Portable 2-Way Radio:
In the event of a civil unrest or environmental emergency/disaster, cell phones, telephone land lines and even satellite communications may not be available. Having a set, or several sets, of portable 2-way radios may be the only way to contact emergency services (police, fire, ambulance) or stay in touch with family and friends.

CB (Citizen Band) Radio:
Police and Fire Departments frequently monitor the local CB Radio Emergency channel (9). Channel 9 was issued by the FCC for emergency communication and is still scanned by US agencies, such as police, rescue for medical emergencies, accidents, vehicle breakdowns, and lost motorists. Channel 19 is the unofficial trucker information channel. Beyond entertainment purposes (for which many are well acquainted) trucker chatter can be lifesaving. These CB-type 2-way radios can be as simple as a small walkie-talkie (found in your local department store) or a more complex vehicle or home console.

To stay in touch with family and friends, do not use channels 9 or 19 but a pre-designated channel/frequency known only to your personal contacts. Because CB radio channels can be used by anyone with a CB radio, you will need to distinguish your contacts from other radio frequency users. Pre-designated radio names (handles or call signs) should be assigned to each of your contacts and all of you should know the radio names of all other parties in your group.

HAM Radio:
Generally, CB radios are good for only a few miles (at the most) depending on your equipment, batteries and geographical terrain. For long-distance and long term communications, Amateur radios (also called ham radios) are the option. Setup properly, Ham Radios can be used to communicate around the world using repeaters that are setup by multiple Ham radio operators. FCC licensing is required but can be easily acquired.

AM/FM/Weather Band Radio:
Staying in touch with the outside world can be accomplished with this simple tool. Staying informed of events and weather conditions helps with planning and can boost moral.

- It is recommended that each vehicle and Go-Bag has at least one functional portable radio, with functional batteries.
- With any type of radio, air waves are used and not the communications infrastructure (telephone cables, satellites, or cell towers) so it is more likely to summon help or stay in contact with family, friends or authorities.
- For those familiar with an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and Faraday Cages, storing radio(s) and batteries in a metal container (but not in contact with the container) may prevent EMP damage which could render radios (and other electrical equipment) useless.

Don't forget the lowly whistle. Everyone should always carry one. For close-quarter communications, whistles are better than yelling. The sound of a whistle carries better through the air, for greater distances, and uses less physical energy. Yelling can injure the throat and uses much more physical energy. Within a group, develop unique whistle signals to communicate for different activities or alerts.

Developed and used by cultures living in forested areas, drums served as an early form of long-distance communication, and were used during ceremonial and religious functions. The simple banging together of sticks can be used as a method of communication.

Related Information/Links:
4 Secret Languages That Will Allow You to Communicate Anywhere
Sign Language Basics
Ham Radio Training (register)
Ham Radio Exam Preparation (sample tests)
Morse Code (International)
Beginner’s Handbook to Learn Shorthand
Battery-Less Devices
Staying in Contact When SHTF
What Will Happen When the Phone Lines Go Down?