There are many natural disasters that will take down cell towers or they will become so overwhelmed with the amount of people trying to make calls at once that they don’t go through. While it can be frustrating and stressful to not be able to make a phone call, it’s important to have secondary means of communication, especially with friends and family to gather a status on everyone’s condition and location.

There are several alternative communication tools that can be utilized besides your cell phone that you may have not even thought of.

Phone booths. Yes, they still exist, and yes, they still work. The best part is that they are exceedingly reliable, which can help during a disaster situation where your cell phone is not working due to a localized disaster. Keep some change on you just in case.

Satellite phones. They are expensive and generally military are the ones who use them, however, they are exceptionally handy to have in case of emergency. When the regular cell phones go down, your sat phone will continue to be operational. It also will allow calls from remote areas that may not get cell coverage on a good day.

Social media. If you can still use your phone and get internet on it, you can communicate with others through social media and apps. This can be a great way to relay information if anyone is injured or you are trying to meet up with others after a natural disaster.

A CB radio. This is an old-school method, but it’s still around for a reason because it works. You can make contact within a 20-30 mile radius, which is great to coordinate with friends, family, and neighbors.

HAM radio. This is an option that will remain functional when your cell phone is worthless. This is old-fashioned but will connect you to the outside world when internet, cell phones, and even land lines go down.


As with any disaster preparation, make sure to get the items of your choice ahead of time, and practice using them. A HAM radio won’t be any good to you if you don’t know how to use it, same with a satellite phone. Practice, get used to it and make it a part of your emergency preparedness plan in case of emergency. Alternative communication tools may be all that you have when disaster strikes, so be prepared.

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