During a grid power outage you can lose cell phone, internet, and television services. Even when you have an off-grid back-up power source, you can still be without vital communication links. Should someone in your household have an emergency, you need to be able to reach help.

There are a couple of very inexpensive options you can purchase in advance. One is a basic corded phone. As long as your phone service comes through the standard copper wire system and has not been changed to a digital based system (such as Xfinity), you will be able to place a call provided the phone company is still operating. The second inexpensive option is an emergency battery/crank powered radio so you can hear emergency and news broadcasts.

We would recommend a scanner so you can listen in to local law enforcement, fire department, and similar government service activities but in more and more areas those radio signals are becoming encrypted so it may not be worth the investment for you.

If you’re willing and able to invest a more moderate amount of time and funds, you can look into obtaining a Ham Radio License. Not only is this ‘hobby’ useful, it can be a lot of fun too. A decent beginning set up can consist of a handheld two-way radio  and a mobile antenna.

In addition to making sure you have reliable communication equipment, having a written list of people to contact (addresses and phone numbers) in emergency situations is a really good idea. Including local services and neighbors as well as friends and family on that list could make all the difference for you and those you care about when the unexpected happens.


As long as there is communication, everything can be solved.” – Robert Trujillo


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