Cell phone hands down. Communication is the single most important thing needed to get through any emergency. No military operation goes down without a comprehensive communications plan.
It enables you to get the things you need beyond daily preparations. Your car dies, you get robbed, (yes, the BG got the better of you) public transportation is stopped, you're suddenly ill and unable to travel by yourself. The list of things you can't prepare for is very long. A simple phone call can solve many problems far better and easier than a backpack full of preps. Certainly if SHTF or TEOTWAWKI cell towers may go down, but they may not - most towers have emergency power supplies allowing calls during power outages. With data services a cell phone becomes invaluable, especially during emergencies. How lucky are we to be able to Google it anytime, anywhere?
June 2, 2010 3:25 PM
Bones, cell phones did NOT go down even after the Haiti earthquake, when 95% of Port-au-Prince was utterly demolished. Voice calls were blocked, but text messages got through, and a number of people were able to text their location in the rubble to rescue crews. Some plans don't include texting; make sure yours does, even if it means paying extra. Of course, keeping a VHF amateur transciever in your preps is also good (you need a license). If cell towers have been destroyed, like in some wildfires, or targeted by rebels, you can use the VHF to get help.
Thanks, good point. Keep in mind that there may or may not be phone signal (there was in Haiti, same for Chile after the earthquake) but then again there may be internet, some wi fi signal that didn’t go down or restored specially by the rescue teams.
Then there’s other million situations where the phone is just priceless.
With the crime situation here in Argentina, its mandatory to have your phone with you at all times. Specially to avoid virtual kidnappings. (the person is not really kidnapped, just unable to communicate due to some reason the family ignores but the criminal got hold of that piece of intel) Check if everyone is ok, make a call after learning that there was a shooting/protest/revolt in some part of town where a family member is in. Check the price of the currency as it collapses and changes value within minutes. This is all real stuff that happened during 2001, and the crime situation still continues. For this and a thousand other reasons, the phone is really needed.
Now I’ll admit, I’m not much of a phone guy, never even bought a phone, usually got them handed over, inherited after my wife got a new one or a family member had one that they weren’t using.
For my trip to USA; I decided to fix this situation and learn how to use one, so I bought my first phone ever. (first one I actually got for me)
As usual, I did lots of research before buying anything. Hours spent on line, reading threads (check www.edcforums.com)
To make long story short I ended up with a iphone 3GS. It’s the best overall phone in my opinion ( I know everyone have his/her favorite, this just works for me).
With the excellent user interface, maps, gps, and apps I believe it’s the best overall option.
Now this piece of gear has one weekness: Its not exactly tough.
I like my gear, tool and gadgets in general to be as tough as possible.
Out of pure luck I found the solution to my problems, the OtterBox Defender Case for iPhone .
This shell makes the iphone into a drop proof, heavy duty piece of equipment, I believe one was run over by a truck as a test, the Iphone inside wasn’t damaged. Its not waterproof though, so don’t abuse it much.
The combination of these two are the perfect solution for SHTF phone needs.