6 Post-SHTF Communication Myths Debunked

6 Post-SHTF Communication Myths Debunked

6 Post-SHTF Communication Myths


In a post-SHTF scenario, communication becomes crucial. Whether it’s coordinating with fellow preppers, reaching out for help, or gathering essential information, having a reliable and effective communication strategy can make all the difference. However, there are several common myths surrounding post-SHTF communication that can mislead preppers. In this article, we’ll debunk these myths and provide you with the knowledge you need to develop a successful communication plan in a survival situation.

Myth 1: Cell Phones will Always Work

One of the most prevalent misconceptions about post-SHTF communication is the belief that cell phones will continue to function seamlessly. While cell phones are undoubtedly valuable devices for communication in everyday life, they are highly dependent on a functioning infrastructure.

After a major disaster, such as a natural disaster or EMP attack, the cellular network may be severely damaged or completely non-operational. Towers could be down, power could be out, or the network could be overloaded with desperate users. Therefore, relying solely on cell phones for post-SHTF communication is a risky and unreliable strategy.


– Invest in alternative means of communication, such as two-way radios or satellite phones.
– Create a network of designated meeting points with your group to communicate in person if cell phones fail.
– Consider learning Morse code as a backup communication method, which can be done using flashlights, whistles, or tapping sounds.

Myth 2: The Internet Will be Available

Another common misconception is that the internet will remain accessible after a disaster. While the internet is undoubtedly a vast source of information and communication in our daily lives, it relies on a complex infrastructure that can easily be disrupted during a crisis.

Power outages, physical damage to data centers, or intentional shutdowns by authorities may render the internet unusable. Even if some form of internet access is available, the demand could overload the system, causing slow or intermittent connectivity.


– Consider storing offline copies of important survival guides, maps, and first aid manuals on portable storage devices.
– Create a local network using Wi-Fi routers that do not rely on the internet, allowing for communication between devices within a limited range.
– Utilize prepper forums and offline communication methods to stay connected with other like-minded individuals.

Myth 3: Scanners will Provide all Necessary Information

Some preppers believe that using police scanners or other radio scanners will provide them with all the necessary information during a crisis. While scanners can be valuable tools for monitoring local emergency services, they may not provide a comprehensive picture of the situation.

During a widespread disaster, emergency services may switch to encrypted communication channels or go completely silent for operational security reasons. Additionally, scanners will not provide information on vital resources, like food and water availability, which is crucial for survival.


– Invest in a shortwave radio capable of receiving international broadcasts. This can provide valuable information beyond local emergency services.
– Establish a network of reliable sources, such as trusted neighbors or members of local organizations, to exchange information in a crisis.
– Consider learning amateur radio (ham radio) skills, as it provides a direct communication method that can cover long distances.

Myth 4: Leaving Notes or Graffiti for Others is Effective Communication

Leaving notes or graffiti to communicate with others may seem like a resourceful and low-tech solution. However, it is not an entirely reliable or secure method of communication.

Leaving notes or symbols publicly exposes your location and activities, making you vulnerable to malicious individuals who may have ill intentions. Furthermore, notes or graffiti can easily be overlooked or misunderstood by others, leading to miscommunication or missed opportunities for help.


– Use discreet and secure communication methods, such as coded messages or symbols shared only with trusted individuals.
– Develop a system of predetermined signs and signals to communicate with your group without drawing unnecessary attention.
– Consider using hidden caches or dead drops to exchange information or supplies with trusted contacts discreetly.

Myth 5: Loud Voices Carry Far in an Open Space

During a crisis, shouting may be a natural instinct to communicate with others or seek assistance. However, it is important to understand that loud voices do not carry as far as many people believe, especially in an open space.

Factors such as wind, background noise, and obstacles can significantly reduce the effective range of vocal communication. Additionally, shouting unnecessarily may draw the attention of dangerous individuals or potential threats.


– Learn basic hand signals or use a whistle as an alternative means of attracting attention over a distance.
– Utilize two-way radios or other long-range communication devices to send clear and concise messages without relying on vocal communication alone.
– Establish predetermined meeting points or signals with your group to minimize the need for long-range vocal communication.

Myth 6: Preparedness Hinder Communication Needs

Some people mistakenly believe that focusing on preparedness will hinder their ability to communicate effectively in a survival scenario. However, the opposite is often true. Being prepared actually enhances communication capabilities, as it provides resources and tools to adapt to various situations.

By having alternative means of communication, creating robust communication plans, and training in different communication methods, preppers can maintain effective lines of communication even when traditional methods fail.


– Include communication devices and supplies, such as two-way radios, signal mirrors, and signal flares, in your preparedness inventory.
– Regularly practice using alternative communication methods with your group to ensure everyone is familiar with the equipment and protocols.
– Stay informed about advancements in communication technology for preppers, such as portable solar-powered chargers or long-lasting batteries.

My 2 Cents

Communications are a vital aspect of any survival situation, and it’s essential to debunk the myths surrounding post-SHTF communication. Relying solely on cell phones, the internet, or scanners can leave you vulnerable and ill-prepared. By diversifying your communication tools and being adaptable, you can maximize your chances of staying connected and informed.

Investing in alternative means of communication, such as two-way radios or satellite phones, allows for reliable communication even when cell phones fail. Storing offline copies of essential information and creating local networks can help you stay connected without relying on the internet. Learning amateur radio skills provides a direct and long-range communication method that can be invaluable in a crisis.

Remember, communication during a post-SHTF scenario should be discreet and secure. Avoid drawing unnecessary attention by using discreet communication methods and predetermined signals. Shouting may not be an effective way to attract attention, so consider using hand signals or alternative devices like whistles.

Lastly, being prepared enhances your communication capabilities. Include communication devices and supplies in your preparedness inventory, regularly practice using them, and stay informed about advancements in communication technology for preppers. By busting these communication myths and adopting a comprehensive communication strategy, you’ll be better equipped to navigate any post-SHTF scenario. Stay connected, stay informed, and stay safe!