Welcome to week #15 in the “72 Hour Kit Ideas: A week by week approach” series.
This series is all about making it simple and doable to get a 72 hour kit put together for you and your family.
Creating such a kit can be overwhelming and financially difficult to do all at once. But through this series, I’ve broken it down for you into 26 small steps! You can see all the steps here. Just take one small baby step each week and in six months you will have a well stocked, personalized kit!
You can even go through the series a few times over a year or two adding just the most basic supplies the first six months, and then a few more “extra” supplies each time you cycle through it again.
Want even more help?
This series is also available as an e-book. Purchasing the e-book gives you a few additional benefits over just reading the free series:
- Additional details and tips
- The ability to print the entire book!
- Pictures of my own kit showing just how I pack each week.
Download “Your Own 72 Hour Kit Plan” E-Book Now!
* Some links in this post are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. Some links (those to Thrive Life) actually provide you with a discounted price. Thanks for your support in this way!
Week #15: Communication
Communication during a large disaster can be difficult at best. Do you have ways in which you will be able to communicate with loved ones in the event that your cell phone stops working?
What about communicating with the outside world? Following the news/warnings about your area? Signaling for help?
This week, add tools to your kit that will aid with communication during a disaster.
Communicating With Local Family
- Two way radio (walkie talkies)
- Change (quarters) and/or a prepaid calling card for pay phones. Know (and have in your kit) the number of the pay phone nearest your immediate family members (in addition to their cell and any landline)
- A predetermined meeting place and a map of how to get there if applicable
- A Long Distance Contact Phone Number (In the case of a large, but local power outage, you will likely be able to call long distance, but not locally. Have an out of state contact that you and other local family members can call to report to. When you also call that contact, they can take your info and tell you about how other family members are doing and where they are or what they need.)
Keeping up on the News
- AM/FM and NOAA weather radio (consider one that can be solar or cranked charged)
Signaling for Help
How About You?
Leave me a comment and tell me what you will be adding to your kit. Why? What communication tools do you need? What do you already have?
|Week #14: Light||Week #16: Tools||Week #1: Water to Carry||Series Into: Survival Kit Series, A Week by Week Approach|
82 thoughts on “72 Hour Kit Ideas Week #15: Communication”
We’re pretty good in this category. Everyone has whistles and glow-sticks in their individual packs. We have a hand crank radio in the main pack. My hubby wants to get some new two-way radios since the ones we have are charged by plugging them in, which wouldn’t do much good if we are away from home or out of power.
We love our two way radios! So wonderful. We just used them when we moved since we were in separate cars.
I’ve got whistles , but I need to pick up one more for my youngest child. Would love to be able to get a radio. That will have to go on my wishlist.
Seems sometimes my wishlist gets longer instead of shorter. (-:
I just added a solar powered/hand crank/battery operated emergency radio that will also recharge my cell phone battery. Still getting used to how it operates, but seems as if it works well.
I was thinking that ham radio would be a good way to communicate as well.
I’ve added a few chem-lights that I found on sale. They are useful to provide a simple passive signal. They do have a finite working life. Use one to mark your location at night so searchers can find you or so you can find your way back to camp in the dark. Tie one to a short length of cord and swing it in a circle to be even more visible. Hang one on your gear so it is easier to follow you in the dark.
Great tips Greg, thanks!
We don’t really have much of anything for this week. No extra money for a good radio or hand radios, but it is one thing that I will be asking for for Christmas . We do have a solar cell phone charger though. My husband found it online for like 7 dollars. We at least have that. I know there’s a good chance they will not work but just incase it was something we could afford. My grandmother passed during catrina, so we were down there two days after it hit and my husbands cell was the only one that picked up any service so everyone was using our phone. The solar charger would have come in handy then. I hope we have the money to get something else before we really need it, but its nice to know we can charge our phones. Also our phones have every imaginable app such as weather radio, police scanner, news, compass, ect. I wouldn’t count on this by any means but it is an extra option to add just incase phone towers are functional. If a tornado hit my house and we were trapped somewhere chances are my phone would still be working.
I think a solar phone charger is a GREAT tool to have! And you have to start somewhere, right?
I picked up a couple whistles at an arts and crafts fair this week from the police/fire department stall. I also registered my two girls in the local county child id program.
Smart! Great idea!
I am happy to say we have one of the hand-crank/battery/ radios with a flashlight built in. It can also recharge cell phones. However, I just looked at all of the cell phone adapters, and I don’t think any of them are compatible with a phone that uses a standard charger!
We have a pair of 2-way radios as well as a whistle and a Boy Scout signal mirror somewhere, and I would like to get one more of each. I wondered what other objects could be used for signaling (like an empty makeup compact) and came across this useful link: https://www.adventuresportsonline.com/signal.htm
I almost forgot: DH also recently passed the first level of amateur radio licensing for a work project. He is considering getting further certification and training to provide emergency communications. For now, he just needs his own ham radio. https://www.arrl.org/how-will-you-communicate
I will definitely add a whistle to everyone’s kit this week. I like the idea of having a solar or hand crank radio also.
Anything solar always makes me feel a bit safer! (-:
This series is so great! My 14 year old son has started to get involved too. He wants to put his own touches on his bug out bag. Here’s the radio I just got as one of my birthday presents. It’s going in my bag! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001QTXKBK/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?ie=UTF8&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER
Thank you for these wonderful plans Misty! I am currently working on getting my little family’s 72 hr. kits and food storage all up to date and together and everything you’ve done is so helpful! This is a daunting and overwhelming task and its nice to have some guidance.
You are welcome Rebecca! It really can be overwhelming! I’m so glad you’ve found it helpful!
I only have the basic whistle and mirror. I’ll be getting some 2-way radios and hopefully a regular radio with a crank as well.
This website is absolutely amazing, as well as inspiring. Thanks for all your hard work that helps out so many families! 🙂
You are welcome Nicole! Thanks so much for your kind words! They really do mean a lot!
I am working on all these things but limited income means I can only purchase smaller things first and at different times…hopefully I will gradually get all I need.
Bit by bit is best anyway! That way you don’t get overwhelmed! (-:
We have whistles, mirrors, and a hand crank radio that we just put into the bags. We need to purchase 2 way radios and also we would like to add some flares to our kits as well (not sure if this would be considered a communication device or if it falls under another category)
Flares! I completely forgot to add that to the list, but YES, that belongs here! Thank you! I will add it now.
I’m happy to say that we have all of these items….. just seriously need to get them put into the bags.
We also need some work in this area, we have made plans in case the roads are blocked and the phones do not work and we are away from the house of places to meet, a second place in case the first is not available and this place is for extended family not just my household. Most of us live and work less than 50 miles and most closer than 10 miles, so a meeting place for siblings and parents also makes sense for us. As of now we only have whistles, but plan to get a radio soon. Thanks for everything!
Plans are half the battle Scarlet! I think many of us have tools, but no plans and in that case the tools won’t do us much good! Thanks for the reminder!
I just stumbled upon your blog and love it! You are an amazing woman to find time not only to prep, but to help out newbie preppers like myself. My hubby and I are trying to set up our 10 acre plot and in some ways, we couldn’t be more prepared (19 layer hens, couple of goats, big dogs, greenhouse) but we have literally nothing set up for water aside from some 50 gal rain barrels. Hopefully we’ll get our sand-point hand pump in as soon as the ground thaws. I’m so excited about checking out your tips for food storage… I have two pathetic totes in our basement with cans of beans and mac & cheese… hey, my kids will eat =) Thanks so much for all the great info!!!!
Welcome Anna! I’m so glad to have you here! But I have to admit that although I use a lot of food storage and have a pretty good 72 hr kit, I still consider myself a “newbie” in a lot of ways! There is always more to learn. I learn great stuff from my readers all the time and I’m sure I could learn a lot from you too! Sounds like you have some great experience! Feel free to share it! And I’ll be updating all the food storage tips and recipes this week to make them easier to navigate!
I;ve ordered a whistle, but that” about it. I plan on getting a radio soon. I;m lacking on this part.
Something is better than nothing Betty! (-:
First of all, I want to start out by saying that we received the sleeping bag. My kids love it and are taking turns using it. Kaleb says it is the best sleeping bag he has ever had ( he’s 11, so he hasn’t had too many, lol ). He is looking forward to using it this summer at camp. I am very impressed with the quality. Thanks again.
My kids schools are next to each other – they know to seek each other out. Kaleb has a cell phone. I have heard that during emergencies it will take “forever” to get a call out. However, text messages stand a better chance. We have discussed our emergency plans with the kids.
Reading this seriously made my day. I give out so many prizes and it never gets old hearing about how you are enjoying them! I’m so glad to hear 11 yr old Kaleb approves! Thanks!
So far it seems we are doing pretty good on our kits. I had not really thought about tool though. We do have one on the radios that works on ac/dc, crank or solar power. We have a set of walkie talkies we used to use when we traveled in the motorhome. I need to get working on the money in the kit, but I have several piggy banks with lots of change in them that I will pour into some bags and put in there. I never spend my change. That way I always have some money at the end of the month if we run short or if an emergency expense comes up.
Sounds like you are doing pretty well Nancy! Often we are doing much better than we think when we really look at what we’ve got. Sometimes the only thing we really need to do is put it all in one spot!
I recommend the CERT Training for anyone interested. For info:
Thanks for that link Marcia
I was able to purchase a walkie-talkie through my affiliation with CERT. It is more than what you can buy at Wal-Mart. It is a police and fire scanner . . . and my communication for CERT. I have a whistle – actually several. But I have not yet decided if I need a regular radio???? Still thinking about it – I have read that for preppers, the key word is: redundancy.
I keep saying I’m going to take that class…gotta find a way to fit it into my schedule somehow!
Well said Nann and Lisa. Misty, you are doing us an enormous favor by sacrificing your time with your family to feed us information. So, no apologies necessary. Thank you so much.
THank you Marcia! YOu guys are so kind! I’m very touched reading all these emails. SO SO good to know that my readers really do support me in ALL I do…not just what I do here! Thanks.
No need for apologies! We all understand you are a very busy person (wife, mother, consultant, and INDIVIDUAL). Sometimes we all just have to take time for ourselves. It keeps us healthy – mentally, physically, and spiritually. If you don’t do this on occasion it is what leads to sickness and exhaustion! So you take whatever time you need when you need it and we all can enjoy your post no matter when it is posted. 😀
As far as this category…I have a whistle, mirror, a battery operated AM/FM radio with extra batteries stored. Oh, and of course, my cell phone which I keep charged all the times and have several ways to charge it (ex: car charger, USB adapter, and portable disposable cell phone charger). What I really want to add to this portion of preparedness is one of the Red Cross Solar Link FR360 radios that can be powered from solar, hand crank, batteries, and AC power. It also has 3 white LED for a source of light, a flashing red LED, and will charge my cell phone! Other than our cell phones (and assuming all land lines are down) my grown kids and I don’t have any other way to communicate. Since we live in a very mountainous region and I live about 7 miles away and 1,500 feet in a lower elevation than them, I am unsure that the long range radios would do us much good here. Luckily we will be living closer soon enough and then the long range handhelds could be an option.
P. S. To me it says a lot about you and the person you are when you hold your webinar from your laptop in the garage so that your children can be themselves and laugh and play with Dad while you sacrifice some of your time with them in the evening to help all of us! I for one appreciate YOU and all you do to help us prepare and had a little giggle myself when you told us where you were holding the webinar. : )
P. P. S. I almost forgot! Congrats to Kristy!
You are so sweet to always remember that!
Thank you Lisa! Everyone is so kind! I’m glad you are all so patient with me. You are right though, sometimes I do need to remember that I am an individual!
Yes, it is funny that I hold webinars in the garage. The kids think I’ve “gone to work,” so they don’t come looking for me. Whereas if I’m in my room, they just follow me right in! We’ve actually taken pictures of it b/c it makes me giggle too. I should post them on facebook sometime!
And I LOVE the Red Cross Solar Link FR360. Great option. Otherwise, you sound very well prepared in this area!
I think for what we “pay” you, you should be able to take what ever time off you want (even to watch a show) with out feeling any guilt at ALL! Love your website and I will appreciate any time you take to share thing with us!
Thanks, but many of you do pay me (like you) when you purchase from me. I like to be as consistent as possible. But, I really appreciate all the kind comments. I’m so glad you like the site and appreciate your kindness!
We have a whistle but are working to purchase two way radios and a bigger radio that has hand cranking ability to charge itself and cell phones, etc. What to do if all electronics are knocked out?
I love my radio b/c it can be charged from an outlet, by crank or solar. LOVE it. Highly recommend everyone have one. You can also charge small electronics (like a cell) from it.
I would be very interested in this radio. Can you provide a link?