In our modern world, it’s easy to take communication for granted. We have access to our phones, the internet, and other forms of communication at all times. But what happens when that access is suddenly taken away? Whether due to natural disasters, civil unrest or other unforeseen events, communication blackouts can happen at any time. So, how do you survive if you find yourself in the middle of a communication blackout?
Let’s go over some tips and tricks to help you stay safe and connected during these uncertain times.
Prepare Beforehand To Survive a Communication Blackout
The best way to prepare for a communication blackout is to plan ahead. Make sure you have all the supplies you will need in case of an emergency such as
- Batteries and
- First aid kits.
If you don`t already have a bug out bag, then consider making one. We have made it easier for you to get started. Click here to read out top 10 items to include in your bugout bag.
Once you have your bug out bag or your emergency supplies ready, you need to start working on a plan. Communication black out means that you will not be able to contact your friends and family members. Depending on the type of situation, you`ll have two options.
Either stay at home and wait out till communication lines are restored or the circumstances may force you to leave your home and seek a safer place. If this is the case then you need to sit down with your friends and family members today and decide a location where everyone can gather, before moving on. This way even if communication lines are broken down, everyone will know where to find each other. This meet up point can be a gas station, a nearby park or even someone`s house. Whatever the place is, just make sure that everyone knows about it.
Also make sure you are aware of your surroundings—know where the closest hospitals and shelters are located in case of an emergency. Take precautions like saving important numbers in your phone or better writing them down on paper so that you have access even if your device isn’t working properly. It’s also not a bad idea to keep cash on hand since some ATMs may be down during a blackout.
Look for alternatives
If you are caught in the middle of a communication blackout, then firstly try to find out which communication channels are down and which ones are working. For example, if cell phone services are down then you can switch to messaging apps like Whatsapp or Skype. You can also try to connect with the people around you and ask for help.
Here is a list of communication channels that you can check before jumping into your worst case scenario mode.
- Check social media: Most communication blackouts don’t affect social media and you can connect with people on these platforms.
- Check mobile applications like Bridgefy or Life360: These apps are the best options to stay connected with your family and friends during a communication blackout where you have limited connectivity.
- Text: Check SMS services: If landlines and mobile networks are down, it’s possible that SMS services may still be working.
- Email: Email is another reliable option to connect with people but only as long as you have access to internet.
- Landline telephone: If you still have access to landline, then you can use it to reach your friends and loved ones. However if cell phone signals are down then this may only work if the person on the other end also has landline access.
- Satellite phones: If all else fails, then satellite phones can be used for communication during a communication blackout. Sat phones use orbiting satellites for connectivity instead of ground based towers. They can be particularly helpful in remote areas.
- E-sim: If cell phone towers in your area are down, then you can use e-sim from apps like Nomad to get access to cell networks from surrounding areas. This method has been tried and tested in Gaza, where hundreds of journalists and medical workers stuck in Gaza used e-sims to access Egyptian networks to continue their coverage and medical operations.
- Walkie talkies: You can use walkie talkies to connect with people near your location. Walkie talkies come with specific ranges and the person you are trying to communicate with must also have one, to be able to respond to you. But if you prep in advance, then walkie talkies can be a good way to stay connected even when all other channels of communication are down.
- Citizens band radio: Citizens band radios can be used to communicate with people in the same locality.
- Word of mouth: If you are in a populated area, try to ask people around you if they have any information. These tips should help you stay connected even when your communication lines are down.
During a communication blackout it can be difficult to stay up-to-date with current events but there are still ways to get information about what is going on around you. You can listen for updates on local radio stations or tune into news broadcasts from other areas that may still have power.
If possible, seek out people who have access to working devices and ask them for updates on the situation—chances are they’ll know more than anyone else!
If there is no power or internet available then look out for flyers announcing public meetings or gatherings with information about the situation at hand. These types of events can provide valuable insight into what is happening during a communication blackout and offer an opportunity for members of the community to come together and support each other through tough times.
Communication blackouts can be scary but they don’t have to be paralyzing if you take the necessary steps to prepare beforehand and stay informed throughout the process. By following these tips, you will not only survive a communication blackout but will also be better prepared for any future blackouts that may occur in their area. Being proactive now can save time (and stress!) later if another emergency arises!
The most important prepping advice!
The most important bit of prep that you can do for any disaster is to create a network with your friends, family members and/or neighbors and community members. This way you will have people to rely on in the event that you are cut off from help or resources. You can share resources, you will have more man power. Being in a group will give you and everyone else psychological support. Knowing you are not alone in this can decrease anxiety and help everyone remain calm.
So start building those relationships now!