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Grid Down & Emergency Communications


Grid Down & Emergency Communications should be a part of everyone’s preparedness plan. Many people consider grid-down to be nothing but a myth. The potential for a grid-down scenario is not just a possibility but a likelihood. If the critical infrastructures of the United States were to go down, what would you do? How would you communicate or gather information?

In this, we will go over types of communication devices, ways to protect those devices, and basic guidelines if we ever were to see a grid-down scenario. Take the time to learn, study up on these, and what requirements are necessary for each.

Walkie Talkies ( FRS/GMRS )

FRS Radios

Walkies are probably one of the easiest and cheapest ways to communicate. You can find two-packs, four-packs, even twelve-packs for very little money. These are great for family communication but are limited in their use and range. In a wide-open field, you might reach out to 2 Miles, but likely these would be used for neighbors or car groups. Family Radio – FCC

  • Pros:
    • Low Cost of Entry
    • No special License Required (GMRS Requires a $70 family license – NO Test)
    • Readily Available
  • Cons:
    • Limited Range / Use
    • No AM/FM
Ham Radio

Ham Radio

Ham Radio has been around for decades and used to be a staple for anyone interested in long-range communications. These days ham is only popular in the amateur radio space but for any prepper, Ham could be the only lifeline you have. I have seen Ham radios stationed in Arizona reach out as far as Russia. ARRL – Ham Radio 

  • Pros:
    • Readily Available
    • Long Range Use
    • Can function as a scanner
    • NOAA Radio
    • Mobile or Stationary
    • AM/FM – UHF/VHF
  • Cons:
    • Higher Cost of Entry
    • Requires Special License
CB Radio

CB Radio

CB Radios are synonymous with truckers and the open road. They have been around forever and are a very cheap and easy way to get into radio. They have a limited range and few channels to choose from. If you do a lot of highway driving they are a great way to stay in communication and find out road conditions, etc. CB Radio

  • Pros:
    • Readily Available
    • Low cost of Entry
    • Doesn’t require a license
    • Mobile Friendly
  • Cons:
    • Short Range
    • Minimal Channels
    • Many don’t have NOAA Channels
Final Thoughts

Grid Down & Emergency Communications are an integral part of life and having the ability to communicate in any sort of grid-down scenario could save your life. A perfect example would be the recent Texas Blizzard. Many people were caught without power and food. 

Make a plan, make a list, and make sure you know how to use all your equipment. Having the correct tools, but lacking the know-how doesn’t do anyone any good. Stay Safe, Stay Prepared!


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