September is National Preparedness Month

Disaster plan zombie apocalypseIn addition to selling my line of J-Pole and Slim Jim antennas, I talk a lot about emergency communications. The reason is, that effective communications needs to be part of anyone’s disaster plan.

September is National Preparedness Monthand the Department of Homeland Security along withe Centers for Disease Control are promoting being prepared and putting together a plan for when the unthinkable happens. Would you be ready if there were an emergency? Be prepared: assemble an emergency supply kit, make your emergency plans, stay informed, and get involved in helping your family, your business, and your community be ready for emergencies.

When most people think of a disaster or emergency situation, they are usually thinking about the largest mass scale disaster possible, like a zombie apocalypse. But planning for an emergency doesn’t have to be for the the ‘Stuff Hits the Fan.’ Instead, think about and plan for more common types of emergency scenarios. What would you do when severe weather strikes, how about a gas leak, house fire, or power failure. These types of emergencies are more common and can be easily prepared for.

which brings us to communications. In every day situations, the cellular telephone network is stable and robust and can handle the level of communications that it is intended for. But when there is an emergency situation, the cell network will quickly overload. Add into the fact that severe weather or a power outage can disable cell nodes, and you have a communications system that soon falls apart. You need to consider an alternate form of communication for you and your family.

Amateur radio fits very nicely into my family’s communications plans. With mobile radios in the vehicles, base stations at home and portables that are always fully charged, we can keep in touch with each other regardless of the status of conventional means of communications. Everyone is a licensed ham and are instructed on what radio channel to check into in case of an emergency. The best part of being a licensed amateur radio operator is that you are part of a larger community that will look out for each other regardless of the emergency situation.

Even if the disaster isn’t large scale, and your family is safe, using your radio equipment to monitor the public safety channels can give you valuable information you would not otherwise receive over conventional news outlets. This information can be used to make decisions whether you need to stay or evacuate for safety’s sake.

This month, take some time, make a plan and put together the tools necessary so that you can effectively communicate in the event that disaster strikes.