6 Post-SHTF Communication Myths: Debunked

6 Post-SHTF Communication Myths: Debunked

6 Post-SHTF Communication Myths

Myth #1: Cell Phones Will Still Work

One of the major misconceptions about post-SHTF communication is that cell phones will still be functional. While it is true that cell towers can withstand certain disasters, such as power outages or minor natural disasters, a major event like an EMP or a nuclear attack would likely render cell phones useless.

In the event of a large-scale disaster, the power grid could be severely damaged, causing cell towers to go offline. Additionally, an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) can fry the delicate electronic components of cell phones, rendering them inoperable.

To prepare for this, it is important to have alternative means of communication, such as two-way radios or ham radios. These devices operate on different frequencies and are less vulnerable to electromagnetic interference.

Myth #2: Walkie-Talkies Have Unlimited Range

Many people assume that walkie-talkies have unlimited range and can be used to communicate over vast distances, but this is not the case. The range of walkie-talkies depends on various factors, including the terrain, obstructions, and the output power of the device.

In open areas with no obstructions, walkie-talkies with a higher output power can reach distances of several miles. However, in urban environments or areas with dense foliage, the range can be significantly reduced.

To maximize the range of walkie-talkies, it is best to use them in elevated areas with clear line-of-sight and minimal obstructions. It is also important to keep in mind that using a repeater can extend the range of communication.

Myth #3: Morse Code is Obsolete

In today’s digital age, Morse code may seem like an outdated method of communication. However, in a post-SHTF scenario, Morse code can be a valuable skill to have. Unlike digital communication methods, Morse code can be transmitted using simple devices such as flashlights, whistles, or tapping on surfaces.

Learning Morse code can be a fun and useful activity for preppers. It can be used to send simple signals for help, relay information, or communicate in situations where other forms of communication are unavailable.

Myth #4: Satellite Phones are the Ultimate Solution

Satellite phones are often considered the go-to solution for communication during a disaster. While satellite phones do offer more coverage compared to cell phones, they are not without limitations.

One major limitation of satellite phones is that they require a clear line-of-sight to the satellites in orbit. This means that they may not work indoors or in areas with dense tree canopies or tall buildings.

Additionally, satellite phone services can be expensive, especially during emergencies when demand is high. It is also worth noting that satellite phones rely on a network infrastructure that can be vulnerable to disruptions in the event of a major disaster.

Therefore, it is advisable to have alternative means of communication, such as two-way radios or ham radios, as backup options in case satellite phones are not available or practical.

Myth #5: FRS and GMRS Radios Are Interchangeable

FRS (Family Radio Service) and GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) radios are commonly used for short-range communication among family members and small groups. However, one common myth is that FRS and GMRS radios are interchangeable, which is not entirely true.

FRS radios operate on specific frequencies and have a maximum power output of 0.5 watts. On the other hand, GMRS radios can transmit at higher power levels and require a license from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission).

While FRS and GMRS radios can communicate with each other on certain shared channels, using GMRS functions on FRS radios or vice versa may result in legal issues or interference with other users. It is important to familiarize yourself with the regulations and restrictions surrounding the use of FRS and GMRS radios.

Myth #6: You Can Rely Solely on Radio Communication

While radio communication is a crucial tool for post-SHTF scenarios, relying solely on radio communication can be risky. It is important to have multiple means of communication as a backup.

In addition to radio communication, consider other methods such as signaling devices (flares, mirrors, whistles), signal flags, or even carrier pigeons. Having a diverse range of communication options will increase your chances of successfully getting your message across in an emergency situation.


Dispelling these common communication myths is essential for preparedness in a post-SHTF scenario. Understanding the limitations of different communication methods can help you make informed decisions and develop a comprehensive communication plan.

Remember, it is crucial to have alternative means of communication, such as two-way radios or ham radios, as backup options in case the primary methods fail. Cultivating various communication skills and diversifying your tools will significantly improve your chances of staying connected in a disaster.

My 2 Cents

In a post-SHTF scenario, effective communication can be a matter of life and death. It is important to separate fact from fiction and debunk common communication myths. By doing so, you will be better equipped to make informed decisions and preparations for any future disaster.

Always remember to have multiple means of communication, as relying on a single method can be risky. Equip yourself with the knowledge and skills necessary to adapt to different situations and maximize your chances of connecting with others during a crisis.