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#277799 - 12/01/15 05:05 PM Emergency Communications
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2180
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
I'm considering a tablet computer in part because I want a portable, battery powered means of communication in the event of an emergency. In a large-scale emergency, I may not have access to the Internet.

In a large-scale emergency how can I access the Internet? What would be an alternative? When the stuff hits the fan, communication is crucial.

Jeanette Isabelle
“Trust me, this is not gonna end well!” — Pleakley, Lilo & Stitch

#277800 - 12/01/15 05:19 PM Re: Emergency Communications [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3193
Loc: USA
My tablet has a built-in cellular Internet connection. This has come in quite handy, especially since I can turn it into a mobile hotspot with a click.

Keep in mind that cellular networks may be available but saturated in an emergency. In that case, regular text messages are the most likely to get through, followed by short Internet messages. Voice calls, I suspect, may be very hard to make.

If wired and cellular Internet is down, you're out of luck unless you have a satellite Internet system, you subscribe to a local Wireless ISP (typically using point-to-multipoint non-cellular radio services, also typically with very limited service areas) or some other radio-based system.

#277801 - 12/01/15 05:43 PM Re: Emergency Communications [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
TeacherRO Offline

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2396
A phone might give you similar options plus, you know, a phone. An older generation smart phone is fairly cheap.

#277809 - 12/01/15 08:42 PM Re: Emergency Communications [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Alex Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 1034
Loc: -
Get Samsung Galaxy Note 3 or 4 instead. It's just a bit smaller than a small 8" tablet but as capable. IMO - Note is an ultimate survival computer, as it also allows you to get rid of a pen/pencil and a paper notebook, its Wacom pen is extremely natural for writing and drawing. Note 5 and 6 are not recommended as they don't have memory expansion slot and removable battery anymore.

For an emergencies I'm keeping a pocket LAN-WiFi router/AP/Dongle, powered from USB port, and capable to connect to a DIY directional antenna, which could be further improved with a parabolic reflector (find a sat dish or rig it from an aluminum foil).

#277810 - 12/01/15 08:44 PM Re: Emergency Communications [Re: TeacherRO]
narly51 Offline

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 3
IIRC, Amateur Radio may provide some limited capability to access the internet, particularly email. And if a disaster is actually declared, licensing requirements may also be relaxed.
Who Prepares Survives

#277814 - 12/01/15 09:41 PM Re: Emergency Communications [Re: Alex]
Teslinhiker Offline

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1391
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
Originally Posted By: Alex
Get Samsung Galaxy Note 3 or 4 instead. It's just a bit smaller than a small 8" tablet but as capable. IMO - Note is an ultimate survival computer, as it also allows you to get rid of a pen/pencil and a paper notebook, its Wacom pen is extremely natural for writing and drawing. Note 5 and 6 are not recommended as they don't have memory expansion slot and removable battery anymore.

I agree on a Samsung Note 3 or 4. We have one of each model along with an extra battery. Although I am tinkering with DIY longer range emergency battery backups for general use, including phone charging, I have also purchased an Anker 26800mAh Portable Charger. Between the extra phone batteries and the Anker charger, with careful use in any short to mid-term power loss event, we have potentially a few weeks of battery life for the phones.

Also these Samsung phones have 32 GB of on-board memory. Coupled with each also having a 128 GB Micro SD Card, there is plenty of data storage capacity.
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

#277815 - 12/01/15 10:41 PM Re: Emergency Communications [Re: Teslinhiker]
Alex Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 1034
Loc: -
Just by the way (not for hijacking), I've got a nice charger for the Note 3 spare battery off eBay recently. It looks like this one: http://www.dhgate.com/store/product/for-galaxy-note-3-battery-charging-case-box/211200862.html And costs like $6 shipped. It fits perfectly into the GoalZero Nomad 7W solar panel's pocket for charging on the go. And it turned to be less bulky than it looks on that photo.

#277817 - 12/02/15 03:52 AM Re: Emergency Communications [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC

Friend of mine has been the i-Pad queen ever since they came out and has had every generation. She recently got an i-Phone 6+ (the new big one) and said it has largely replaced her i-Pad for her. I have the 6+, too, and have had a similar experience. My MacBooks are portable enough.

In an emergency -- terrorist or natural disaster -- I'll be reaching for one of my portable AM-FM radios or a television, if the power is still on. My initial concern will be what is going on in my immediate area (including traffic reports) and for that, TV and/or radio are best.

So I have a portable AM-FM-SW radio in my purse, along with a couple extra batteries. I have a larger Sony tabletop AM-FM radio in my house, along with extra batteries (thanks, Costco). Also have a Grundig Yacht Boy shortwave radio at home. And I have a small AM-FM radio in my car (in addition to the car's AM-FM radio).

On September 11, 2001, like millions of people in the Washington, D.C. and New York City areas, I experienced the futility of trying to reach anyone via a cell phone when the proverbial sh*t hits the fan.

Texting is great advice.

A power outage would kill my wi-fi so unless I was getting a cell signal, I'd be reliant on old-fashioned radio.

This is a valuable discussion. Communication and information are key in a crisis.


#277818 - 12/02/15 04:35 AM Re: Emergency Communications [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078

In a large-scale emergency how can I access the Internet?

You probably won't be able to.

I have just had a electrical power outage, which is the first time in more than 20 years. I was reading this when the power grid went dowm.


I was suddenly overcome with the 'Oh Sh&t' moment. First thing was to get hold of a torch. A big flashlight is a lot easier to find in the pitch dark that an EDC sized one.
Internet connection went down despite having UPC battery backup.
I checked out side to see how far the blackout went. I did have some binoculars to hand to check if some their were any lights in the distance. It was pretty strange outside. It is now the middle of the night in the winter time here in Scotland, completely overcast with low cloud and it should have been in total darkness but there was a eerie sky glow. This actually made me even more nervous as I am aware of Star Fish Prime. It was easier to walk around outside than in a full moonlit night. All I could hear was an alarm going off in the distance.
I went to check the telephone and radio. No telephone dial tone.
Things were now getting a little stressful as the telephone should have been working until I realised they were all Cordless Phone.
I connected up my VOIP handset from my Internet router to the land line and got a dial tone. The first good sign and there hadn't been any large blindingly bright explosions so far after 10-15 minutes. Time to check the radios. I checked 2 radios but the both the radios had flat batteries. My bad. I swapped out the batteries for some Primary Lithiums and the Radio was still working. The power came back on soon afterwards.
Internet Access was the last thing on my mind.
The UK is once again deciding to go to war in the middle east today in a worsening geopolitical climate than Able Archer in 1983.
Yes I did panic somewhat tonight.

#277819 - 12/02/15 05:06 AM Re: Emergency Communications [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Bingley Offline

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1415
And to think I was just going to spend my time during a large-scale emergency surfing equipped.org and getting advice from you guys.

"Hey, guys, I think that's a nuclear mushroom cloud! I guess I should order those iodine pills via Amazon Prime now!"

"We just had a 8.5 earthquake. Can anyone tell me if a tsunami is coming in? Not sure where I left my swimming trunk."

"What kind of knife should I use for this blackout?"

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