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Staying Connected

Having proper communication channels is key to staying safe during an emergency. Disasters can knock out your power, and a wrong turn can lead you far away from where you need to be going. From getting lost to staying informed, there are tools that can help you accomplish what you need.

Emergency radios will keep you informed of flood and tornado watches and warnings, as well as other imminent dangers in your area. Many emergency radios run on batteries and other forms of power, such as solar or hand-crank. This helps ensure you can always have a charged radio in order to monitor the situation.

Two-way radios are another option to communicate with your group, or find someone on the same frequency. Also, amateur radio (also known as ham radio) can help you communicate with more people much further away. You need to be licensed to use a ham radio, so consider taking courses to become qualified.

Have a plan when traveling, and make sure someone knows where you are going. If you do happen to become lost, keep your cool. Conserve your resources and don’t panic. Try and stay where you are.

By using good communication, you can usually avoid becoming lost in the first place. Have a plan when traveling, and make sure someone knows where you are going.

If you do happen to become lost, conserve your resources and don’t panic. Try and stay where you are, if possible. Also remember the rule of threes. Three of something generally means you need help: three fires, three bright orange tarps, three flashes of light, and so on. Use green, wet wood for your fires during the day for more visible smoke. At night, use dry wood for a brighter flame. This will make it easier for help to find you.

Light sticks can also be used as a signal. Yellow typically means you need help and red means you need medical assistance. However, any color will work just fine in signaling someone. Just remember to use a color that contrasts with your background. For example, try not to use a white glow stick if there is snow all around.

Anything bright and colorful can be used to signal as well. You may have a tube tent or a reflective blanket with you. By using the reflective material or some other bright colored plastic, you may be able to flag someone down.

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