Despite what mainstream SHTF/TEOTWAWKI/ZOMBIE fiction writers would have you believe (to sell books and merch), you really can’t hole up in a bunker and watch the world die.
I’m not sure what will bring about the next “big crisis”, I suspect it will be a massive terror attack in the short-term and probably something to do with the changes in weather and climate in the slightly longer outlook, but it will happen.
When hard times do come you will really need a village, it could be a neighborhood, a group of farms or even an actual small town, but you will need services and goods that others have, and in numbers you have security.
One thing the village absolutely needs is a way to communicate and exchange information. A network of CB radios and FRS units should be the bare minimum. If you want to expand your horizons, then Amateur or “HAM” radio will give you the ability not only to communicate by voice, but also via data!
Yes when the system collapses, if you plan ahead properly your “Village” will still have email, instant messaging and voice communications.
Why bother? Why not just use smoke signals or Wally world radios? Picture this:
Your old Ford tractor will not start, you’ve done basic diagnostics but now you need to look a shop manual. In the good old days of internet, you would have simply hit Google and found the information you needed. That was before the grid went down and the internet with it.
However all is not lost, your homestead is linked via digital packet modem and radio to other farms and to the nearest village, at a friend’s house there resides an old laptop that is connected to both the 2 meter radio packet net and to a mesh of wifi routers that cover the town. Before the collapse your group of like-minded friends downloaded and saved as many useful files and texts as possible to the laptop.
In a fraction of the time it would take to radio town and find someone with a manual, you open your laptop, connect to the packet radio BBS hosted on the laptop and download the manual directly to your laptop.
Now you will have time to get a cup of coffee before the download completes (data transfer rates are slow with packet), but the point is you not only have access to large amounts of digitized information but also a means of messaging (packet also provides email) and chat.
We will follow this with detailed how to posts on setting up a linked packet network/wifi mesh. Stay tuned.