PEN Simplex NET

The PEN simplex net is a directed net and we meet on the air every Wednesday at 19:30 to discuss Emergency Comms and other preparedness related topics. Join us each week, in our efforts to be a service to one another. 146.550 MHz.


PEN hosts presentations, seminars and lectures covering everything related to emergency preparedness. You won’t want to miss our next meeting.


Notes and Topics


Notes From
Past NCOs


Preparedness Plans


Serious Prepper Essentials


Supplies & Resources


Bug Out. Bug In.
Get Home


Radio Equipment


Emergency Communications


Everyone is listening. Nowadays, with smartphones, anyone can record and take pictures. When you’re out in public or on the air, refrain from talking about personal matters, especially anything having to do with personal belongings and money.

This is especially true when it comes to talking about or showing your preps online; you can talk a little bit and show a little bit, but don’t give it all away and certainly try not to elude to the fact that you have more than you’re letting on. “Loose lips sink ships.”

Steps To Live Ready

Change is the axiom. Learn to improvise, adapt and overcome. Have a comprehensive plan and be ready for anything. Emergency communications is only one ingredient in a complete readiness plan.

Proactive PLANning

Adaptability has to do with how you respond to change and being proactive has to do with initiating it. Be sure you and your loved ones are equipped with qualities in both disciplines.

Whether or not you plan to bug in or bug out should tough times occur, the ability to improvise, adapt, and overcome problems will be necessary regardless of how well-stocked, tooled, provisioned, or conditioned you are.


Plot your course to safety by writing an emergency plan that includes what to do, where to go, and what to take with you.


Pack mission critical bags with handheld radios and emergency kits for everyone in your home.


Practice protocols with your family. Proactive behavior involves acting in advance of a future situation, rather than just reacting.


Sign up for emergency broadcasts, like local weather and FEMA alerts. Pay close attention to warnings, alerts and notifications.

Emergency Rendezvous

Ensuring that your loved ones know where to go and how to get there is an essential ingredient of any good family disaster plan.


Do you have options?


Make sure everyone knows where to go for sheltered protection.


When you need to evacuate your home.


Under a street light, next to a mailbox, or a neighbor’s house.


You can’t get back to your home.


Library, rec center, church, or a close friend’s home.


You're instructed to evacuate the area.


Discuss ways you would all get there from out-of-state.

Hard-Copy Contacts

Knowing who to contact, when and how to do it are key elements of a good family emergency communications plan.

Write down simplex frequencies, phone numbers and email addresses for everyone in your household. Having this important information written down will help you reconnect with others in case you don’t have your cell phone or computer with you or if the batteries runs down.

If possible, pack the same make and model handheld radios for every family member. Store your pre-planned frequencies into the memory channels on every radio the same way. Tend to your batteries and keep several spares for each radio.

It is also important to identify someone outside of your community or State who can act as a central point of contact to help your household reconnect. In a disaster, it may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town because local phone lines can be jammed.

Make regular ham radio contacts and build a community of friends on higher frequencies during good times. Log all of these conversations. In the event of a disaster, your network for support is greatly expanded and will work as an advantage.

The Top Eight

Health • Security • Shelter • Water • Heat • Food • Energy • Tools


Medical & Hygiene. For medical this includes items such as first-aid and trauma kits, extra prescription and over-the-counter medicines. The hygiene component includes such things as soap, disinfectants, toothpaste and TP.


Keep your body dry and at a steady 98.6ºF


Your survival plan needs to account for the storage, collection and filtering of water. For a shelter-in-place situation, you ideally want to store a minimum of 2 gallons of water per person per day for a period lasting two-weeks. So that means at minimum you’ll need 28-30 gallons of water per person in your family or group.

In addition to the actual storage of water, it’s necessary to have a means of filtering it as well. For bugging out, large amounts of water storage may not be possible given weight and space restrictions so again, having a quality water filter for any water you may find while on the road is very important.


Pantry Stocking, Dry Goods, Canning & Gardening.



bugging out

Map & Compass

Know your compass and how to properly use paper maps to navigate.

Practice land navigation in your neighborhood, city, state and know how to reach long-range rendezvous destinations without digital navigation devices.

Older generations have the upper hand here, where the younger digital age kids know nothing but what their “smart” phones tell them.

Tech should be a force multiplier, it certainly should not be a necessity to function in normal everyday life.

Be sure everyone in your family knows how to use a map. Make it fun. Use a paper map when you commute and have a family member be the navigator.

It’s too easy to become a slave to technology.

Have a no-tech week with your family. Turn all devices off and stash them in a drawer for a week. Vow not to use them for anything.

If this sounds totally impossible, you’re a slave.

Break the chains and take the necessary steps to liberate yourselves. You’ve been brainwashed and dumbed down by big tech.

Your compass may be equipped with a small magnifying glass. This will come in handy for map reading and maybe even ignition fire starting. If your compass is equipped with a navigation mirror this can also be used for signaling.


Know your compass and how to properly use paper maps to navigate.

A good quality handheld GPS navigator with downloadable maps, pre-programmed with destinations and way points.

Garmin has the Oregon series handhelds. Mine has a camera that geo-tags the photos and a sunlight-readable touchscreen with landscape or portrait view.

The Garmin Rino series offers a GMRS two-way radio that can communicate by voice or unit-to-unit text messaging. This series has high-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS satellite reception.

The Garmin Zumo series has a big color touch screen and makes battery life short without a power source.


Know your communication gear.

Pack a dual-band handheld radio for 2M and 70CM with spare batteries. These can be expensive or cheap.

It’s good to also have the option for weather reports and security alerts. Short-range comms in the FRS, GMRS and Citizen’s band radios (CBs) are good as well.

Those cheap Chinese handheld radios work well to cover Ham, FRS, GMRS, and weather bands. All of the expensive name brand radios will do the same and probably more.

I’m not messing with any of the digital modes in an actual emergency. In most cases these modes are dependent on the internet.

Alt power

At the very least own a mini solar charged device that has a battery brick, flashlight and some sort of vehicle starting capability.


Personal protection starts with situational awareness.

Violence should be avoided as much as possible, but not at all costs. The fact is there are bad people in this world, and at times violence may be unavoidable.

Because of this, one of the most important skills a person can have is the ability to protect herself and her family from an attacker.

It probably comes as no surprise that the world’s most effective and dangerous form of hand-to-hand combat comes from one of the most conflicted regions of the world. Isreal.

Krav Maga is a non-sport form of martial arts, meaning it doesn’t concern itself with the opponents’ well-being. It is known for its focus on real-world situations and its extreme efficiency.

If you don’t have basic self-defense and martial skills, enroll your family in training. 

Even though I carry a sidearm every day, firearms are heavy and high risk. Some family members may not own or even care to carry a firearm. This shouldn’t thwart training. Everyone should have, at the very least, basic firearms safety and handling skills.


A good pair of binoculars or a monocular spotting glass is a good piece of kit.

Night vision for low/no-light scenarios may seem to be overkill especially if you’ve never had the experience of using NVGs. Having night vision is a powerful advantage.

Planning For Pets

Don’t forget about your fur-babies.

My canine weighs in at around 100 lbs and drinks approximately one gallon of water each day! Be sure to plan for your pet’s daily food, water and/or medicine consumption.

Plan for pet’s safety and care. Make sure pets have clear contact and identification information on their collars.

Microchips contain all of your pet’s information. If your pet arrives at an animal shelter, they could be identified and returned.

Don’t forget leashes, collars, rope, crates, carriers, sleep systems, a favorite chew toy and a bag of treats. Your pet will likely be stressed and need more restraining, reassurance and comforting than usual.

Tactical vests with harnesses and detachable pouches can be a good option for emergency pet gear. They are commonly equipped with a stout handle for controlling your pet and the modular system is ideal for attaching supplies, such as their own daily food and hydration.

Go Outside

Practice living in a natural environment and it’ll better prepare you for life.

Nature has it’s own civilization.


A typical Ham Radio station for a basecamp setup for emcomms.