Communication. Zombie Rocker Step 3

At Home – Step 3 of 4

  1. Family Communication Plan
  2. Emergency Phone Call Practice
  3. No Phones? No Problem

First, Read the Information You Need:

If the phone lines and cell phone towers go out, you have no way to call anyone and say, “I’m okay.” Or to reach out and ask for help if you need it. So what do you do?

It really depends on the emergency, and what status you and those around you are in.

If you need some help, but are able to move and it’s safe to leave where you are at:

  • Find a neighbor to see if they have a way to contact anyone or to ask them for help.
  • Have your family go to your neighborhood safe place where others might also be meeting up where you can ask for help.
  • Team up with a neighbor or friend’s family and have a pair of adults go to the Police Station and ask for help if it’s urgent.

If you don’t need immediate attention (you can wait for a while before getting help):

  • Shelter in place. That means stay where you are if it’s safe and you have food and water. There are ways to signal you are okay or if you need help, so you don’t have to constantly try and get the attention of someone.
    • If you aren’t okay, and your neighbor can’t help, but it isn’t critical (meaning it can wait for a little while) – make a sign asking for help and put that in your window or front yard.
    • If you are okay – You can make a sign for your front window or front yard to let people know that drive by that you are okay.

There are other, non-traditional methods, that are still hi-tech. Take a quick look at the list:

  1. Solar/battery powered emergency radio, there are even radios powered by a hand crank.
  2. Two-way radios could go up to 30 miles. If you have an out-of-town contact person, give them one. You can reach out to them, and they might have the ability to communicate by phone to spread your message of “I’m okay” or “I need help.”
  3. Citizen’s Band (CB) radio can work 10-20 miles and can reach others who might be able to help.
  4. If you have an iPhone and iPod Touch, there is an app that gives you access to police, sheriff, Coast Guard, or fire department scanners so you can at least know what is going on.
  5. A satellite phone is several hundred dollars, but often are the only reliable communication if it’s a widespread disaster that won’t have a quick fix.
  6. Shortwave radios can put you in touch with people outside your area that might know what is going on or may be willing to reach out to your contacts out of state.
  7. HAM radios require a license, but Amateur Radio operators may be the first to begin broadcasting in emergencies. They can get information both in and out of an area using different radio networks.

Second, Chose One Option to Complete:

Option 1:Non-Traditional AlternativeOption 2:No Video
Not all non-traditional communications methods work in all situations. Some are only for getting information, not sending out information. Some are too expensive, or you need training to use the equipment.

Pick which non-traditional communication option do you think your family could use and why.
Remember the emergency you practiced calling about in Step 2? Think about that situation and not having a phone to make that out of state call. And you don’t have any of the other non-traditional methods.  

Make a sign that you could put in your window either telling people you are okay, or that you need help, just like the out-of-state call. Make sure you make the words large enough you can see it from the street.

DO NOT test your sign out by putting it in your window! People may think you actually need help.


Juniors stop here. You’ve earned the Communication Rocker!

Cadettes, Seniors, Ambassadors, and Adults, go to Step 4.

Return to Communications Step 2 page.

Return to Be Prepared, Not Scared main page.