Your Tiny World Without Communication & Transportation

tiny world

Thinking once again about hypothetical results from an event or events that may happen in our future: The loss of our electrical grid.

That is, power grid infrastructure damage either from man made circumstances (EMP, electromagnetic pulse) or that from our own nearby fireball, the sun (CME, Coronal Mass Ejection).

This time however I thought about it from a slightly different viewpoint than previous articles on the subject.

I thought about how tiny our world would become.

Our personal spheres would shrink to become incredibly small. That alone would be shocking for most people living in today’s modern world.

Without even considering the other incredible problems that would confront the affected population, just imagine for a moment how isolated you would effectively become.

Here’s what I mean:


Communication Breakdown

The potential debilitating effects from either EMP or CME will likely crush our current ability to communicate with each other beyond shouting distance.

Think about that. Not only will you not be able to communicate with those who you may know across the country, you also won’t be able to communicate with anyone across town either! And they won’t be able to communicate with you!

Imagine a grid down event whereby you turn on your portable battery operated radio, and there’s nothing. No stations are on the air. The TV’s dead. Cell phone doesn’t work. Even those with landlines will pick up the phone to discover dead quiet.

That would probably scare the bejesus out of most everyone. I can imagine the creeping panic that would set in for many of today’s generation who are used to instant communication with their support network. Suddenly it’s gone…

Your world has just become tiny.


Transportation Breakdown

Either instantly or eventually when your vehicle’s gas tank runs dry, most or perhaps all of today’s modern methods of transportation may grind to a halt.

When The Trucks Stop It’s Over

You may not be able to simply hop in your car and drive to wherever it is that you may go, or to get whatever it is that you may need.

When Resupply Breaks Down

You will essentially be stuck where you are.

Your world has just become tiny.


Think about it…

Today’s post isn’t necessarily to debate the likelihoods of such a breakdown or to argue the hypothetical results of EMP or CME (solar super storm).

Rather it is intended to get you to think about your tiny world if and when such an event takes place.

It sure does put a perspective on it.

You will be alone with whoever you are with, and your nearby neighbors (if you have nearby neighbors).

(Most) all potential communication will be limited to the extent of shouting distance or traveling on your own two feet.

Yes we’re touching on a subject of extreme disaster. It’s healthy to do that once in awhile. The thought process shines a light inwards onto your own tiny sphere or world where you live.

It may motivate you to think about your own communications mitigation plan, and who or why might it be necessary or helpful.

It may motivate you to think about transportation issues and how it might affect you, given your current state of preparedness at your present physical location.

Note: I have (and regularly use) a number of the following specific 2 way radios for local communications:

Midland FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio

BaoFeng 8-Watt Dual Band Two-Way Radio

Midland 40 Watt Mobile (or Base Station) GMRS Radio

You might also consider ‘HAM Radio’ communications, HF, VHF & UHF.

All of the above will function without any existing network infrastructure. Many of these radios will operate on 12 volts DC or their own batteries or battery packs. Consider alternative energy sources. Also consider protecting some radios in a Faraday Cage environment.

Food for thought…


  1. Which countries would hardly be affected by such an event and who, in our population. would survive such an event? The self reliant and the ones that are prepared. There would definitely be some adjustment for those in colder climates – not sure how seal blubber tastes. Definitely a thinning of the herd.

  2. Chuckle and as I am just in from a break from snow shoveling just how hard an impact on any available transport (feet, bicycle, ski’s, horses etc.) a few inches of snow and ice with out plow trucks and such. I have driven M151 Jeeps and tracked vehicles in a foot of show and ice. SLOW and easily Very Dangerous. When you see an M 60 Tank slide sideways down an ravine it is VERY REAL.

    I have a greater understanding on the use of Snow Rollers during the 1800 to make roads passable.

    1. Having just finished this post and having just had lunch, I too am about to go outside to deal with all that snow from yesterday and last night.

      It’s a challenge to consider the winter conditions and my 1/3 mile private road without fuel for plowing.

      I’m also about to consume at least one tank of gasoline in my snowblower. Otherwise it would be all shovels, back & elbow grease.

      Winter survival is a sobering thought under these conditions. Not the least of which is keeping one’s home heated and the resources required.

      1. Oh heck Ken, after a SHTF event I wont even bother to shovel/snow blow our driveway. No sense in making it easier for the hordes to get to the house. You also have to think you would be giving away the fact that you have gas to waste on snow clearing. Chances are we wont have enough gas to go anywhere as we will be saving all gas at that point for the generator.

        1. Peanut Gallery while having a snow shoveled driveway is a short range visual attractant to trouble…

          What is your thoughts about the range of attractants like Lights and Generator Noises?

        2. Generator here is short term along with everyone else that has a generator. We only store enough fuel for roughly 3 to 4 weeks. That is to allow us time to use up the food in the 2 refrigerators or can what is in the freezers. We figure that as long as we can hear a generator or two still running, we can run ours for a few hours as needed. The day we hear silence, we will go silent as well. If there is any gas left, we figure we can barter if for other needs.

          As far as lights, we have material to completely black out the windows.

        3. With a well built generator shack AND those black out items you mentioned Peanut Gallery your doing well. Can I suggest you add to that generator shack some deep cycle batteries and invertor so you can run that generator for a little while and run off of batteries for a long time. Add some solar panels and a controller and later you will still have power.

      2. Our cold weather consists of a few weeks of 0 at the lowest, sometime highs in the teens to mid 20’s. It is surprisin how much more wood I use than our “normal” cold weather which might be lows in the 20’s highs mid to upper 30’s. Takes a lot more wood when it’s really cold.

      3. About a month ago over at the WRSA website, a poster contributed to an article about weather-related disaster. This man and his family endured a horrific, paralyzing snowstorm in Ohio several years ago. Rather than evacuating with his neighborhood to a community shelter, he and his family stayed. They were well-provisioned with food, supplies, and warmth.
        It did not take long for the gangs of looters on snowmobiles to show up in his neighborhood and start looting all of the empty houses. They left him and his alone. Think back about all of the gangs of Bummers who descended on NOLA after Katrina in 2005. Any major disaster will bring out the vultures and the jackals to feast on the corpses of the dead and dying. Harden your hearts and get ready to protect you and yours from any such natural or Leviathan-created catastrophe. And pray that day never comes.

        1. 😎👍🏻
          Exactly right,
          Just look around at the yahoos that populate our various AOs, some spots have a lot of good, but some places, well lets just say they lack a certain level of civility even in the best of times. Some pest need to be eradicated, period

    2. NH Michael & Ken;
      I’m wondering that if/when Ken’s hypothetical arrives will there be a reason to plow that 1/3 mile of Driveway? Or would the world become smaller yet, to just the firewood stash and maybe the Root-Cellar/Deep Pantry
      Certainly one would not need to plow the roads for travel, or “going to the store”.
      I would think life would become more to the extreme hermit lifestyle. Of course let’s us not forget the Security aspect of advertising a plowed drive to the “bad-guys.

      1. NRP one of my hopes is after a period of nastiness (30-60 days) Most of the Troublemakers will have died off and the survivors can start Carefully restoring a society. I love my tribe but all of life must go on.

      2. That’s one reason I chose this place down the end of my own private road. Privacy. I most certainly would not be plowing under such circumstances ;)

        We would be hunkered down, so to speak.

        1. Hunker down, No lights, No smoke, No noise, No odors, No NADA for quite awhile.
          People at times talk about that “Cave” well if ya want to make it ‘after’ you had better understand what that means…..
          At 4%+- prepared that leaves a good 307 million people (in the US) on the run and hunting anything/everything.

        2. Will take a few pounds of caster beans from our place, cook them down into powdered ricin, sprinkle it all over a trap crop in the lower field and then just wait, that or maybe the ethelene glycol spiked gatorade in the cooler on the post that says “drink”

        3. During the initial outset and first 30, 60, to 90 days, there will be extreme focus on security. This will be the most dangerous time in my opinion.

          If the lights are still out after that time period, there will have been a massive die-off in population, and those remaining will be of a fairly similar grit. Perhaps better able to work together after that…

        4. Nailbanger I was about to post a reply that would violate TOS here. Have you any thought that maybe you could find a USE for anybody else in the world? Between your 300WM and poison I am not sure I would want you as a neighbor. Might be some of MY Scavenger’s you are poisoning.

        5. NHMike,
          I have a good relationship with my neighbors, and if your scavengers are coming onto my property be warned i dont fire warning shots,
          There are plenty others who might be worth dealing with, those who steal or jyst help themselves deserve no mercy, i have many surprises up my sleeve, i read a lot and love playing chemist, its amazing how volatile some compounds are, it is also fun to play with electronics, radio waves can be quite destructive if connected to the right piece of equipment

        6. NHMike
          As a footnote,
          Respect and trust are earned, i have been burned enough times that i tend to make people earn that trust, i really dont care what anyone thinks about that, dont like it? TS

        7. Ken
          ACDH wanted to know if you saw the Newfoundlander dog using the snow blower so his dad could have a break? It was on the local news channel today an affiliate of CBS, the story originated from BC.
          First thing he thought of was you out working with your snowblower an needing an extra paw.🙂

  3. I’ve contemplated the challenges you’ve mentioned. Once a new reality sets in, how will survivors compensate for lack of outside contact/news? I expect that in rural environs like mine, folks will gather into smaller “communities” where periodic gatherings to catch up on whatever news/gossip that is available will take place. The local churches once served this purpose. News of greater importance traveled to adjoining communities via runners on horse back (think the midnight ride of Paul Revere) and lanterns in the church tower for signaling. Frontier families once used horns made from cow horns to communicate simple messages quickly over relatively short distances to their neighbors. Ingenuity and need will foster innovation. While our yearning for information is part of our genetic make-up, the physical reality of trying to provide the needs of our loved ones will dramatically temper out time to worry about what’s happening outside our immediate environs.

    1. Yes, exactly. We will only know what’s going on to the extent of our small sphere. It will take a long while for outside information to get through (although HAM radio could cut through that). Also, the concerns will be focused on the here and now within one’s own sphere of attempted survival.

    2. Nailbanger, in the south, we called it the “grapevine”. At the risk of being called sexist, we used to have a saying….”telegraph, telephone, tell a woman”, the last was the quickest way to get word out to everybody. (sorry ladies)

      1. If you needed the message delivered “express”, you always preface it with “this is just between you and me, nobody else needs to know”.

    3. Hey ‘Dennis

      Believe it or not I have one of those horns. Likely was my great grandfathers as my grandfather was usin it to call his possum dogs when I was just a very few years old. I still use it to call my dogs.

      1. wood56gas, my brother still has the one he crafted himself when we were young. We had a group of coon hunters take us under their wing to teach us the sport. They used those horns to call in their dogs at the end of a hunt. They each had a distinctive tone that only their hounds would respond to. They were very similar to the powder horns even further back in our history. Another example of folks utilizing what was available to make useful tools and implements.

      2. wood56gas
        Many years ago dad had a horn he used to call the cattle in from the back regions of the ranch. Other wise it would take up to an hour to track them down. When they were close in he would blow the horn, toss the hay out and they would come running. Did not take long to train them horn meant free lunch-lol. Believe the baby sister still has the horn, will have to ask her. Thanks for the memory.

  4. “Imagine a grid down event whereby you turn on your portable battery operated radio, and there’s nothing. No stations are on the air. The TV’s dead. Cell phone doesn’t work. Even those with landlines will pick up the phone to discover dead quiet.”- Some see the glass half empty…I see this as a positive. The peace and quiet this would bring !!!! No CELL PHONE is a HUGE positive to me, No TV and 24 hour barrage of bad news, crappy programming ETC, YEAHHHHHHHH!! No more working for The Corporate healthcare structure!!!
    I would finally have time to tend a garden, Hunt/Fish, SEE THE NIGHT STARS, Hear the birds without traffic noise!!

    1. SpudWeb
      Great but for how long?? Before the quiet seeps into your world and your brain starts to require the need for sounds. Remember our brains are now hard wired due to all the noises we perceive each day in our lives.
      Like quitting smoking, one will require some balance to all the quiet.

      1. Antique Collector,
        I think you make an valid point. As much as many of us crave the peace and quiet we rarely have, constant quiet would be an adjustment for sure, and some would adjust more easily than others. Some people (maybe even most people) will have a hard time without the noise they are used to. This would be worse for people who are addicted to TV, computer games, background music, etc… or who live in a big city with traffic, sirens and all sorts of noise going 24/7.

        As I sit at my desk I hear machinery and work noises, traffic, phones, voices, etc… all day long. At the mountain house I can’t wait to throw open the windows and hear the sound of the creek, maybe with the wind in the trees. But, I eventually end up humming while I do chores, or talking to myself now and then. I guess as long as I don’t answer myself I’m still somewhat sane. ;)

    2. Antique Collector & SpudWeb
      I’m not so sure on being Positive of this scenario, but it sure would drive a lot of people crazy. Interestingly enough my Homestead has no TV and the radios are off 99.99% of the time. Very quiet around my place, and as far as other people contact, no biggie for me.

      SpudWeb; Your quote **” I would finally have time to tend a garden, Hunt/Fish, SEE THE NIGHT STARS, Hear the birds without traffic noise!!”** you would be surprised how many here on MSB are living that right now.

      Antique Collector; **”Great but for how long?? Before the quiet seeps into your world and your brain starts to require the need for sounds”** So THAT’S whats wrong with me? among other things, I do perfectly fine without all of the clutter-noise that most would miss so much.

      1. Last winter the power went out in the middle of the night. Suddenly there were no sounds. No traffic, no streetlights, no neighbors, no furnace. I enjoyed it until I went back to sleep, but the lack of sound was enough to trigger my subconscious with “something’s wrong.”

    3. Spudweb
      I agree. Getting rid of communications and stopping the trucks would put an end to my current job. Much stress relieved. It would allow more time for gardening and blacksmithing but will make those jobs considerably harder. It would definitely take some major adjustments, but those that rely on tech for every aspect of their life will be completely lost.

      Antique Collector
      We could actually talk to the people around us. Many times we go to out to eat and see a family setting at a table together but their heads are stuck in their phones and they don’t even realize other people are across the table from them. We could gather at churches and community centers and fellowship and play music. It could be fun. I should have been born 100 years ago.

    4. Quiet I am old have ringing in the ears it will never be quiet. HA HA

    5. It is that quiet here. No traffic noise, no nothing but the birds and bees. I do remember when 911 happened and they stopped airplanes from flying, that last noise outside went away and then it seemed really quiet. But we have been here permanently for 18 years and love the quiet.

  5. I am honestly as ready as i can be and would welcome this, a great culling is what is needed, the current levels of dependence, debt, and corruption are so far off the scale that theres no fixing any of this with fluffy words and hopefull hope, thats all just ignorance. You can ignore reality, but you cant ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.

  6. If all communication were lost, our family has the small walkie talkies to use. It may not be a long distance communication but it is better than nothing.
    Our bil is a ham operator in another state, and dh & I have radios that receive short wave communications. Although we can not respond on those units we can hear any emergency information that could be posted. We also have the emergency scanner for fire-medical, it also picks up ham operators in the area which we can set the channel for listening if it were required. It may not be the deluxe set up but better than the majority of those who reside in our area.
    Gasoline, diesel, and propane we need to store more of those commodities, only draw back is when we hit hotter weather the grasses dry out then fire season is upon us. Some of those who live here are not the brightest light bulbs in the package.

    1. Antique Collector;
      I agree with you, if/when there will be a lot of communications, just not the normal, the Ham will light like a bulb. I do believe there will not be total silence if one listens. As SpudWeb said, there is a LOT of noise out there, it just gets covered up with human static.
      My biggest concern would be the finding out the extent of the “damage” and assessing exactly what to do.

  7. Our little world seems to be pretty small as it is now. I only turn on the tv for the weather or a college basketball game. I don’t play on a smart phone so that is not an issue. I guess the biggest loss for me would be the internet as I am always researching various subjects. Lack of news from outside our little sphere would be a minor loss.

  8. I don’t have many relatives left; those that are still alive live hundreds or thousands of miles from me.

    What I think about most is that if there is a long term communications blackout, I will have no way to find out if my brother, daughter, or grandson are alright.

    I can deal with loneliness. No problem. But it would be hard not knowing if my friends and relatives out of state are ok.

    1. DaisyK
      Loneliness is not something one can get use to, humans like having someone close by, it does comfort the mind. If is not a human being, then an animal which we share companionship. We are not any different than herd animals, just our pack is made up of different species.

      1. antique collector

        My dog died last summer, but I still have my two cats. They keep me from being lonely, and I do have human friends in this town.

        But I would have no way to reach my brother and my friends in Colo or my daughter and grandson in Louisiana to find out if they are ok.

        1. Hey DaisyK

          Have you thought of an older dog from a rescue situation? There is a tremendous number of grown dogs that need a place to go. They make wonderful companions and seem to appreciate the chance. We just took in two new ones a few weeks ago.

        2. I would take an older dog if one happened to find me, but I am not actively looking for one.

        3. Daisy K
          Yes I remember your dog passing and it was a sad day.
          Is there no one in your area that has a ham radio set up that could contact your family via other ham operator?
          Something to check into for your area, your daughters, along with your brother. There may not be ham right close in but something within a reasonable distant so you could still make contact with your family.
          Ask the county employee at your local office, they would be the best resource for locating an operator in your area.

        4. Antique Collector
          you mention “ham operator”…Have you seen the recent online article on NBC

          “Hawaii’s Communication Breakdown and How Going Ham Could Save Us | NBC Left Field “

          “Hawaii’s recent false nuclear missile alert showed us how reliant we are on cell phones and modern technology—and how unprepared we are if they become inaccessible. But in case the unexpected happens, an unlikely group of hobbyists—ham radio operators—are standing at the ready and may save us all.”


  9. Hold on – stop the car!
    I won’t be able to talk to script-reading drones at call enters across the country OR locally either? And they can’t phone and harass me?
    If I turn on my portable, battery operated radio I might not get punched in the face 48 times per hour with someone’s breathless toll-free 800 number? What about the couple dozen Mexican radio stations blaring musica del taco, de ranchero? No more “oompa oompa”? This is horrible.
    That TV, hanging on my wall, that I turn on maybe once a year and dust every month…. It, might be dead too? Seriously, have you ever seen radical TV news reader plastic surgery and nuclear white teeth in 4k res? -shudder-
    Now the hell you say that both my landline, which I had to disconnect due to spam, AND my mobile phone which has three layers of spam call detection embedded in the OS… they might not work either?!!
    OK and the screaming, grunting idiot savant kid next door who plays online video games with a headset and his window wide open 21 hours a day…. I might get to see him freak out and watch his brain stem explode?
    Then… silence? No more freight trains? No more ambulance sirens? No more Fedex/UPS cargo jet races and early turns over my house at 3am? ???
    OK I get it. Now in the immortal words of ‘Lucky’ Larry Silverstein; “Pull it!”

    1. McGyver,
      “have you ever seen radical TV news reader plastic surgery and nuclear white teeth in 4k res? -shudder-”
      Thanks for the chuckle! :)

  10. After the balloon goes up, ‘news’ is going to be a valuable commodity. But, beware. Listen to more than one source. Remember what you heard from which source. If something sounds too good to be true……guess what? It probably is. And remember where you heard it. Good or bad.

    If you don’t know where to listen for generic information, check out ac6v dot com, or search for ‘clear channel stations’. On the ac6v page, select the type of stations, US and/or Mexican. The majority of the stations listed will have generators and spare transmitters and good sources for real news. (vs Fake News)

    Along these lines, I have numerous wire antennas and coax packaged up and ready to be used, along with several UHF, VHF, and HF radios. And ample DC power, PV panels, and if needed several KW via inverters. And a VERY NOISY generator. But it’s a goo-o-od one,

    I have spent hours trying to get ‘the tribe’ to comprehend OPSEC and COMMSEC. It is amazing how stupid the current generation is. As NailB has previously indicated, you can lead a horse to water, but you damn sure cain’t make it drink. When the balloon goes up, keep in mind when talking on the radio: It is not a private conversation. Scumbags are listening. Do not tell someone you have ‘extra’ of anything. Do not say where you are. Do not say WHO you are. Use pseudonyms: Buffalo Bill, Wyatt Earp, Marge Simpson, etc. On multi-channel radios, use a ‘calling channel’, make contact then change to a known second channel. Do not say ‘go to channel 6’.

    Off of my paranoia soap box.

    1. RoadWarrior;
      Not to worry bud. even WITH paranoia they’re still going ta get ya…. hehehehe
      One thing, your quote
      **”When the balloon goes up, keep in mind when talking on the radio: It is not a private conversation”**
      That’s just as true now, do NOT give info out on the wire…. ever.

    2. Road Warrior,

      You make some really good points about radio discipline. One thing I really like about those little Baofeng’s is that you can have a second channel queued up and toggle between the two. Speaking for myself, there is no one I really want to talk to. Both kids are grown and on their own and not prepared for anything. Beyond that it’s just me and my wife now, and we have no extended family. I would be much more interested in monitoring reports from outside the US and presumably the affected area too. I still have a couple of good shortwave receivers, one really nice one. That and 50 feet of wire and the world is available. Old CB radios could have a function too, especially for local news.

    3. Road warrior have you built a generator shack to protect and quiet your generator yet? Upgrade the muffler add rubber shock absorbers for vibration and insulation in the walls to quiet it even more. With some cleverness you can even hide it with in a wood pile. The door covered with slices of firewood will help.

      1. At my last abode, I had constructed a sound/noise insulated ‘box’ keep a generator in. But, selling that place and moving here, I left the generator there ($$$ to my bottom line). This place came with almost enough stuff to make a container for this generator. I am currently waiting for decisions on other projects. Would really not like building a box for it, then moving it, and moving it, etc. But, yes, have a muffler and stack for it located, shock mounts are available, and external fuel tank obtained. Also have the ability to remotely start/stop it. With things going down the toilet like they have been lately, maybe it is time to get all the parts together and at least be ready.

  11. I have a 12-inch swinging bell mounted on a post plus 2 smaller bells on walls and 3 extremely loud cowbells on handles. We could develop a code for neighbors and family members or use existing Morse code. I haven’t tested how far I can hear them. We also have walkie-talkies in a faraday cage. Hope the batteries will work! Even on our smallish farm, we are often out of shouting distance of each other.

  12. We have thought about this a lot. We have, in farady cages, walkie talkies for short range, two meter ham for longer range. Solar chargers. But the main difference will be that our horses, saddles and buggies, will be worth their weight in gold. This also makes them more of a target for theft. All economies will suddenly become local. The neighbor who raises bees, will be rich, I suspect. So being able to produce food or other valuable product, or having a skill set will be key to long-term survival.

  13. Good afternoon, Everyone,
    Just a grateful nod to our senior folks who read here and post,
    We have a neighbor 80+ years old who is mostly a “lifer” in our local area,, he knows just about everyone and just about everything…
    He is a hard worker (previously a farmer among other things)
    He connects the dots…it is good to know of someone who understands the “goings on” of an area and people and also someone who has good character…
    My DH and I like to listen to him talk…his perspective on the local beat is very valuable
    Someone like him would be a good source of “news” anyday…
    Peace Out folks…

    1. An excellent Ally Shepherdess AND I bet he knows who is sketchy and who can be trusted.

  14. I hope everyone who counts on using HAM Radio, walkie talkies, etc has them “EMP or CME Proofed”, (if that was the cause of the grid down). Hopefully the folks HAMs want to talk to has had their Receivers “EMP or CME Proofed” as well.
    Granted, there might be areas that were not affected, or mildly affected, by a CME or EMP.
    I get a kind of a kick reading about all those who will listen to shortwave, or use their cell phones, or whatever. Have they really considered the real effects of a massive CME or EMP?
    I have said before, I’m very well prepped, but if a massive CME or EMP occurs, all bets are off for me.
    If the “grid down event” was the result of sabotage to our grid, and not a CME or EMP, then what I just said will not apply, and I feel comfortable with my preps for that event.
    Also, a HAM setup is a remaining “hole” in my preps. I could LISTEN to shortwave however.

    1. Ozarkshermit,
      For Shortwave, there may be areas of the world not affected by a CME such as the part of the world in nighttime, and for EMPs, I doubt the whole world will be knocked out. If all communication goes down so be it, if not I’ll have protected equipment I can receive broadcasts, and transmit on.

  15. Ken,
    Great subject and thought provoking. Com breakdown-Communication wise I have my all band Shortwave Receiver Radios, 2 Meter 65 watt Ham radio, CB radios, Handheld scanner, several sets of 2 way radios covering civilian bands, and a battery operated 6 inch digital TV just in case some stations are broadcasting OTA via generators in the beginning. I have plenty of spare batteries, antennas, solar panels and power packs charged and ready. Additionally I have a complete comm set up in a faraday cage trash can consisting of portable solar panels, several boefengs, SW radio, and spare batteries. With the loss of electricity, lack of RFI should make for good reception/transmitting. (Note to self-Don’t forget to recharge rechargeable batteries in faraday every six months minimum.)
    Transportation breakdown scares me more than loss of communication since I’m pretty prepared for that. I’d save what little gas gas I have for sure, for emergency travel if the car works. . If the 18 wheelers aren’t rolling we’re in big trouble pretty fast as I’ll be forced to forage mostly on foot. I would try to get extra supplies in first before using up my LTS food. Hopefully I’ll have a day to do that before the gen pop figures the SHTF and it’s not temporary.
    I came across a glaring deficiency in my plans the other day. Most of my survival books and info were downloaded into the cloud. I immediately got my USB thumb drives out, converted all my info to PDF Format, and downloaded it. Without the net I’d of had a problem in some info areas although I do have paper books and manuals on hand.

  16. With a sudden EMP or CME event today, it could give some guys a break from yelling into their phone “Buy, Buy, Buy….no I mean Sell, Sell, Sell….no I mean….”.

    Me, I would probably just pull the aluminum foil off of my treadle sewing machines and get back to mending.

    CD in Oklahoma

  17. Surviving the thinning of the herd may be as much about the weather conditions and luck as anything else.
    NRP, what happens when 10,000 people start to forage down the Animas river over a width of 50 miles? Like locusts, they can clean everything out for hundreds of miles – gardens, fish, game, homes, root cellars, …. all I can say is that if it comes, I hope it is in the coldest winter with 4′ of snow.
    Does it really matter if you don’t know that rioting is taking place in all major cities? I’m in the cold school of thought – get together with a few trusted neighbors at the local church when it is safe to do so.

    1. should have read “old school of thought” but it was probably a accurate slip of the fingers.

    2. Hermit us I too agree that having the SHTF event in deep winter would speed up the process of weeding out the non survivors/takers and thugs.

      But that said I hope we remember not to set up kill zones around us and try to create honorable allies. My tribe is pretty solid but extra hands for firewood and farming would be very valuable. NOTE I Did Not Say extra hands for Security. Look to the Vikings and how they handled unknown but useful people. They can Earn their way into Freedmen.

  18. Sure hope it never comes to be and all my “stuff” is for not.
    But tis always a possibility I guess.
    Kinda conforting to know that I’ll have enough TP for a week or so.

  19. Interesting scenario, no transportation or communication , quite a lifestyle change to say the least. We are on a dead end road, near the dead end of it .We have been here over 4 years now and have been making friends of neighbors that are near to us .
    We have the Midland radios listed above and have encouraged some of our near neighbors to do the same . We are in a canyon and do not receive much , if any radio signal or cell service . We know who our like minded neighbors are . They all seem like good folks, but in a scenario like this , who knows, I’m sure there will be changes .
    I would not try to go anywhere for 3-6 months. There would be a thinning of the herd, I’m sure. Our world for a while would be our nearby neighbors . It will be a very dicey and difficult time for all. We do not anticipate any of our family members to be able to reach us .

  20. Another thing to consider–
    When this happens, everything you have, becomes finite.
    Not only comms, everything.

    1. Thats what worries me the most, finite will come quickly to some more than others, in some areas finite may take a while for some stuff, like where we are, surrounded by farms and ranch land, theres plenty to eat, but how long until the idiot government employees are sent out with their orders to “collect” supplies, it aint going to end well for any of them.

      1. N B,
        Aloha, that is also a concern of ours.Hey I just had a brain fart . If things were in different places and I forgot where they were I couldn’t give them up,what a concept.
        Blessings to you

  21. In North Carolina we have a “Hollerin’ Contest”. There are two (maybe more) schools of thought about the origins. One is that the hollering is used to call pigs, two is that the hollering is used to communicate with neighbors. Both are fun to think about and to listen to!

    There is also a tribe in South America that uses whistling as a form of communication. Very complicated and the elders who whistle are having a difficult time finding younger people who want to learn. Also, women are not allowed to use the “whistling’ language.

    Here’s hollerin’ at ya’ll,

  22. Perhaps semaphore for inline daytime short distance comms. Morse code w/battery operated light, for even longer inline distance at night. How about relaying information/messages for longer distances. All the while keeping opsec in mind as the need dictates. Flagpoles can be seen from quite a distance using binoculars. Ham operators working in conjunction with the aforementioned methods may go a long way toward keeping the lines of communication open. Where practical, a modern day pony express may save the day. Just sayin’

  23. Old homesteader,
    Think you are right on about thorium reactors, big power and big gov probably put the kibosh on those.
    Good luck on the move, give yourself time, lots of emotions giving up a homestead, I can only imagine.

  24. Govt shutdown pending as I type this. It may affect my paycheck and ability to work in the near future. I’ve lived through this before. Let’s see what happens.

    1. CaliRefugee
      Govt. shutdown my azz, they use that as a scare tactic to get every last $ BILLION of spending they want, BTW, .gov just voted in a $2 TRILLION increases in the national debt over the next two years.
      Nice, very friggen nice.

  25. – During the Indian Wars period following the Civil War, semaphore and Morse code relay stations along with field glasses (binoculars) and preplaced locations for those relay stations could move messages hundreds of miles in a matter of a couple of hours. Look at photos of the roofline of the old hospital at Ft. Sill, and other old western military installations, there is a glass cupola on the very top. Other places like Signal Mountain at that same fort have the ruins of a small building at the very top. That is what they were intended for. At the time, they were regarded as being much more reliable than the new telegraph. (Indians would cut and steal the wiring.)
    – Papa S.

    1. Same sort of structures were used in Scotland and Ireland to signal across great distances. Carrier Pigeons work BUT you have to Carry them to the sender so when they release them with a note it homes in to home (The Receiver) As an aside they breed well and taste great. Look up dovecote for ideas. :-)

  26. – On a related note, several of the ranches around my neck of the woods from the 40’s on were connected to the national telephone grid through their barbed wire fences. The last of those impromptu telephone lines was replaced in 1968. Maybe that might give someone an idea for a major SHTF.
    – Papa S.

  27. I had a similar conversation with a friend.

    His grandson needs to step it up a bit with his math at school.
    “papa” said; “ok, you have to answer 20 math problems within 5 seconds of each problem,. If you get one wrong, you lose your phone for a week.”

    The kid wigged out on just the “thought” of not having his phone.
    It was an interesting experiment – tho – not planned to be viewed as one.

    Papa walked away after his g-son couldn’t answer 3 in a row…

    I started in with the basic math when his papa walked away. (multiplication max numbers 12×12)
    I am more patient – and gave him more time, and I was calm… Papa… isn’t calm or patient. (something he needs to learn).

    He did good with bigger numbers. However, when I asked 3×3… he couldn’t do it.

    Just the thought of “not having his phone” was enough to make him not think clear.

    That… is some food for thought.

  28. I will be doing a lot of ham radio LISTENING for the first month after shtf. Very careful with transmissions, not to give away position. I believe it will take time, but lines of transportation will be re-established, people will find work arounds for using electric pumps for fuel. That might help people closer to cities. For us folks in the boonies, we will be using animal or human transportation for a long while. I do not think hordes of looters will get very far, weak, hungry and desperate also make for stupid. Amazing how a horde could be ‘ steered ‘ by taking out a few of the front end guys. In city is another matter, an ant’s nest that has just been kicked.

    1. Minerjim
      Why not give a fake location? Make them chase a ghost into that wasteland. Every mile of misdirection weakens the looters.

      1. The Donner party was delayed by a few mistakes and wrong trails. They got stuck in the pass during winter and the horror of starvation and cannibalism resulted.

      2. Hermit us,
        Many ham operators use ‘directional’ antenna, many could get a direction azimuth to get an idea of where you are broadcasting from. My guess is that if the masses listening to UHF, VHF do not hear any transmissions, they may very well think no one is out in your area. Better to make them work to find you than giving them a verbal conformation over the air waves. Just my thoughts. Several months in, things will settle out some, and communications can resume, but likely hams being careful will use NVIS antenna that bounce the majority of the radio signal off the atmosphere and back down again, making it harder to track.

      3. Hermit us,
        I guess after thinking a bit more, you could use a NVIS antenna to broadcast and not give away your location, but make ‘slip ups’ and advertise your location as somewhere else. Still a bit risky. I think that taking out the leaders or first lines of looters from a ‘golden horde’ will be key. you should be able to turn a horde away with force. Like most thieves, they are looking for an easy mark and will steer away from any chance of getting killed or caught. I still think that there would be looters using VHF and UHF handhelds to listen for communication activity to indicate possible resources to loot . despite what they tell you 2 meter radios do not have that much of a range at given time in the solar cycle, so they would know you are close if they could hear you. just something to think about.

        1. Good points sir
          My perspective is from a wooded mountainous location where a ridge, a gully, a valley, … are easy to mistake as a pathway to my place. I will consider your information when I set up my system.

  29. Anyone taking out the front row of a “golden horde” will most likely be required to prove in a court of law that that course of action was in fact required, as per your specific state’s laws governing the judicious use of lethal force. Most, with any sense will seek resources easier to acquire, once they see an armed resistance.

    1. Ken is it on topic to talk about Misdirection and Redirecting possible Golden Hordes in a Tiny World message line?

      I am eager to hear peoples thoughts on how to avoid mob visits.

      1. NH, Here’s what I’ll do… Your topic is a very good one. I will write up an opinion article and get it posted separately for discussion (the topic is worthy of it’s own article!).

        1. It’s all good… close enough ;) But will post an article separately on this soon…

        2. As an example Ken have you heard of St Michaels MD? Google the town that fooled the British. They heard that the British Navy was going down the coast bombarding towns at night. They blacked out the town and hung lanterns in the trees. The British shot at the lights and thus over shot the town.

          As a more current example When I was in training in Ft Bragg my 1SGT used a bucket with sand, JP4 and a jeep with a trailer and had the Aggressor forces wandering all night trying to find our camp via that campfire. We used a garbage can to hide the flames when we moved it. Then revealed it for a while until they came close.

          Both used Misdirection by showing the enemy what he wanted to find and had them react to it.

    2. CR,
      Point taken. The basis of my comments was shtf and wrol, and the establishment that the golden horde were in fact looting and causing general mayhem. Myself, I am hoping people remain civilized for the most part. Looters and angry mobs can become very ugly in short order if unchecked.

      1. I’ve almost finished a related article on this general topic. Now debating when to post it… Maybe Sunday, since tomorrow, Saturday, is the open forum.

        1. Ken,
          Thank you for all that you do, really quite enjoyable to chat with everyone here, great bunch of folks, even if they think my approach or comments are a bit harsh, we all gots opinions and different life experiences.
          Excellent spot bud!

        2. Thanks for that. Yup, opinions are a plenty – makes for interesting conversation… 😄

      2. The most difficult time is that period before Law Enforcement stops people from defending themselves during a SHTF situation. They are TRAINED to use Containment of riots and everyone in that area is a problem to be contained and arrested if violent.

        Given that even the Police will have limited or no communications in a grid down/EMP situation they will be tired and scared. Not a good time to use firepower to protect your home. Hard to communicate your a “Good Guy” in that situation.

  30. Would be an interesting comms excersize to see how long it would take to get a message from one coast to the other using grid down technology.

  31. Wahooooo! NO limits!!! I could hunt coyotes at night, burn bonfires when I want, fish with no limit, transmit instead of just listen, dig that drain tile, put barbed wire were I want, shoot for distance, no more shot gun limits, cut that barrel, have that suppressor, hunt from the truck, have bees next to the road, be able to open carry, burn out the ditches, use all the traps, actually use a gig line, try shock fishing, cut down trees, use oil based paint, oil the dirt roads, get rid of the asbestos, transmit wifi greater than one watt, burn down that old barn, put in my own septic laterals, burn the trash, finish the deck with NO TAX, no mortgage!!!

    1. Is that the Beer :-) or Humor speaking my friend?

      In a communication down EMP situation a lot of the power of the will be reduced. HOWEVER The Prime Directive of any (Local or Warlord) is to survive and they will use any power they have to take what they need and control everybody in their AO.

      History shows when the Economic Collapse known as the Great Depression the Banks still used the power to dispossess folks of their farms and homes. Only a full on SHTF Collapse with out rule of law could you do as you please BUT them again So could every other person.

      Lets see people with out common sense setting fires and pooping where ever they feel the urge. Wildfires and disease Wahooo!! Folks with no filter shooting and beating folks because like no limits on social behavior….

      Not as much fun IMHO. A few Good Neighbor rules like allowing your neighbor to sleep at night goes a long way to a civil relationship.

      1. NH Michael,

        Well said friend. I know some folks (myself included) say a lot of things “tongue in cheek”, but it’s too common to read comments from some folks that sound as if they’re looking forward to shtf. Makes you wonder how miserable their life must be right now or believe they haven’t quite grasped the true reality of shtf.

        1. Or maybe they are sick of the BS
          Maybe its tongue in cheek through gritted teeth because of disgust with what people have allowed

        2. As the British Warrior Poet Disraeli said “You look too long into the Abyss the Abyss will look into you”.

          The Pendulum has indeed passed too far left but we need to show we are not going to shove it too far Right. Extremes are not healthy for Freedom AND Responsibility. Both of them was what our Founding Fathers were seeking.

          My suggestion while long range communications are still available is for you to enjoy your lack of frozen weather and get in some fishing I can only wish for. :-) That and remember to disconnect from the nastiness for a week or so. I suspect the world will still be there waiting.

        3. NHMike
          THAT my friend is an understatement,
          At this point its more an unhealthy obsession with watching a train wreck,
          I keep trying to not look, but somehow cant help but peaking.
          Honestly what you said about disconnecting really resonates, this stuff that is going on, is getting totally ridiculous.
          Time to concentrate on homestead, leather, wood and steel!

      2. The rule of individuals according to one of my books:

        “With no restraints and without competition, every nation will expand to its full strength. According to the law of the individual, the only goal of the organization is its own power, not the good of others.”

        The rule of individuals is that the weak want to become strong and the strong want to become powerful. Her own voice, half remembered from her childhood, echoed back at her from the white walls. She’d been very young, and very naïve.
        Very good. Does this also apply to nations?
        Nix remembered her confusion. The light confused everything. There are no nations.
        Isn’t the Council a nation?
        Of course not! The Council got RID of nationalism!
        Nix usually remembered her mother as an old woman, still spry. The subversion had started very young.
        And yet the Council struggles to eliminate all outside influences. Isn’t that the act of a nation? It works to increase its power, as a strong individual would do.

        Or to put it another way, “The monster will always feed itself first.”

    2. The angel Gabriel said to three men, “The world will end tomorrow”.
      The Frenchman said “Tonight, I will drink the finest wine and eat the finest meal.”
      The Italian said “Tonight, I will make beautiful love to my wife.:
      The Russian said “I will burn down my neighbor’s barn!”

      1. Sigh, I have had the pleasure of knowing several Russians, indeed 2 of my tribe are 2nd gen and they are thoughtful people. I trust them with firearms behind me.

        Maybe the last line could have read “The Gimme Dat said I will burn down my hood”

  32. Lauren, I think that perhaps that has been one of the main differences with America, those inherently necessary restraints inculcated into our culture’s fabric through our Judeao-Christian heritage. Recall that beautiful verse, Confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law.
    Our nation’s heritage of faith in our Creator, and American’s willingness to stand up for that faith, to keep it viable (By no means an easy task), are what, IMO, will keep us from being eaten by the monster.
    The monster, IMO, being the system
    of those whose desire is to rule w/o those restraints. The horrors of which have been recorded for us to learn the importance of keeping the faith strong.
    Amos 5:24 But let judgement run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
    I believe that competition is a good thing, inspiring one to excel and strive to reach one’s full potential.
    NH, I expected that you were speaking of total collapse. That would certainly be a mess. Have read Selco’s story from Bosnia. A good read for those who want to get a good idea of the possibilities of a total collapse scenario.

    1. Selco is a good read on a war zone civil war collapse. For a Social Collapse over at the Organic Prepper she has a Venezuelan (formally a Middle Class Oil Worker) family man posting about what it is to experience Socialism and economic collapse along with hyperinflation.

      There the shuts down radio stations and social sites that offend it.

      My beloved and I have been reading it as a preplanning for what I fear the most in the USA.

      1. NH Michael, I agree that Selco and the Venezuelan man have really good messages to share…we can learn so much from anyone who has lived through such times…
        Sometimes how society reacts to an event can be just as bad or worse than the event itself…
        the mainstream US culture is geared towards dependency not only for stuff but also for information…
        TPTB also use fear as a tool to keep people on the hook…
        looking to them for the solution and answers…
        My main concern is how much of the society will react to such an event or re-set… In the past couple of years, I have seen things in dreams, that warfare (to what level I do not know) is coming to the soil of the USA, it keeps me serious and focused on my path….I have already grieved in my spirit and I trust I will grieve again when this comes to pass…most people will be in utter shock and terror
        I sense our time is very short until these things happen
        our lives as we know it could change in an instant…
        Much Wisdom and Peace to all here….

        1. The world has a great deal of information on each person–where you go, who you speak to, what you buy…and how you respond to various emergencies. When there’s a mass shooting, do you immediately go home and huddle? Do you go shopping? Do you call your friends for comfort? Do you use more swearing than usual? Many conclusions can be drawn from this information, and TPTB have had a whole generation to amass information. They know exactly where and how to strike to get the response they want from the majority.

  33. The biggest and most immediate challenge is what is known as ‘cabin fever’. How do you deal with that? It is an issue around here with the continuous cold weather and flu fear. Going for a walk gives limited relief. We can have all the supplies in place, but without a way to go elsewhere, with no sun, no contact with others, things can get strenuous.

    1. Old Chevy,
      Cabin Fever is one that has been the Bain of woodsman since the beginning. The only advice I can offer is from my own experience: find a creative, useful hobby using your hands. Wood carving, sewing, weaving,etc. Many of the old miners here in the Rockies carved and knitted when they could not get out and work their claims. (I have also found taking plenty of Omega-3 EPA helps keep the “winter blues” away. ) Get your hands busy! Good luck!

    2. Projects, games, music (thus an iPod full with ability to recharge it solar), bible and prayers.

      That’s what got our forefathers through in the past even though the music was live :-)

      1. Crossword puzzles for singles, board games for couples and more. Boggle, Scrabble, Go, Backgammon, chess; I wonder what other board games others play. I’ve never been a card player. Electronic dart board is nice, pool table.

    3. Old Chevy – “Fifteen-two, fifteen-four, fifteen-six, two is eight, a run of three is eleven, and knobs is twelve”. Happens every day here at this house, whether the grid is on or off. (Grid? We don’t need no stinking grid!)

      CD in Oklahoma

  34. While stuck without transportation, dealing with cabin fever, there are some principles that we can communicate to the upcoming generation which they’re stuck in the cabin with us😉 “A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overtgrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.” Samuel Adams

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