipan.  Canada has its own weather alert system and can be researched on the Internet.  Each transmitter covers a range of approximately 40 miles from the transmitter site.  Currently over 80% of the country is covered by NOAA broadcasts.  This 80% encompasses up to 95 % of the population!

In the United States most NOAA broadcasts are heard 24-hours a day with the weather forecasts being updated as needed.  Special hazards and other warnings are broadcast as needed.  Broadcasts have evolved to a point where most weather radios have “Specific Area Message Encoding” or S.A.M.E. which allows the user to program only the areas they wish to monitor or hear affected by the broadcasts when receiving weather or other hazard warnings.

In times of severe weather in some areas, local Ham radio operators or Skywarn Hams call in on specific radio frequencies and update the local NOAA office with weather reports from their location.  If monitoring the Sky Warn frequencies you will get advanced notice of any hazardous weather in your area!  NOAA operates on seven (7) frequencies outside of the normal AM/FM radio bands.  No licensing is required to own a NOAA Weather radio or to monitor their transmissions.  They are listed below:

Frequency

162.4000 MHz 162.4250 MHz
162.4500 MHz 162.4750 MHz
162.5000 MHz 162.5250 MHz
162.550 MHz

I monitor the NOAA frequencies with my Ham radio equipment and have gained very useful information in times of severe weather.  If you purchase a NOAA Weather Radio, these frequencies are pre-programmed allowing the end-user to turn it on and start receiving broadcasts!

Citizens Band Radio (CB)


If you did not sleep through the entire 1970’s and 80’s you most likely have heard of and probably once owned or knew someone with a CB radio!  They gained immense popularity with the truckers and then with almost everyone else at some point in the past.  Since 1977 they all have 40-channels.  Some come with single-side band (SSB).  Others have the NOAA channels and some even have Blue Tooth capability.  The radios that have SSB supply 120 separate channels to use in your communication:  40 AM, 40 USB (upper side-band), and 40 LSB (lower side-band).

The United States and Canada have a tremendous amount of over-the-road truckers and most of them utilize CB radio!  When listening to or talking with them you will learn the location of weather hazards, mobile law enforcement, roadway obstructions, traffic jams, accidents, hazardous drivers, good food, rest areas, and much, much more!  (A lot of the older Hams cringe at the thought of CB radio, but the information and safety advantages they provide greatly outweigh their prejudices against the CB and its operators!  By the way, I’m an Amateur Extra Class Ham and a CB’er!)  CB’s utilizes specific channelized frequencies from 26.965 MHz to 27.405 MHz.  Truckers primarily use Channel 19 (27.1850 MHz) for their communications nation-wide with Channel 9 (27.0650 MHz) being the recognized Emergency Channel.  CB’s are used by many 4X4 clubs, hunting clubs, RVer’s, and boating clubs!  Currently you do not need a license to operate on any CB frequency in the United States.

The transmission range of a CB varies greatly with the type antenna, atmosphere, channel, number of other transmissions taking place, terrain, and solar activity.  Most mobile to mobile transmission will be between your location and up to 10 miles out.  Some periods may allow “skip” or “DX” to occur resulting in transmission over 100 miles and up to a thousand mile or more!  However, talking “skip” is illegal under the FCC rules for CB use.  Power is restricted to 4-watts on AM and 12-watts on SSB.  A CB frequency chart is below:

CB CHANNEL INFORMATION

CB Channel Frequency Frequency Use
Channel 1 26.965 MHz
Channel 2 26.975 MHz
Channel 3 26.985 MHz Prepper CB Network (AM)
Channel 4 27.005 MHz Used by many 4X4 clubs, The American Pepper’s Network (TAPRN.)
Channel 5 27.015 MHz
Channel 6 27.025 MHz Many operators using illegal linears.
Channel 7 27.035 MHz
Channel 8 27.055 MHz
Channel 9 27.065 MHz Universal C.B. Emergency / REACT Channel.
Channel 10 27.075 MHz
Channel 11 27.085 MHz Local calling channel
Channel 12 27.105 MHz
Channel 13 27.115 MHz Often used in some areas for marine, RV’s, and campers
Channel 14 27.125 MHz FCMA (Federal Motor Coach Assoc) heard here
Channel 15 27.135 MHz Used by truckers in CA
Channel 16 27.155 MHz Used by many 4X4 clubs.
Channel 17 27.165 MHz Used by truckers on the east-west roads in CA.
Channel 18 27.175 MHz
Channel 19 27.185 MHz Unofficial main” Trucker” channel
Channel 20 27.205 MHz
Channel 21 27.215 MHz Used by truckers for N/S routes in CA and some other areas.
Channel 22 27.225 MHz
Channel 23 27.255 MHz
Channel 24 27.235 MHz
Channel 25 27.245 MHz
Channel 26 27.265 MHz
Channel 27 27.275 MHz
Channel 28 27.285 MHz
Channel 29 27.295 MHz
Channel 30 27.305 MHz Channels 30 and up are often used for SSB.
Channel 31 27.315 MHz
Channel 32 27.325 MHz
Channel 33 27.335 MHz
Channel 34 27.345 MHz
Channel 35 27.355 MHz Australian calling channel
Channel 36 27.365 MHz Unofficial USB calling channel
Channel 37 27.375 MHz Prepper 37 (USB)
Channel 38 27.385 MHz Unofficial LSB calling channel
Channel 39 27.395 MHz SSB
Channel 40 27.405 MHz SSB

Since I’m the only Ham radio operator in our family, we have a set CB channel and an alternate channel to meet on if an emergency or crisis arises!  It should be noted that even though there are 40 channels on the CB, only one is set aside for any group and that is Channel 9 (Emergency / React Channel) as mentioned above.  Anyone can talk on any other CB channel anytime, anywhere in the United States day or night!

A lot of people have CB’s that have been modified for “Freeband Operation.”  Freeband is operating below Channel 1 and above Channel 40 on the CB band.  In addition, there are frequencies between each CB channel that are utilized in “freebanding.”  Frequency 27.555 MHz (USB is the freeband calling channel.  I keep the Freeband frequencies programmed into my scanner and sometimes hear some interesting conversations.

Survivalist and Prepper CB and Freeband Frequencies

Frequency USE
CB 3(AM) 26.9850MHz Pepper’s
CB 36(USB) 27.3650MHz Survivalist
CB 37(USB) 27.3750MHz Prepper CB Network(AM)
Freeband(USB) 27.3680MHz Survivalist Network
Freeband(USB) 27.3780MHz Prepper Network
Freeband(USB) 27.4250MHz Survivalist Network

FRS  / GMRS


The FRS or Family Radio Service was adopted in 1996 for use by families.  Since then, many businesses use the FRS to aid in their daily communications.  The FRS utilizes improved walkie-talkies and is allotted frequencies that are channelized.   The FRS and GMRS use UHF or ultra-high frequency.  Many FRS / GMRS radios come with sub-audible squelch codes (CTCSS and DCS).  This allows the user to squelch out many undesirable transmissions and conserve battery life.

There are 22 FRS / GMRS channels.  Channels 1 – 7 are shared with the GMRS.  Channels 8 – 14 are for FRS only.  Channels 15 – 22 are for GMRS only.  It should be noted that the FRS does not require licensing where the GMRS requires an FCC license.  The FRS radios are restricted to ½ watt (500-milliwatts) and must have a fixed antenna.  The range of a typical FRS radio is typically ¼ mile out to approximately 1 ½ miles, sometimes maybe further depending upon the terrain and other factors.  GMRS radios may use up to 5-watts of power and offer better range.  A list of frequencies for the FRS / GMRS is below:

FRS/GMRS Frequencies

Channel

Use

Frequency (MHz)

Channel

Use

Frequency (MHz)

1

FRS/GMRS

462.5625

12

FRS

467.6625

2

FRS/GMRS

462.5875

13

FRS

467.6875

3

FRS/GMRS

462.6125

14

FRS

467.7125

4

FRS/GMRS

462.6375

15

GMRS

462.5500

5

FRS/GMRS

462.6625

16

GMRS

462.5750

6

FRS/GMRS

462.6875

17

GMRS

462.6000

7

FRS/GMRS

462.7125

18

GMRS

462.6250

8

FRS

467.5625

19

GMRS

462.6500

9

FRS

467.5875

20

GMRS

462.6750

10

FRS

467.6125

21

GMRS

462.7000

11

FRS

467.6375

22

GMRS

462.7250

Amateur (HAM) Radio


Amateur Radio or Ham Radio licenses come in three classifications:  Technician (entry-level), General Class (mid-level), and Amateur Extra (an Advanced-level).  In recent years it was mandatory to learn CW or Morse Code to progress in each classification, however, now no code is required!

There are many Amateur Radio (Ham) frequencies allotted for Amateur use.  They are termed “bands.”  They start in HF (high frequency) at 160 meters (1.8000 – 2.0000 MHz) and continue through the radio spectrum to above 300 GHZ.

A listing of the bands is below:

160 Meters 1.800 – 2.0000 MHz 75/80 Meters 3.5000 – 4.0000 MHz
60 Meters (6 channelized frequencies) 5330.5 KHz – 5403.5 KHz 40 Meters 7.0000 – 7.3000 MHz
20 Meters 14.0000 – 14.3500 MHz 30 Meters 10.0000 – 10.1500 MHz
15 Meters 21.0000 – 21.44500 MHz 17 Meters 18.0680 – 18.1680 MHZ
10 Meters 28.0000 – 29.7000 MHz 12 Meters 24.8900 – 24.9900 MHz
2 meters 144.0000 – 148.0000 MHz 6 Meters 50.1000 – 54.0000 MHz
70 Centimeters (CM) 420.0000 – 450.0000 MHz 1.25 Meters 219.0000 – 225.0000 MHz

And the following Microwave bands:2300-2310 MHz, 2390-2450 MHz, 3300-3500 MHz, 5650-5925 MHz, 10.0-10.5 GHz, 24.0-24.25 GHz, 47.0-47.2 GHz, 76.0-81.0 GHz, 122.25-123.0 GHz, 134-141 GHz, 241-250 GHz, and all above 75 GHz.

The 2-Meter band or the VHF band is where all the local action usually takes place!  All across the United States and many other places, including Canada, the Caribbean areas, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, there is a fantastic network of 2-Meter Repeaters and Amateur Radio clubs that are constantly on the air and are willing to help and relay messages and other information.  Hams on the 2-Meter band contact the local NOAA Weather office in times of severe weather giving updated from their areas to aid in broadcasting weather reports and will give aid to any in need!  This has come in very handy several times while working away from home and also in my home area!  The range of any 2-Meter radio will depend upon the radio output, antenna, repeater height, atmospheric conditions, and other factors.  I regularly talk through one of our local repeaters from as far away a 40 – 45 miles.  I have hit another local wide-area repeater from 52 miles away!

There are many thousands of 2-Meter repeaters in the United States alone!  Repeaters are also on the 6-Meter, 10-Meter, 70-CM, and other bands!  The websites below will give more information on the repeaters in your area:

 

The bands 160 – 10 Meters are referred to as the HF or High Frequency bands.  They are great when hurricanes hit the United States or when other long distance communication is required.  Many areas along the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Ocean have Hurricane Watch Nets and offer assistance in times of storms or other disasters.  Communications across the country and around the world are possible on some frequencies, with some being better in the daylight hours and some better at night.

Listed below are Amateur (Ham) HF emergency network frequencies that I monitor.  Also included are the Mode (Lower or Upper Sideband) and the areas of operation. These frequencies are usually in use during disasters in the immediate area designated. Some frequencies are listed more than once due to multiple areas using them.  A lot of information and advisory alerts can be gained from monitoring these frequencies.  However, most over the counter scanners will not receive these frequencies.  You will have to purchase a higher priced scanner or an Amateur HF radio to receive them.  Some frequently seen abbreviations are:

  • Wx – Weather
  • ARES – Amateur Radio Emergency Service
  • RACES– Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (affiliated with local EMO’s)
  • NTS – National Traffic System

AMATEUR HIGH-FREQUENCY EMERGENCY & HURRICANE NETS

FREQ MODE LOCATION
03808.0 LSB Caribbean Wx
03845.0 LSB Gulf Coast West Hurricane
03862.5 LSB Mississippi Section Traffic
03865.0 LSB West Virginia Emergency
03872.5 LSB Mercury Amateur Radio Assoc / hurricane info net
03873.0 LSB West Gulf ARES Emergency (night)
03873.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane, Louisiana ARES Emergency (night), Mississippi ARES Emergency
03910.0 LSB Central Texas Emergency, Mississippi ARES, Louisiana Traffic
03915.0 LSB South Carolina SSB NTS
03923.0 LSB Mississippi ARES, North Carolina ARES Emergency (Tarheel)
03925.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane, Louisiana Emergency
03927.0 LSB North Carolina ARES (health & welfare)
03935.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane, Louisiana ARES (health & welfare), Texas ARES (health & welfare), Mississippi ARES (health & welfare), & Alabama Emer.
03940.0 LSB Southern Florida Emergency
03944.0 LSB West Gulf Emergency
03950.0 LSB Hurricane Watch (Amateur-to-National Hurricane Center), Northern Florida Emer.
03955.0 LSB South Texas Emergency
03960.0 LSB North East Coast Hurricane
03965.0 LSB Alabama Emergency
03967.0 LSB Gulf Coast (outgoing traffic)
03975.0 LSB Georgia ARES, Texas RACES
03993.5 LSB Gulf Coast (health & welfare)
03993.5 LSB South Carolina ARES/RACES Emergency
03995.0 LSB Gulf Coast Wx
07145.0 LSB Bermuda
07165.0 LSB Antigua/Antilles Emergency and Weather, Inter-island 40-meter (continuous watch)
07225.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane
07232.0 LSB North Carolina ARES Emergency
07235.0 LSB Louisiana Emergency, Central Gulf Coast Hurricane, Louisiana Emergency
07240.0 LSB American Red Cross US Gulf Coast Disaster, Texas Emergency
07242.0 LSB Southern Florida ARES Emergency
07243.0 LSB Alabama Emergency, South Carolina Emergency
07245.0 LSB Southern Louisiana
07247.5 LSB Northern Florida ARES Emergency
07248.0 LSB Texas RACES
07250.0 LSB Texas Emergency
07254.0 LSB Northern Florida Emergency
07260.0 LSB Gulf Coast West Hurricane
07264.0 LSB Gulf Coast (health & welfare)
07265.0 LSB Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio (SATERN)
07268.0 LSB Bermuda
07273.0 LSB Texas ARES
07275.0 LSB Georgia ARES
07280.0 LSB NTS Region 5, Louisiana Emergency
07283.0 LSB Gulf Coast (outgoing only)
07285.0 LSB West Gulf ARES Emergency (day), Louisiana ARES Emergency (day)
07285.0 LSB Mississippi ARES Emergency, Texas ARES Emergency (day)
07290.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane, Gulf Coast Wx, Louisiana ARES (health & welfare day), Texas ARES (health & welfare), & Mississippi ARES
14185.0 USB Caribbean Emergency
14222.0 USB Health & Welfare
14245.0 USB Health & Welfare
14265.0 USB Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio (SATERN) (health & welfare)
14268.0 USB Amateur Radio Readiness Group
14275.0 USB Bermuda & International Amateur Radio
14300.0 USB Intercontinental Traffic & Maritime Mobile Service
14303.0 USB International Assistance & Traffic
14313.0 USB Intercontinental Traffic & Maritime Mobile Service
14316.0 USB Health & Welfare
14320.0 USB Health & Welfare
14325.0 USB Hurricane Watch (Amateur-to-National Hurricane Center)
14340.0 USB Louisiana (1900)
21310.0 USB Health & Welfare (Spanish)
28450.0 USB Health & Welfare (Spanish)

MARITIME / U.S. VHF CHANNELS

When traveling in the coastal areas and along navigable waterways I monitor the Maritime / US VHF Frequencies.  I have provided a frequency list here with two frequencies highlighted.  The highlighted frequencies are the Distress and Information channels for and from Mariners and the US Coast Guard.  It should be noted that to talk on these frequencies a license is required:

Channel Number

Ship Transmit MHz

Ship Receive MHz

Use

01A

156.050

156.050

Port Operations and Commercial, VTS. Available only in New Orleans / Lower Mississippi area.
05A

156.250

156.250

Port Operations or VTS in the Houston, New Orleans and Seattle areas.
06

156.300

156.300

Intership Safety
07A

156.350

156.350

Commercial
08

156.400

156.400

Commercial (Intership only)
09

156.450

156.450

Boater Calling. Commercial and Non-Commercial.
10

156.500

156.500

Commercial
11

156.550

156.550

Commercial. VTS in selected areas.
12

156.600

156.600

Port Operations. VTS in selected areas.
13

156.650

156.650

Intership Navigation Safety (Bridge-to-bridge). Ships >20m length maintain a listening watch on this channel in US waters.
14

156.700

156.700

Port Operations. VTS in selected areas.
15

156.750

Environmental (Receive only). Used by Class C EPIRBs.
16

156.800

156.800

International Distress, Safety and Calling. Ships required to carry radio, USCG, and most coast stations maintain a listening watch on this channel.
17

156.850

156.850

State & local govt maritime control
18A

156.900

156.900

Commercial
19A

156.950

156.950

Commercial
20

157.000

161.600

Port Operations (duplex)
20A

157.000

157.000

Port Operations
21A

157.050

157.050

U.S. Coast Guard only
22A

157.100

157.100

Coast Guard Liaison and Maritime Safety Information Broadcasts. Broadcasts announced on channel 16.
23A

157.150

157.150

U.S. Coast Guard only
24

157.200

161.800

Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)
25

157.250

161.850

Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)
26

157.300

161.900

Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)
27

157.350

161.950

Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)
28

157.400

162.000

Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)
63A

156.175

156.175

Port Operations and Commercial, VTS. Available only in New Orleans / Lower Mississippi area.
65A

156.275

156.275

Port Operations
66A

156.325

156.325

Port Operations
67

156.375

156.375

Commercial. Used for Bridge-to-bridge communications in lower Mississippi River. Intership only.
68

156.425

156.425

Non-Commercial
69

156.475

156.475

Non-Commercial
70

156.525

156.525

Digital Selective Calling (voice communications not allowed)
71

156.575

156.575

Non-Commercial
72

156.625

156.625

Non-Commercial (Intership only)
73

156.675

156.675

Port Operations
74

156.725

156.725

Port Operations
77

156.875

156.875

Port Operations (Intership only)
78A

156.925

156.925

Non-Commercial
79A

156.975

156.975

Commercial. Non-Commercial in Great Lakes only
80A

157.025

157.025

Commercial. Non-Commercial in Great Lakes only
81A

157.075

157.075

U.S. Government only – Environmental protection operations.
82A

157.125

157.125

U.S. Government only
83A

157.175

157.175

U.S. Coast Guard only
84

157.225

161.825

Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)
85

157.275

161.875

Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)
86

157.325

161.925

Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)
87

157.375

157.375

Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)
88A

157.425

157.425

Commercial, Intership only.
AIS 1

161.975

161.975

Automatic Identification System (AIS)
AIS 2

162.025

162.025

Automatic Identification System (AIS)

Power

When transmitting on any radio equipment, transmitter power must be the minimum necessary to carry out the desired communications.  Different power limits are allowed on different bands.  Some Amateur bands allow up to 1500 Watts (PEP) while the FRS only allows ½ watt!

Other Frequencies

When monitoring the airwaves you will want to search the Internet for any frequencies in your area or areas of intended travel.  Some CB’s purchased at truck stops are called “import models” and have the capability to transmit and receive out of band (and are illegal to own and operate in the United States).  I scan the “out of band” CB frequencies with my scanner and have found some interesting conversations taking place from all over the US, Canada, Mexico, and areas in the Caribbean!  Since it is illegal to own or use out of band equipment I will leave the researching of frequencies to the individual users.

Conclusion

There are a lot of different frequencies for everyday use, both talking and monitoring, in the times of disasters or other crisis, or just for fun.  Even if you do not choose to purchase or do not own any radio equipment, the frequencies provided in this article can be programmed into a scanner to give a “heads up” of what’s happening around you.  Frequencies for your local and area law enforcement can be found on the Internet.  Amateur (Ham) radio frequencies for you area can also be found on the Internet.

If interested in getting your Amateur (Ham) Radio license the following two websites offer great information and study guides (books and audio CD’s) can be purchased from them: www.arrl.org and www.W5YI.com

I personally used the Gordon West (WB6NOA) books and audio CD’s to assist in learning the rules, regulations, and necessary information needed to pass the exams!

Remember, to talk on the Amateur or Ham bands, GMRS, and the VHF Maritime bands or frequencies, a license is needed.  Listening or monitoring any frequencies listed here is free!

I look forward to hearing some of you on the air!

73’s,
Jim – KC5DOV



We would like to thank Jim for his extensive research and taking the time to provide this information for our readers. As with all areas of survival, the key to success lies in your knowledge and your training.

 

Some Notes:

There is a condensed version for the ham bands available for download as a PDF at http://offgridsurvival.com/wp-content/themes/church_10/images/2012/10/HAMCHEATSHEET.pdf

 

US Amateur Radio Bands

 

hamuniverse.com

 

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Via: offgridsurvival


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Russia Blocks Websites Of Putin’s Critics, Including Chess Star Garry Kasparov

 


Russia is blocking websites critical of President Vladimir Putin. The Prosecutor General’s office ordered Russian Internet service providers to cut off access to a handful of websites, including the blog of famed chess champion, Garry Kasparov. “These sites contain incitement to illegal activity and participation in public events held in violation of the established order,” read the announcement (via Google translate).

Kasparaov immediately took to Twitter to denounce the move:

Not only did Putin block access to opposition news sites in Russia, but Rus govt contacted our admin to turn off servers. They work fast.


Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) March 13, 2014

Blocking theses websites is just the latest in a turbulent month for the Russian government. Earlier this month, Russia blocked over a dozen Ukrainian activist websites, protesting their military intervention of Crimea. Last week, a Russia Today anchor quit on-air, saying she could no longer work for a network that “whitewashes” Putin’s image.

Putin has defended his free speech record, claiming that he is preserving order and upholding the law.

 

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Via: techcrunch


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Transistor Radio Repair

I recommend the G.E. transistor radios. The technology was improved slightly with the SupeRadio series, which was made for G.E. in Japan starting in the 1970s. These used a perfected superheterodyne circuit and large speakers for full, rich sound. When paired with an inductive antenna enhancer (such as a Terk, Select-A-Tenna, or Kaito brand) to boost the built-in ferrite rod AM antenna, you have a great AM and FM DXing radio with quite good monaural sound.

I was impressed by this guy’s threads on basic, old, transistor radio “revival”.

His simple, well-illustrated threads at Instructables are written for the novice radio tinkerer.

First, instructions for a GE P780B.  (I have one of these, they’re built like tanks and are worth seeking out.)

Second, an American made, Zenith portable. The Zeniths from the 1950s to 1970s are very well made and have audio and DX qualities that place modern portables to shame.

Some other links to check out:

http://www.vintage-radio.com


http://www.transistor.org


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A Written Plan for Your Preparedness

I am an active prepper. I do have sort of a retreat but not a great bug-out vehicle (yet), but I do what I can for bugging-in and preparing for emergencies. I have extensive food and water preps, tactical supplies, and all of the other trappings of modern-day prepping. Although my family is aware of my prepping, and support my efforts, they are not “in the loop” with how to do what, when to do it, and what to do it with. I have come to realize that many of my preps will be useless if anything happens to me. A good example of this is my emergency comm gear. It’s good gear, easily accessed, and will work well, but there are no user-friendly instructions on how to use the gear. Another example would simply to list where everything is located, as my preps are spread throughout the home, vehicles, and remote locations. There are many, many things that I can do with the gear, but might be a stretch for my wife and children, simply due to the lack of instructions.

To this end I have begun documenting all of the needed information regarding our preps. This is being done in plain text, and then a printed copy will be hidden, and a copy given to my wife. Digital versions on the thumb drive are encrypted with a password that we all know well. The docs begin with a detailed inventory that gives location, quantity, and a short description. After the inventory I have started writing how-to docs for each area of need, and the level of detail is just deep enough to get the job done. As is the case with most such articles on preps, bug-out-bags, etc., I begin with water, food, shelter, protection, safety, communications, and lastly, comfort. I have kept the technical jargon to a minimum, and intend to solicit feedback from my family to clear up any points that need it.

With regard to each are of prepping, in some short discussions with my family that safety and security are two areas where considerable discussion was required before writing my docs. The reason is very predictable, my family consists of my wife and two teenage daughters. While they are all very sharp, and quite capable, some aspects of safety and security are difficult for them to accept. An example is the need to hide the bulk of our preps, while leaving a substantial quantity of food and water out in the relative open. I think this is needed because looters WILL come, and they can more easily dealt with if they are not coming up empty-handed. The other reason may be obvious, they might give up looking once they think they have taken all they can find, so the bulk of our preps will be secure. My family thinks that there will no looters, and that if I think there will be, then we should hide all our preps. Another example is dealing with strangers. My family of females is not as callus as I am, and will want to lend aid much too readily. After having lengthy discussions with my family, I was careful to re-state my concerns for security in the related docs. Mainly, be cautious and suspicious at all times. We should always be ready to lend aid and be charitable, but individual safety comes first. My rules are simple, in an emergency situation, no one outside the family is allowed in the house, and if we are providing any sort of aid the recipient will remain at least twenty-five  feet from the door until it is closed and locked, no exceptions.

In creating my docs, I have tried to write instructions as I perform a task, at least mentally. I have found that when I describe how to do things, I leave out small details that I take for granted. Don’t do this! Be exacting when it counts. We don’t want to bog-down anyone with too much detail, but overlooking a small but critical detail could be disastrous. A prime example is the fact that my gun safe key must be turned before dialing-in the combination or it wont open. It’s a key feature of the safe, and a detail I have long since just taken for granted. Although a tiny detail, this could easily hinder my family in my absence. I’m sure you can all think of dozens of small things similar in this respect.

Another aspect of preparing these docs is the printed version. Digital copies are valuable, I store mine on a pair of thumb drives, but printed copies are mandatory. If there is no computer to read the docs, they are useless. I have started printing my docs on waterproof paper, using larger than normal (14 pt) bold type font. They are then placed in zip-loc bags with moisture absorbers  and stored in a predetermined location, high above the water line of any potential flood. My wife thinks putting a copy in a fire safe is a good idea, I may agree with her. (it’s so hard admitting she’s right!). I have read articles about encoding printed docs, but it seems to be a dangerous practice, except maybe for very sensitive information, and the need for that kind of secrecy is far outweighed in my mind by the need to get the information quickly in an emergency situation. We’re talking about how to start the generator here, not nuclear launch codes!


I believe that the digital copies of these docs should be written and saved in a simple .txt format whenever possible, even if encrypted. You never know what sort of device or program you might have to open them on. The more universal the format, the better. If you have diagrams or pictures, consider using a PDF format for those. The PDF format is widely supported on computers, phones, tablets, just about any digital device available. If you will be printing docs that must contain actual photos, try and use high-contrast black and white in all of your images. In the long run, these images will last longer and will maintain readability better under adverse conditions, and the high contrast will make them easier to read under low-light conditions. Regarding storage of the printed docs, I found some surplus Army signal flare tubes that seem to fit the bill perfectly for this task.  I also put a chemical light stick in the tubes with the docs. This way we have a ready light source if needed to read them in the dark. I found the tubes at a local gun show, but I bet there are millions of these things out there on Ebay and military-surplus outlets. Another idea would be just to make your own tubes with PVC pipe and screw-on caps. If the tube does not fit your docs, there are countless waterproof containers out there. You might even consider fireproof containers in addition to waterproof containers.

So far my family has been supportive in giving me feedback on my docs and it’s going well. I expect that will change some as we get into more sophisticated activities like setting the channels up on a 2 meter hand held radio, or setting the bait hook on a small game trap. In the end, I believe that my preps will be complimented well by a good set of documents and procedures. My original thought was to provide the needed information to my family in the event that I was not here, for whatever reason. After several weeks of typing, I am keenly aware that there were some things I needed to brush up on as well. Now more than ever, I think it’s true: you don’t know how to do anything well until you can tell someone else how to do it. I strongly suggest that you use this opportunity to use and test gear and practice using tools and techniques, having found many times that some things were much easier to do in my memory than they currently seem to be. It can also be a great opportunity to get your family more involved in the practical side of preparation. We live in the deep south east where hurricanes are quite common, and I love the thought of my family knowing how to take care of themselves in the event of any emergency. It also gives me a chance to spend more time with my kids, and that’s always good.

So to recap my thoughts here:

  1. Make a good inventory of all of your preps.
  2. Write a detailed how-to document for each prepping item.
  3. Make no assumptions, where needed be very thorough.
  4. Store digital copies in an encrypted file.
  5. Use a safe but easy-to-remember password on your files.
  6. Make printed copies on waterproof paper.
  7. Store multiple copies of digital and printed versions in safe locations.
  8. Review the docs with the people that will be using them.
  9. Use the docs to practice using tools and techniques.
  10. Setup a periodic review and update schedule for updating your docs.

I hope others find this informative, good luck with all of your preps, I hope you never need them!

For more in depth information on encryption, see the Wikipedia page on encryption software.

And this link will take you to the free encryption software that I use:
http://download.cnet.com/TrueCrypt/3000-2092_4-10527243.html

Some really good sources for waterproof paper can be found using these links:
http://geology.com/store/waterproof/paper.shtml
http://www.igage.com/mp/wpp/igage_weatherproof_paper.htm
http://www.waterproofpaper.com

Or, you can waterproof your own paper.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

Via: survivalblog


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