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While kicking it solo after a catastrophic event is often romanticized, there is no denying the strength that numbers provides, especially when trying to establish a new society. A Paradise Built In Hell by Rebecca Solnit reveals man’s true character when faced by an apocalyptic-sized event, and it’s not the deviant, looting behavior we’d imagined all these years.While pop culture favorites such as 28 Days Later and The Walking Dead might try to prove otherwise, disasters all over the world have shown volunteers and Samaritans rally at the opportunity to help those in need. Building a community is, therefore, essential, and a HAM radioHAM radio is at the heart of it.
For survivors, building up a community is at the heart of continued survival as resources such as clean water, food, and medication become scarce. But finding others is not just critical for your own survival, but theirs too. Whether it’s a zombie apocalypse, alien invasion, or mass natural disaster, the weak and vulnerable members of society will need protection. According to research, a group of 20 or more people has a better chance of long-term survival, and groups of 10 or less are unlikely to be successful at colonizing. The best way to find others to join the cause is by radio, and these form part of any survivalist’s basic set of tools.
There are a number of survival sites that will prompt you to keep your matches in an airtight container and try to save a family photo or two, but very few actually tell you what to do with your radio when things go dark. One of the best ways to remain in contact post-apoalypse, is to start building up relationships now by pre-establishing frequencies. A list of frequencies should be on hand – and saved in that watertight container – to make quick contact in an emergency. This saves a lot of time as you wouldn’t need to sift through the channels with the hopes of finding someone out there.
Once members have been assembled and communities start flourishing, smoke signals and message by horse might seem tempting, but radio is just so much faster. While there are ways to fabricate radios from simple components to allow communication to take place through Morse code, those who managed to keep their radios safe from harm have a better chance of survival when they can communicate with nearby communities. This is for ongoing safety and security as the threat that caused the event might re-emerge, or there could be other threats such as raiding bandits or disease. An early warning system that allows or prevents contact is at the heart of survival when all other communication and broadcasting channels have failed.
One of the fastest ways to get people to prepare for survival is through simulation. It might not always be easy to get everyone to agree to simulations, however, if you approach it as a game, you’ll have far more willing participants. Incorporate radio use in your next laser tag or paintball game, or plan a camping trip with the family that incorporates survival hints and tips to get everyone involved. This not only gives them an understanding of the importance of communication, but also other facets of survival such as speed, stealth, and the element of surprise.
One of the most important reasons communication is integral to survival, is that skills sharing can take place. Science and technology will play an important role in rebuilding communities and constant contact will help tremendously when different skill sets come together. For survivalists, it’s more than just telling a poisonous berry from a safe one, it’s also knowing which chemicals work together to create medication, or which metals will withstand the onslaught of natural elements. While the tech and science communities are well-connected now and can function as teams from anywhere in the world, radio will bridge the gap, at least for smaller communities, should our communication systems fail.
For survivors, staying put or finding a new location to set up camp is always a tough call. With the help of radio, survivors can quickly establish whether other places are worse off or can provide a place of safety while the world is being rebuilt. Strong enough broadcasts, especially if there are towers that are still powered up, can reach for hundreds of miles. For those wondering where to set up a makeshift civilization, this will go a long way.
Apart from keeping a high-quality HAM radio in your survival kit, it doesn’t hurt to know how to build a communication device from scratch should the world fall apart. Communication is the heart of survival in a post-apocalyptic world.