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The Best Ways to Communicate when SHTF

Cell phones are revolutionary to the modern age. In only 20 years, we’ve gone from wired phone lines capable only of audio communication to small wireless touchpads with everything from scientific calculations to Hd movies and games, to internet access anywhere at any time.

But with the extra potential comes deeper ties to the grid. How do you maintain communication when you’re off the grid? Especially when it’s inter-stitched to these devices as strongly as it is? Whether by choice or by a SHTF scenario, here are a few off-grid options for communication.


Cellphones don’t have to be online to function. Using a device known as GoTenna, you can use satellite GPS, as well as 151-154 MHz radio signals to send and receive text messages. The device connects to your phone via Bluetooth and transfers the information through that connection.

Satellite Phones

A proper satellite phone is a fantastic communication option for preppers. Since satellites continue to operate in a post-disaster setting, they can be relied on for long-range contact long after a SHTF event. The main problem is cost. Satellite phones can cost a pretty penny, and some services have plan restrictions, which can be hard to update when there’s no society.

Standard Radios

This is more of a news gathering tool than a communication tool. A standard AM/FM radio will allow you to listen in to local radio broadcasts. A good crank radio will be portable and self-sustaining. I recommend everyone keep a small crank radio in your survival kit.

GMRS Radios

GMRS radios are a great option for those wanting to communicate with someone else. Modern versions can reach ranges of 30+ miles away. And they can be tapped to repeaters, allowing you to extend that even farther. Easy setup, low price, and good range make this a wonderful local option. As long as someone else has one, that is.

Ham Radio

The golden chalice of emergency communication. Ham radios take some knowledge and practice to use, but they are considered the ideal SHTF communication device. They loop through commanded frequencies, scanning for transmissions. Modern technology has even made the HAM radio portable. Their resourcefulness makes it the king of off-grid communication. You’ll need a license to operate a HAM radio, but we highly recommend learning if you’re interested in emergency communication.

The level of commitement and investement is up to you. Regardless what you choose, there’s an off-grid communication option for you.


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