“People are just as hungry for information as they are for food.”
~ John Jacob Schmidt
By Corey Lynn and James White
For a long time now, Americans have been urged to prepare for some inevitable calamity such as the power grid going down, a financial collapse, or a dozen other scenarios, depending on which pundit you follow. We, at the Solution Series, cannot predict the future, nor do we intend to try. What we do know is that whatever happens going forward—good or bad—will be much more manageable and livable with solid communications in place.
With the grid-down crowd focused on storable food, water filtration, and firearms (all important items), communications is one area that is often overlooked.
Our guest for this Solution Series episode, John Jacob Schmidt (a pseudonym), has not overlooked communications. In fact, his distinguished military service and the training that followed—and especially his role in AmRRON, one of the largest ham radio groups in America—have positioned Schmidt as the “go-to” guy when it comes to comms.
In recounting one of the many calamities that has befallen the country of Venezuela, Schmidt notes that although people were running out of food, a common theme observed there was that people were just as hungry for information. Schmidt highlights several scenarios where proper comms literally saved lives.
Though grid-down comms are vital, one reason that more people are not prepared in the area of communications is a lack of education about options. Understanding ham radio call signs, different frequencies, and various ham radio requirements raises apprehension in everyday folks who feel they do not have the time to learn something new.
The good news is that you can take the first step without much drama. For staying informed, Schmidt strongly recommends a scanner radio with P25 decoding capabilities that will “pick everything up” from your local airport and emergency medical services (EMS).
Don’t miss this interview, in which Schmidt demystifies the dynamics of communications for all to understand. Our discussion went into overdrive (also touching on Internet mesh networks) because the information was so good!
Resources and Related Reading:
Website for AmRRON: The American Redoubt Radio Operators Network
Partisan Operator Journals: Volume 1 by John Jacob Schmidt