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Audio and Video

To be able to communicate using audio or video devices during an emergency can save lives. Below are some ideas on audio and video communications devices.

Air Horn - This is that annoying horn that is banned from many graduation ceremonies and sports events. It can be very useful in maritime activities. Basically, by squeezing its trigger, you release some compressed air through a tube that generates a loud sound. This can be helpful if you need to signal someone.

To see an Air Horn, click this link:

Bugle - This is the standard form of communication that has been used in the militaries of the world for centuries. It still works today, if you know how to make it work. It does take some special skills to do so.

To see a Bugle, click this link:

Emergency Broadcast Radio - Click here to learn more about Emergency Broadcast Radio

Ham Radio - This is a special two-way radio that requires special equipment, special training and a license. However, in some emergency situations, a Ham Radio is the only means of audio communication with the outside world that still works.

Megaphone - This is a battery powered device that will magnify sounds, especially voices. It is very useful to communicate to crowds or to people that are a long distance away. It can save a lot of shouting. There are also megaphones that do not need batteries.

To see some Megaphone solutions, click these links:


MP3 Recorder - Besides their most popular use of providing music to the listener, these are simple, inexpensive ways to record voice. They could be effective in communicating a message from one to another. They also could be used to record and playback certain instructions that you want to have in an emergency. For example, if you pre-recorded instructions of what to do in certain circumstances, these could be played back when needed and thus exact instructions can be provided.

Phone - During an emergency, your land line and your mobile phones may or may not work.

A land line phone has its own supply of electricity so it may still be working even though electricity to your home may be down.

Mobile phones rely on the phone being charged, within range of a tower and the tower working. If any of these fail, your mobile phone will not work. However, if your mobile phone is working it can be of great value in surviving an emergency. Keep it handy and conserve its battery.

If you have Internet Phone it will not work if your computer is not turned on. For desktop computers, that means the electricity to the home must be working. For laptops even though the electricity to the home may be off, the laptop itself has its own battery and it may be able to run. However, if that laptop relies on any routers or switches in your home to provide Internet service they will probably not work if the power is off.

Be sure to have a hard copy list of all important contact info for others just in case you cannot retrieve them from your computer, mobile phone or PDA.

Shortwave Radio - This is a one-way radio that can be effective in an emergency in communicating to victims. It does not require a special license, but it does require a special radio.

Tape Recorder - This could have use similar to the MP3 Recorder. See MP3 Recorder above.

Video Camera - This could be useful to record events that may aid in the rescue of someone. For example, if someone is lost in the wilderness, they could record the details of what happened to them, what their medical condition is, what supplies they have and what their plans are. Then if the camera is left in an obvious place, perhaps, rescuers will be able to find it.

Walkie-talkies - These are battery powered, portable two-way radios that are useful in short range distances. You do not need a license to use them.

To see some Walkie-talkies, click these links:


Whistle - This can be used to sound an alarm or to signal for help. Get one that can be heard from a distance and make sure each child has his or her own whistle on a lanyard. Teach them how to use it. If you have a metal whistle, consider a rubber cover so the metal from a cold, frozen whistle will not stick to your lips, or you can just breathe warm air on it to warm it up.

To see some Whistles, try these links:





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