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Category: Communications Preparedness

Communications Preparedness: Those skills and items necessary to maintain communications within your family or group as well as with the outside would.


Police Codes Infographic

Today’s Police Codes Infographic explains law enforcement communication using 10 Codes, 11 Codes, Code Signals and two alternative phonetic alphabets.  Thanks to ZipScanners.com for providing the infographic.   FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

Hand and Arm Signals – The Army Way

Being able to communicate silently in the field using Visual Signal is good skill survival skill whether you’re a Soldier or a Prepper.  I was lucky to learn about hand and arm signals, a subset of Visual Signals (also includes light signals, flags, panel systems and the like) at the Fort Benning School For Boys.  In fact, the Army has developed an entire Hand and Arm Signals vocabulary and this hand and arm signal vocabulary is actually pretty intuitive.  This vocabulary is also worth learning to keep in that preparedness library between your ears. Scroll through the gallery below to review a selection of U.S. Army Hand and Arm Signals that I’ve gathered for the Prepper crowd from the September 1987 edition of the Army’s FM 21-60 Visual Signals.  This manual has been “Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.” This slideshow requires JavaScript. I hope that you’ll find some of these Hand and Arm Signals useful and don’t forget to practice with your preparedness group or family because while most of these signals are pretty intuitive… to most people…not all are of the signals are intuitive…and neither are all people. Check out  FM 21-60 Visual Signals if you need additional signals for maritime operation or mounted operations.. there’s even an entire vocabulary for tracked vehicle operations..  FM 21-60 does a good job covering one of the five tactical communications methods.  Just as an aside, the other methods of tactical communications can be useful to the preparedness community as well.  They include: Wire, Sound, Radio & Messenger. FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

Challenge & Password For Preppers

Here on Prepography we regularly learn to be better Preppers by adapting military skills to preparedness uses… or as we refer to it, Military Pedagogy.  Today we’re adapting the Skill Level 1 Army Task of ‘Challenge & Password’ to the needs of the prepper. Scenario:  About six weeks ago it finally happened, the currency collapsed and since then the security situation has rapidly deteriorated. Over the weeks since the precipitating event crime has begun to run rampant as people grow more and more desperate to fill their and their family’s bellies. At some point the majority of the police officers realized that their entire paycheck couldn’t even buy their family a single loaf of bread and every minute they spent protecting your family was one that put their own family at risk. Now the few police that are reporting for duty can’t adequately keep the security situation from spiraling out of control. You’ve been up the last 20 hours warning strangers away from your home and watching for a couple of friends you’re expecting to come shelter with you and your family. You sure hope they arrive soon because you’re not sure you can stay awake much longer and the moon will soon set… dropping the neighborhood into total darkness now that the power’s out. Finally, you see the outline of three people headed directly for your home…your friends must have picked up another on the way. It sure looks like Jim and Carol walking in and all you need to do to confirm it is hear their voice so you call out. “Who’s there?” and receive the expected reply “It’s me.” With great relief you step out from your hide and walk up to meet three people that you suddenly realize are strangers as they grab you and take away your rifle. Challenge & Password is a technique...

5 Means of Tactical Communications Infographic

Source:  This Means of Tactical Communications Infographic is from FM 21-75 Combat Skills of the Soldier August 1984, Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Andrew’s Note:  These means of communications are timeless and even hold true to a world a little more basic than one that includes e-mail, fax, text, phone, and high definition television. FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

International Whistle Code Infographic

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Prepper SALUTE Report – An Observation and Reporting Tool

The SALUTE Report, also known as the Spot Report is(as in ‘I spotted something’) is a U.S. Army Skill Level 1 Task (Skill Level 1 Tasks apply to everyone from the brand new recruit to the senior General Officer) that makes it easier for a soldier to observe and report information of intelligence value or information that can be used to immediate advantage.  Essentially the SALUTE Report is an observation and reporting mnemonic and technique.  The Prepper SALUTE Report is an easy skill to learn and it’s definitely worth learning whether you’re a prepper and just a concerned citizen. SALUTE is actually an acronym and does use a little military jargon so I’ll interpret and help you apply this tool to situations as diverse as use in a Neighborhood Protection District (neighborhood watch on steroids when law enforcement can’t be relied upon) or by a concerned citizen who sees potential criminal or terror activity like the recent bombings in Boston. The Acronym: The acronym SALUTE stands for Size, Activity, Location, Unit/Uniform, Time Observed and Equipment.  When properly used this technique guides your observations in order to provide the who, what, when, where and possibly how as well as provide a standardized reporting format.  If you don’t have a method at hand to jot down your report it will also aid you in recalling the details of what you’ve observed. Now let’s look at each element of the Prepper SALUTE Report in more detail: Size:  Report the number of people, vehicles, barricades, etc. that you observe.  Be as specific as possible.  Report “2 cars and 1 sport utility vehicle each with two occupants,” not “several cars” or “a bunch of people.”  With Size, precision counts…pun intended. Activity:  What activities did you observe?  Be as thorough and as specific as possible.  Good examples include “manning a barricade and stealing from cars...

Building a Bug Out Bag – Part VI, Communications

This entry is part 6 of 11 in the series Building A Full Spectrum Preparedness Bug Out BagIn Building a Bug Out Bag Part I we discussed why building a Bug Out Bag is important and what type of bag to select.  In Part II we discussed the Transportation Items to consider, in Part III we explored Water preparedness, in Part IV we explored Food preparedness, and in Part V we tackled Shelter, Clothing and Protection from the elements for your Bug Out Bag.  Today we’ll discuss Communications preparedness and the communications elements to consider while building a Bug Out Bag.  Remember, this is your last ditch, carry on your back, walk away from trouble Bug Out Bag…not what you hope you can get to your bug out location if your car, SUV, or DUKW makes it. Communications Preparedness: Communications preparedness for your Bug Out Bag is about more than just reception and transmission but those are two key elements.  Listed below are a number of ways that you can stay better informed about what’s going on in the world as you bug out as well as reach out and make contact with family members, members of your group and others.  Note:  A number of these options require spare batteries…plan accordingly. Communications Plan:   If your family has established a communications plan then carry a waterproof copy.  Make sure it includes the contact information for key family and friends at the bug out location or out of state.  Don’t trust that you’ll be able to get numbers, e-mail and addresses out of your cellphone.  Here’s an article introducing a VERY BASIC Communications Plan. Cellphone:  Don’t count on it working…but you never know.  Sometimes cell service works when landlines don’t and vice versa.  I’ve got a little portable Solar Cell that will charge my cellphone on the run but I also...

Ham Radio Cheat Sheet

I’m not a licensed Ham (amateur radio operator)…at least not yet.  However, I am familiar with radio procedures from my military experience and radio theory from my time as a Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Officer.  I found this Infographic from OffGridSurvival to be a great refresher.  Learn more about the licensing process at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website. FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

Preparedness Alert Code – Alas Babylon

If you’re a military veteran or a fan of the book Alas Babylon you’re likely already familiar with the term or at least the concept of an ‘Alert Code.’  Simply put, an Alert Code is a trigger to move from peacetime, business-as-usual to deployment for war (in a military context) or survival mode in the case of a preparedness alert code. In the military an alert code is an unclassified, ‘for official use only’ phrase that tells the service member to grab designated items, a deployment bag for example, and report to the unit for deployment within a set number of hours (or minutes).  There are usually two types of alert codes, the real alert code and a practice code for ‘exercising’ an alert roster to make sure that the roster is accurate and sometimes perform a dry run of selected actions. If you’re familiar with the alert code concept from Pat Frank’s (pen name used by Harry Hart Frank) 1959 novel, Alas Babylon you may recall that the name of the book was taken from the alert code that Colonel Mark Bragg, a U.S. Air Force STRATCOM Intelligence Officer worked out with his brother, Randy so that Randy would know that nuclear war was imminent. Why Establish a Preparedness Alert Code There are a number of reasons to establish a preparedness alert code and none of them have anything to do with skirting government censors as I can imagine Frank’s character, Colonel Mark Bragg intended. Initiate Action:  Establish a preparedness to set actions in motion.  Perhaps a child in college grabs their get home bag and returns home immediately to beat the anticipated mad rush.  Perhaps the family secures their bug out bags and rapidly moves to a previously identified location, hopefully surrounded by friends and family.  Perhaps everyone just returns home and begins security procedures. Initiate the...

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