A proper survival plan includes things like water, food, and light. One important thing that should be a part of your plan is communications. During the recent events in Boston, cellular communications were inoperable for hours. There is some question as to whether they were turned off by authorities, or if the heavy traffic overloaded the system, but the end result was the same: no phone communications were happening throughout most of the Boston area.
I have portable, handheld radios in the 2 meter band. There are 9 repeaters that are within 40 miles of my house, and each of these can be reached by the radios that I have on hand. This allows me to communicate across the majority of Central Florida with a large level of redundancy. In the event that all of those repeaters are non functional, we can go direct radio to radio on any one of hundreds of frequencies. These radios can be had for as little as $40.
If hundreds of available frequencies isn’t enough, you can get a dual band radio that also works in the 70 cm band. That band is less crowded than the 2m band, and adds thousands of available channels to the possibilities.
Set up a communications plan: “If anything happens, we will contact each other on the 146.22MHz repeater at the top of the hour, and on the 145.52MHz repeater at the bottom of the hour. If both repeaters are down, we will try 433.62 MHz., additionally, we will monitor 146.52 MHz.”
The HAM license costs just $15, and no morse code test is required. Then you don’t have to worry about the cell phone repeaters.