Communications for knowing what is going on, ability to communicate in case of critical emergency, and keeping friends and relatives up to date, are all very important aspects of your general well being and needs.

To Know

  • Where things (equipment) are stored (“Where the heck did I put that emergency radio now again…?”) Where backup batteries, cables, and such are located.
  • What frequencies/channels could be more relevant to listen to/view – more relevant news media, how will city/county/federal authorities distribute news (learn and document this NOW, not when disaster already has stricken).

To Have

  • Appropriate equipment
    • Readily available
    • That supports alternative power sources, can be kept alive for longer time
  • Important information (like frequencies/channels in case of communications) on printed format (don’t want to waste energy for things like this)

More Details

Want to minimize energy consumption! Lowest-possible.

  • Internet
    • Lower-energy solution that can provide sufficient SHARED services.
  • Radio
    • Have a radio that include multiple power sources
      • AC input
        • Sure one good and common method to power radios, and works well as long as ‘have electricity’, the regular utilities i.e., but when gone, will need to rely on one or more of the following:
      • Batteries
      • DC input
        • Barrel connector? Make sure have suitable cable around!
        • USB connector? Good for you! One of the few ‘global standards’.
      • Hand Crank
    • Something like amazon Emergency Powered Battery Recharging Flashlight
  • Telephony
    • Wired
      • Public Switched Telephone System (PSTN, a.k.a. Plain Old Telephone System (POTS))
        • Great IF you still have but fewer and fewer actually keep this.
        • Part of public emergency communications by governments around the world and under strict regulations, including tough requirements for uptime. Why your ol’ phone is last thing to stop working, way longer – if ever – after electricity is gone.
      • Voice over IP (VoIP) as nowadays provided by many service providers of Internet and cable TV services (including traditional telephone companies like AT&T, in the US)
        • This works fine as long as you, and all service providers involved, have electricity….
        • NOT part of emergency communications and thus far more wild-west as to reliability and uptime and better ASSUME it will STOP working rather quickly when having electrical problems.
    • Wireless
      • Your cell phones ARE part of public emergency communications and thus same benefits are PSTN – see above.
      • Just make sure have battery charged, extra battery packs, cables readily available for recharging in car, etc.
  • TV