Preparing your survival compound for SHTF and things you need to consider. Part 1

Hello my friend and welcome back to today’s post.  Today we are going to look at preparing your Survival compound for SHTF and things you need to consider.  It is part one of a multi-part post, as the subject is just too large to cover in a single post.  Grab yourself a cup of coffee and have a seat while we visit.

In the next few posts, I hope to cover: Communications, Food Storage, Livestock, Water Storage, Gardening and Security; so check back each day for the other parts of this series.  First off, let me start by defining what I mean by your Survival Compound.

Your Survival Compound – A piece of land, with buildings, where you plan to wait out the coming SHTF that is about to befall America. It is where you will call home during this crisis and where you and possibly your friends will feel as safe as possible, while the world crumbles around you.

While I doubt that any place will be even remotely safe during these times, your survival compound will be as close as you can get to it.  If you prepared it properly, that is.  In today’s post we are going to look at “Communication Preparedness”, and what you can do now to both prep and be prepared for the times ahead.

Communications will be an essential part of your survival and is something that is worth a considerable amount of attention on your part.  Even now, the National media is so corrupted and no longer even remotely tells us what is really going on here, in America.  In a crisis, all truth in reporting will be non-existent and you will need to find it from other sources, if you want to know what is really going on.

So what exactly should you have in the way of communications?  I would suggest the following: Amateur HF Radio (180 – 10 meter bands), Amateur VHF radio (6 meter – 2 meter bands) Amateur UHF Radio( 220 MHz. and up), a good CB Radio with side band capability, a good Trunking Scanner Radio.  If you live close to any large body of water or coast, you might want to add a good Marine Radio as well.  Let me also say that many of the good VHF radios will also allow you to listen to air traffic communications, as well as frequencies up to the 900 MHz section.  Also, on those radios which allow you to go to the 800 & 900 MHz range cellular phone frequencies are blocked.

It is also worth mentioning that many of the governmental agencies also use frequencies in the 220 MHz range, which is also covered by many VHF radios as well.  You may not be able to transmit on some of these frequencies, but the idea is to be able to hear what is really going on in the world around you.

CB radios are great to have because many people have them and there is sure to be an abundance of local information on them.  Just remember, that the government will, without a doubt, be monitoring them.  Just be aware, that they will be a main source for Government disinformation as well.  Take what you hear on them with a grain of salt.

Antennas and power to operate your radios, will be another area where you will need to look at carefully, as you don’t want to stand out like a sore thumb when you put them up.  I would stay away from “Beam” antennas at all cost, simply because there is no way to hide them, that I’m aware of.

Instead, I would opt for wire antennas using 16 gauge or smaller wire.  These can be hung from existing trees and are very hard to spot even when you are looking right at them.  They can also be taken down quickly and moved when you need to.  On the HF side, I would go with a 20, 40, and 80 meter antennas.  That is where, I think, you will find the most usable information.

Because most radios run on 12 volts DC, you will want to use 12 volt Deep Cycle batteries to power them.  These batteries will need to be recharged constantly.  I would recommend using a couple of solar panels or a wind turbine to keep them charged.   Something else worth mentioning is the need to bring them with you when you evacuate in the face of overwhelming forces, should the need arise.

Building a portable communications trailer to house your batteries and packed with extra antennas, which could be put up and taken down quickly, is essential.  Adding protected slots in the trailer where you could quickly add your radios from your comms shack, on a moment’s notice would also be a huge plus.  This way if you have to abandon your compound, you will be able to quickly bring your communications with you.

A word about COM SEC (Communications Security): When you hang your antennas or mount them in trees, place them as far away from your compound as possible.  The reason for this is if your signal is tracked back to your antenna, it won’t be setting in the middle of your compound. Never use your real name or anyone else over the radio.  Always use made up call signs such as “Hammer” or “Thunder”.  Anything you choose but avoid names which imply sex such as “Angel” or “Pretty Girl”.  These tell anyone listening that you have women in your compound and that could be bad if they have ill intentions.  In fact, it’s not a bad idea to change your call signs every couple of months to keep anyone listening confused.

If you have to transmit, and you have a handheld radio that will do the job, always try to move at least five miles away from your compound before transmitting, each time, try to go in different directions and varying distances if possible.  You never want to transmit from all sides of your compound as simple signal triangulation would point directly to your home site.   Think before you transmit and be ready to move on a moment’s notice!  Wire antennas can be replaced, but you can’t!

Well that is it for today and I hope you will enjoy todays and the rest of the post in this series.  Until next time, stay safe, stay strong, and stay prepared!  God SAVE America!

-The Sargent-

5 thoughts on “Preparing your survival compound for SHTF and things you need to consider. Part 1”

  1. A question on using “Ham” radios in a SHTF situation. Would it be wise to NOT use your call letters when communicating with others? These are identifying items as to who and where you are and thus are in a data base that I’m sure is accessible to government agencies. I know die hard hams might growl at not using them but I think comsec would be paramount. Again I’m talking about a SHTF situation. What do you think?

    • For COM SEC reasons, I would strongly advise against using your registered FCC Call sign for transmissions especially if the president has issued a declaration of war or National Emergency. To do so would tell them who you are and where you are at! This is ONLYFor for when SHTF has hit and you have no other choice.

      This is my opinion at any rate. 🙂

    • Tony,

      While there are many brands on the market, it seems everyone has their preferences. I would suggest that you try to stay with a name brand that has a reputation for dependability. I personally own a Kenwood, iCom, Yaesu for mounted units and several Baofeng UV-5Rs for handheld radios. If you are looking for a good base station radio that can handle all of the Amateur radio bands and modes, then I would suggest the Yaesu FT-991. For what it does, it’s not that expensive and has a reputation for getting the job done. If you are looking for a good reliable used radio, the Kenwood 440s can be found and are real work horses. Just take your time and do a little research before buying one. Local Ham radio clubs can be a great place to get the information your looking for. Hope this helps! Let me know if you would like to see me do a post with more information on this subject. 🙂

      -The Sargent-

  2. Great article. I would add that an NVIS “Near vertical incidence skywave” HF antenna might be worth considering.
    Among the many advantages of NVIS are:
    • NVIS covers the area which is normally in the skip zone, that is, which is normally too far away to receive groundwave signals, but not yet far enough away to receive skywaves reflected from the ionosphere.
    • NVIS requires no infrastructure such as repeaters or satellites. Two stations employing NVIS techniques can establish reliable communications without the support of any third party.
    • Pure NVIS propagation is relatively free from fading.
    • Antennas optimized for NVIS are usually low. Simple dipoles work very well. A good NVIS antenna can be erected easily, in a short amount of time, by a small team (or just one person).
    • Low areas and valleys are no problem for NVIS propagation.
    • The path to and from the ionosphere is short and direct, resulting in lower path losses due to factors such as absorption by the D layer.
    • NVIS techniques can dramatically reduce noise and interference, resulting in an improved signal/noise ratio.
    • With its improved signal/noise ratio and low path loss, NVIS works well with low power.


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