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Monday, January 31, 2011

Urban Survival Planning - Don't Forget the "No Comms" Plan

To be well prepared communications technology wise to survive a total collapse, most survival planners would develop a list of communications equipment that may look like this:

Hand Held FRS/GMRS radios. Used for small group to small group communications such as from someone on security at a listening post/observation post to other in the Survival Group. Used for inter-team communications such as conducting a patrol around the Survival site.

Solar Crank AM/FM/SSB radio with Wx alert channel. Not only can you pickup any AM or FM radios stations and weather alerts would be excellent in the advent of an internet disruption, but you can listen to Ham radio operators and pickup intelligence helping you piece together an assessment of the situation sometimes from faraway locations.

CB radios. A capability to think about, since they are so common. Listening to CB transmission, which are predominantly in vehicles, can provide an excellent source of intelligence concerning events in and around your Survival location as well as on major lines of communications (highways, interstates and other roadways).

HF Ham Radio System and Upper grade UHF/VHF transceivers. Which are often outside the grasp of your basic Survivalist, both in scope of use and cost.

Anyway, we’ll be writing more articles on communications and radio systems. What I wanted to address this post was that no matter how robust your communications capabilities are,…no matter how many radios in various frequencies and modulations you possess, the thinking Survival Planner needs to have a plan for no communications. This is typical called the “No Communications” plan.

An example would be a lack of communications for whatever reason (dead batteries, radios out of range, broken equipment, etc.). What would be your planned actions and protocols for a patrol returning to your Survival site? Maybe you have a procedure, where at the time the patrol is expected to return, someone at the Survival base hoists a flag, or opens curtains or whatever visual signal you determine annotating that the site is safe to return to. The patrol would in turn have an arm and hand signal or another visual signal such as the lead man wearing a red cap or walking into the site with his weapon held in front vertical, muzzle down. Lack of either signal would mean the site or the patrol is under duress. And duress simply means someone is making you do something,….consider it a gun to your head. Some people simply call this a “safe” signal and lack of a safe signal would be mean duress.

Maybe the Patrol has a procedure where in the absence of the safe signal, the action would be to withdrawal and linkup with anyone who may have vacated the Survival Site at a pre-determined Emergency Rally Point or Emergency Rendezvous Point (ERP) that you have planned in case the Survival Site gets over ran.

Another example of a “No communications” plan may be between you and other members of your Survival Group who are now living apart. Maybe your plan is to communicate as things gets worse and at some point communicate to coordinate a move to your interim Survival Site or Safe Site. Maybe you plan for several communications means: landline telephone (primary), cell phones (alternate), and radios (contingency on a pre-planned contact time each day or night). You still need a “no-comms” plan which may be in the event of no communications for a period of 48 hours, Survival Group members will initiate a move to the planned Survival Site, stopping a certain distance away to covertly approach and look for the “safe” signal, then approach the house with the return or replying “safe” procedure.

Another example, would be Jim’s (from Survival Chronicles of Jim) example. His son is attending college about 60 miles away. Jim’s simple “No Comms” plan is in the event of a decayed situation or a full out collapse, AND, after two missed communications contacts which are scheduled for 8:00 pm each night, is that on what would be the night of the third missed scheduled contact, Jim will meet his son at a turn in off the access road near the Interstate. Jim will pull in with his vehicle and flash the lights three times. Jim’s son will in turn flash the lights four times then make his approach. Jim will wait 30 minutes, if his son does not show, then Jim will leave a small bag of water and food ten feet behind a road sign. They will repeat this 24 hours later if possible. Then his son is on his own to get to Jim’s Survival location. Failing all this, Jim’s son knows that the Bug Out location is the family cabin about 200 miles North, and he knows the safe signal that will be displayed if it is safe to approach the cabin.

Jim and his son also have a challenge and password.

So your “No Communications” plan is used in the event of all communications systems being down. The “No Communications” plan are procedures based on missed communications from a schedule and compromise a series of actions and visual signals in order for Survivors to eventually link up in safe manner.

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