Category Archives: COMMUNICATIONS

Ham, shortwave & CB radio systems, satellite, internet, telephones, scanners, TV, Morse code, smoke signals ect…
POWER could go here too.

EAS Test

Blog EAS Test

Emergency Alert System Test aka Emergency Broadcast System or if you are even older you recall Conalrad Alerts

I was listening to Clyde Lewis at Ground Zero Media on earlier. Part of the discussion was about a national EAS test set for 2017, September 27th at 12:20 [pm] Eastern Time[US] Mountain time would be 10:20 AM. GMT or UTC time would be 16:20 ZULU. [Greenwich Mean Time or Universal Time Coordinated]

IF something is actually going wrong they will delay the National test until 2017 October 4th same times.

Apparently this test will go out over both your weather alert radio and your AM/FM radio and TV.

This would be a good time to test your family communications plan to see how well it works and to fix any bugs you find. It would also be a good time to review your bug out plan.

It would be interesting to hear from you what your experiences are with this.

Cross ref

and some books that explore the topics in more depth This is book 1 the quick start guide to preparedness. This is book 2 about traveling and evacuation planning.

Hurricane COMMs plus

Hurricane COMMs plus

Unless you are totally Narcisstic and sociopathic, communication in an emergency should be high on your list of skills and equipment to be developed by you and your family / group.

Have you ever played \telephone\ ? Often by the end of the transfer of the message no one recognizes it as the same as at the beginning. Typed OR recorded messages tend to convey meaning consistently. This is one of the reasons HAMs are shifting in a lot of cases to digital radio so that you can in effect send E-mail via radio instead of internet only.

However voice communications is still easy for dialog.

As long as the grid is at least mostly up [or at least spotty] ZELLO seems to be a great system to use so that people at least get the same message even if you don’t get it at the same time as the person next door. Better or at least as good as text.

Zello and texting does NOT replace HAM radios for reliability.

There are links at the bottom for more communications ect.

Zello tops US app store as the walkie-talkie for hurricane volunteers
•by Mike Butcher,
With Hurricane Irma hitting Florida’s southern islands as a category four storm, and more than 6.3 million being told to evacuate Florida, being able to stay in contact with the outside world is a high priority. As a result, smartphone apps which can help coordinate rescues and responses have become crucial to efforts.

The main one that’s being talked about — and downloaded at a prodigious rate — is Zello, a walkie-talkie app which was originally launched in Russia in 2007 under the name LoudTalks (but since moved to Austin, Texas in 2011) and now boasts 100 million users around the world. After being featured in a Houston Chronicle story about the “Cajun Navy” of volunteers who have been using the app to coordinate their efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the app hit the top of the US app store.

Zello appears to have added six million new registered users since Monday, the company’s CEO, Bill Moore, told BuzzFeed News, and is now the top free app on the iOS App Store. “With the crush of new users and emergency situations, most of the Zello team is working long days either maintaining capacity or helping with customer support,” he said.

However, the huge interest in Zello saw the company admitting it has had to add servers to keep it up.
Now, with Hurricane Irma bearing down on Florida, interest in Zello is being boosted yet again.


and some books that explore the topics in more depth This is book 1 the quick start guide to preparedness. This is book 2 about traveling and evacuation planning. This one will give you an interesting look at travel snarl ups when it not an emergency. has some interesting info for your consideration during this season.

Hurricane Season 2

Hurricane season visit 2

Harvey in Texas and Louisiana… the water is still rising in some areas as they release water from the dams to keep them from failing.. it will be a while before many areas see dry land again. There was at least one tornado. There are MANY reports of price gouging on things like gas – as much as $20.00/gal and bottled water for $50 – 100.00 a case.. Some folks are advocating just TAKING the water and handing it out for free. NOT a good idea as that would be theft or depending on how many were involved [2 or 3 plus against one would make it armed robbery even if no weapons are involved. Years ago there were 3 guys heading to the pen – 7 years hard labor for drunkenly ganging up on the pizza delivery person, beating him and taking the 3 pizzas he had brought them…. no weapons were involved and they did not take the money he had -just the pizzas. They were known as the pizza bandits..
back on the 21st of Augest people that traveled to our area for the eclipse ended up paying a LOT more for stuff and their booked hotel rooms than planned and nobody screamed about price gouging then… Go figure (;

during Katrina Louisiana was upset with the Cajun Navy and talked of requiring “permits” before they could rescue people – Texas on the other hand is more welcoming to them now AND rightly so! The Cajun Navy is getting into spots the Coast Guard can not due to the draft of the boats.

The Redneck Army with their high lift pick-ups have been assisting in the rescue and recovery EVEN recovering Army NG trucks stuck or stalled in the deep water. GOOD job to ALL involved!

Every storm we hear of folks rushing to get plywood [which they should already have at home cut to size of their windows and doors] and getting Gen sets – should already have those OR their vehicles set up to generate power with extra batteries and power invertors. Along with cases of bottled water and fighting over the last of the milkl and bread like it was Black Friday Sale time. Looters shooting at civilians / first responders trying to take their stuff. [This was reported at Harvey] Do NOT allow anyone to disarm you! EVER! Always have an exit stratigy in place.

ADVICE during flooding it is normal to want to clime to a higher area.. do this OUTSIDE, Do NOT clime into your attic where you will be trapped and die!

And now IRMA is headed for Florida, East coast or the gulf – don’t know yet…

STAY in touch with your family and friends who are not in harms way…. They are very concerned for you and your safety – don’t leave them in the dark

If you want minute by minute news on hurricane operations tune into 7.268LSB, 7.242LSB, 14.325USB, 14.300USB, 3.860, 28.445USB or 147.090 pl tone131.8 to hear many of then operations going on in affected areas…. DO NOT transmit unless you are rendering direct aid to someone. If you are a HAM operator you know what all this means, if not it is easy to become licensed.

CB s are great for local comms and sometimes even long range talking depending on the conditions. FRS has it’s place too along with HAM radios.

Cross ref

and some books that explore the topics in more depth This is book 1 the quick start guide to preparedness. This is book 2 about traveling and evacuation planning.

Eclipse Day

Good MORNING campers!

Well it is eclipse day!

Pay attention to situational awareness! Watch out for traffic. Especially in the dry west areas watch out for fires caused by parking hot vehicles in tall dry grass.

In our area last week started with reports of people squatting on private property preping for this eclipse.

One radio report that we heard this AM a normal commute of 9 minutes is taking 27 minutes….

We would be very interested in hearing your reports of how the eclipse experience went for you.

How were the crowds and traffic?

Did the food places have enough on had?

How about fuel? One station we heard about had run out of gas [all grades] Sunday night and wont get resupplied till Tuesday. They still have diesel fuel.

Did you have reservations over the eclipse that they canceled or charged more for than planned?

How did communications go? How did your radios work? Was there issues with your cell phone – over the weekend there were a few times that our phones would not connect because ‘all circuts were busy”… I suspect that the large amount of traffic did that…. I bet during the eclipse there will be a lot of dropped calls.

Be safe!

BTW reportedly will have Clyde Lewis live this AM to help report on the eclipse.

eclipse 2017

eclipse 2017

Howdy everyone

Monday august 21st is the date of the total eclipse of the sun. I know this comes as a shock as nobody else has been writing about it…

In Casper Wyoming they are expecting the population to expand by close to 500% the town is about 50,000 people normally and they expect over 200,000 people to show up for the eclipse, according to the news on the radio there are flight plans already filed for an extra 190 aircraft to arrive the morning of the eclipse in Casper and then during the eclipse the airspace will be closed down.

Even though it is illegal to “park” on the interstate in most areas….. Wyoming Highway patrol is expecting large numbers of parked cars and accidents.. some states have activated the national guard to help deal with the extra people who come to watch the eclipse.

I do not expect a natural disaster from the eclipse, BUT I think it prudent to expect a human disaster during this time. Think of it as a large influx of refugees and the effect of this may have on infrastructure – food,gas, electric, water and SEWAGE.

Go today and top off your fuel tanks [TODAY] as it will most likely be HEAVY traffic around Monday. We plan on having a family BBQ and to stay off the road on Monday, I suggest that you go ahead now and get whatever provisions you will need for the festivities you plan.

There are several ways to /watch/ the eclipse– for example the special sun glasses IF you can find them at this point. You can make pin hole cameras to see this event [google it] when I was very young we watched one eclipse with such a thing. It was a big cardboard box with a hole cut in the top for binoculars [wrapped in a towel to seal around it] and a hole cut in the side for viewing. This was rather neat that my parents built this for us.
HEALTH WARNING– do NOT look directly at the sun EVER!

This event is supposed to effect radio propagation. You may want to have an AM radio tuned to a distant radio station and hear the effects on reception.

Please share your thoughts and experiences from the eclipse [past and present one] along with the reactions of people around you.

cross ref for dealing with large numbers of people….

Count down

Counting down to Christmas — for those of you who do not observe Christmas as such then Happy Holidays to you.

Just when you thought the presidential election was over….and decided and that for good or ill that Donald Trump won, well it taint over yet.

December 19th [today] is when the Electoral College votes on who the next President of these United States of America will be. The results of this vote most likely will not be made public until 2017 January 6th

post election [2016 November 8th] we have seen too many peaceful demonstrations -also known as riots- of the anti Trumpers in the days and weeks. Regardless of how things turn out today I think that it would be reasonable and prudent to be prepared for whatever happens.,.,

things to do today… top off you fuel tank and do not let it get below ¾ for the rest of winter. Avoid large gatherings of people. Keep your eyes and ears open for things out of the ordinary, if it does not sound, look or feel right – leave the area.

Review your family communication plans and test it.

There is less than a week till Christmas. IF you don’t have all of your presents bought yet, consider things related to being ready. Such things as sleeping bags and other ‘camping’ things. Fire starter related items are always good for stocking stuffers. Another great item for each of the older kids and adults would be one of those 4 way water keys – they look like the 4 way tire iron or lug nut wrench and they will work on almost all of the out door water outlet so that you can get city water from outside most buildings as you bug out or walk home during a disaster.

Cross ref I have found it better to go to her website – product review section to get the books [extended till Tuesday for the free copy] your kids will love the time travel-books!  This is book 1 the quick start guide to preparedness. This is book 2 about traveling and evacuation planning.

Sponsor of the day is
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Riots post election

Riots post election ;[

There are several riots going on around these US of A for the second night after the elections. Sounds like a lot of property damage with several people hurt [at least 2 in ICU]

I realize that half of the country is happy how the elections turned out and the other half is pissed. Either way it is getting needlessly dangerous out there.

I have heard some talk of how the ‘protesters’ are paid to be out there stirring up crap. Is this actually the case? I do not actually know. Some observations though. Most of the “spontaneous protests’ seem too well organized and co-coordinated in my opinion. Regardless of if they are spontaneous or not it is NOT safe for you to be around them.

So what do you do if you find yourself in the middle of this crap? OR better yet how do you prevent yourself from being in the middle of it?

Pay attention to your surroundings, avoid large groups of people, plan out alternate routes of travel AND have plans to be able to camp out at your place of work or with friends until the crowds / trouble disburses.

1. Pay attention to your surroundings – know what is ‘normal’ for where you are, be familiar with the area for the time of day you normally are in the spot. Are the people near you behaving as they normally do or are they agitated? Does anyone appear odd or out of place / does not fit in? If so, report it to the ‘normal’ people there [your co-workers, friends, the boss or security if any. Once you have alerted others either take control of the situation or leave.
2. While you are out and about avoid large groups of people especially if any of them seem agitated or angry.
3. Plan out alternative routes of travel AND escape routes. Always know at least 2 ways to exit any area you find yourself in. look for the normal things like front, back and side doors. Consider also windows as points of egress. Discuss this with others in your party so that everyone will be on the same sheet of music should something not good happen, also discuss and agree on a meeting place should any of you get separated.
4. Have a communication plan before hand with those in your party AND people at home. Most of us have cell phones which seem to grow out of our heads now. Consider use of either CB radios, the FRS type radios or the Beofeng radios that I have reviewed elsewhere in the blog.
5. Have plans to be able to camp out at your place of work or with friends until the crowds / trouble disperses. It is sometimes advisable to just stay somewhere until the storm blows over. Right now we are discussing riots and “peaceful protests” but this also applies to snow storms and other such. If you work in an office type setting consider storing an extra set of clothing, toiletries, a days [or 3] of rations and maybe some bedding in or under your desk – I have been snowed in at work before and it sure is better if you have planned ahead.
6. Listen to the news and or local radio station while at work to be able to know what is going on around town. An off shoot of this is to have a friend or family member who is at home pay attention to the local news and alert you to things. People can take turns on this if you have a group and if need be and the group is large enough there could be 24 hour coverage.
7. Lastly, if there is trouble and you do not HAVE to be out and about, do not be stupid and STAY home..

cross ref

and some books that explore the topics in more depth This is book 1 the quick start guide to preparedness. This is book 2 about traveling and evacuation planning.

Russia current event

Current events

Russia two weeks ago [2016 October 3rd] started a disaster exercise putting 40 million people into shelters which was reportedly to last 4 days. I have not heard anything as yet to say that the exercise is over and this is the first such exercise that I recall since at least back to the 1980s. They have recalled families traveling abroad EVEN students who are in the middle of semesters AND the US government has broken off diplomatic ties with them as well, this last 2 were within the last week [all of thus far I heard on the radio news stations] and just yesterday [Sunday 2016 October 16th] a friend was telling me about a news report out of the UK that the RAF had been cleared to fire on Russian jets in Syria. He had read the story a couple of days ago.

So it IS time to pay attention and get ready.

Get ready for what? Just general disasters or hoards of Walkers – which returns for season 7 soon. ;]

Pay attention to the news both here and abroad, don’t take just one source as fact [not even RBO] but use it as a starting point for your own research. Consider investing in short wave radios to listen to the news of other countries, as well as a scanner for local emergency services traffic.

Talk with your friends and maybe pool your resources on some of this. Perhaps one family gets the scanner and another gets the short wave. Each family would monitor them and as things happen share the information with their group. You could set up a weekly [or even nightly as things heat up] sharing time to discuss the things you heard. This may be a good thing to do over dinner. Strongly consider including your kids in the discussions as they will have something to contribute AND the world situation will note seem as scary to them [or more scary in an informed way] .

As many of you know I am a strong advocate for CB radios for local chat in case the cell phones go down. The hand held Baofeng works good for short range communication if you have the appropriate licenses and it will act as a great little scanner for FRS/GMRS, marine radio band, as well as many emergency services agencies.

Things to do: check stock levels of food, water, medications ect…
keep your fuel tank over half full in summer and over ¾ full in winter.
Update your emergency contact lists
consider how much cash you need to have on hand [small bills and change]

Practice your preps.

Cross reference parts 1 and 3 are good too

Power cord ID

Power cord ID

as I sit here today I was reviewing a catalog that had just came in the mail. There are a lot of neat stuff to be had. One item popped out at me was set of ‘cable tags’ so you can label the power cords where they plug into the power strips. It comes packs of 20 for $9.99 plus shipping, so it comes out to be fifty cents each. [plus the shipping] This looks like a great idea. My only issue against it is the cost.

Most of us buy store breed and most of them have those plastic thingies that hold the bag closed to keep the breed from drying out. Years ago my mom used those to label power cords ect. Just take the plastic tag, write on it with a sharpie what it goes to [sometimes it is best to label BOTH ends] and tag the plug end.

This solves many of the issues with tangled cords..

bad weather traffic

Blog bad weather traffic accidents

Ah springtime in the Rockies. We have been going from temps in the upper 60s & 70s to upper 20s and low 30s with rain and snow. So today, the roads were slick with ice covered by snow.

Between yesterday and last night at least 4 public service vehicles slid off the road and nk telling how many civilians.

About 1100 2016-04-30 there were reports of traffic accidents with injuries on the interstate blocking the west bound lanes. It took a good 30 minutes for the first fire/EMS to get to the scene because of the other vehicles blocking the flow of traffic [for miles] . Responding vehicles had to weave in and out between stopped vehicles and drive on the shoulder of the road. Due to the stopped cars in the way they the fire chief requested that the neighboring county respond units from their direction which was still flowing.

During the hour plus of this incident to this point police, fire/EMS did the best they could as it was a very dynamic situation.

Lessons learned and points to ponder.

When the road in front is blocked especially on the interstate there is NO reason to go around stopped cars [in the right hand lane] just so that you can stop up the left hand lane. If you are driving in the passing lane and see blockage ahead do your best to change into the right hand [driving] lane. The left hand lane should be left clear for emergency vehicles.

This is another situation where having vehicle to vehicle communications [like ships have] for local area Comms would be great to get local road reports. Yes, cell phones are great for specific point to point Comms. Cell phones on the other hand are not so good when it comes to talking a few cars over unless you know their phone number. Given that most if not all truckers already have CB radios, CBs are great for local information.

The biggest issue is that comes to mind is….. If you don’t HAVE to travel during bad weather, STAY HOME. IF you do have to travel during bad weather be sure to top off the gas tank. Let family know where you are going, what your plans are and when you expect to be home.

What I would like to see the vehicle manufacturers do is equip all new vehicles with with a built in FRS type radio that only has 1 or 2 frequencies on it so that cars can share information and receive directions from public services. This would be similar to ‘on-star’ except that it would be free and close in local.

What are your thoughts?

Cross ref –