Preventing Failure to Communicate

Communications failure can be prevented, though it may not be in the form we’re expecting. Ever since the earliest cavemen grunted at each other and painted pictures on their cave walls, humans have been communicating in one form or another. Communications are critical to any multi-person activity. Many people consider having radios and other electronic communications devices a core part of living a prepared lifestyle. Virtually every survival- and preparedness-related forum or blog has one or more sections dedicated to this. Things like shortwave radio communications, protecting your radios from EMP, powering your radios in a grid-down scenario, et cetera.

Unless you’re a lone-wolf, having the ability to communicate effectively with your group, and potentially with other groups, is absolutely critical to maintaining a functioning society. But what about situations where you can’t, or shouldn’t, use wireless electronic communication devices? What if, post-SHTF, there’s a quasi-military marauder group operating in your area that you suspect has functioning radio detection gear? What if the batteries in your radio also die? Perhaps you’re sneaking up on an enemy and are overheard? What if a strong magnetic storm is interfering with radio signals? This article focuses on planning for and using alternate communications methods that don’t involve wireless electronic signals.

Elements of Communication

In order to effectively understand and plan for communications, it helps to first understand the elements involved in any communication:


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