Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cell Phones - A Preppers Guide
by Timothy Dicks

The short:

1) GSM device
2) Full knowledge and operational control of all of the devices communication capabilities
3) The applications and databases that will be useful in a long or short term prepper scenario.

Technology is always adopted slowly in the prepper community. It’s an instinct to stick with what works and can be easily maintained and controlled. But admittedly, technology works much better in some ways to ease the burden of temporary or even long term distress.

Cell phones fit the bill, they are definitely a, if not the most important tool in an emergency situation in which someone elses assistance is needed who is not currently available.

However, there is a perspective in which cell phones can easily become our worst enemy, tracking our every movement, purchase, communication and interests, knowing all, all the time. It is the same world that brings us all the wonders of technology, but demands our obedience.

This is the system we have created for ourselves, the very system that is teetering on the brink of ecological, energy, resource, monetary, political, and religious upheaval. It is a very delicate system that depends on the quivering masses, struggling to keep it afloat, meanwhile we give it more control with every new submission of indulgence.

So how do we take advantage of a cell phone in a safe and effective manner? With any technology, the issue of security mainly comes down to what you don’t let the system do, or in other words, turning the machine off is THE MOST secure way to operate the machine. Now this is very basic, but that is really all it needs to be to understand the cell phone.

What you do not ‘allow’ the device to do is what determines how secure it is depending on the situation.

To cut it short for those using feature phones or lesser cell phones, your best bet is to simply keep them off unless you need to use them and giving up your location and identity are not a concern.

For the more advanced phones like the iPhone, Android devices, or the myriad of other devices with cellular and wifi capabilities, we need to exercise a bit more control.

These amazing devices with life saving information storage capabilities could be priceless in certain scenarios. Many of the preloaded apps have several useful tools for practical tasks, such as a calculator, level, barometer, and temperature, and many more can be downloaded and operated locally on the device.

The trick is in what information is stored on these devices versus what information you are remaining vulnerable to severing by way of the internet.

So lets build a survival Cell Phone, and lets assume we want maximum security at all times.

Maximum security implies that we are at the highest level of security and our location cannot be given up at any time without actively engaging a known risk communication.

Security -

As stated, we are operating at Maximum security and we must be able to retain control at all times. In this case, you have done the first and most important process of removing your sim card. (If you had a CDMA phone, you would have already known to get a GSM phone without the identifying hardware built in by skipping down to the hardware section.) Once the SIM card is removed from the GSM device you would no longer have your device be at risk of being identified by the surrounding cell towers. However you are not in the clear. You will still need to disable the wifi. If there are any open wifi networks in the area, your device may connect and ‘identify’. Oh, but wait.


Yes, RFID is old news in the tech community AND the prepper community by now, but NFC is the new RFID, and it’s out there offering up its conveniences at the price of our willing submission. Keep your eye out for the NFC functionality of your device, and believe it or not, the RFID ability. It was rumored a while ago that the new thing in phones would be RFID, but hey, the RFID tech could already be there simply for inventory purposes, so look out for that. I couldn’t find anything specific to my phone on a quick Google search, oh wait… ;)

The point is to know what your device is capable of and make sure you can maintain control over that ability at all times. Having a cell phone with you but hidden, could still jeopardize your security in close quarters, even if it’s turned off.

Applications -

What we are looking for is applications that can provide extremely quick and useful results to queries that we might have relating to a range of issues including medical, location and survival, among others. Applications that involve communications, and remotely stored databases are of lesser importance and can take up valuable space.

The best advantage in terms of the technologies interactive features is the GPS, hands down. You can download the app, download the maps for your region and never even need a network connection. You would have a fully zoomable GPS mapping device. You can determine your location without risking your location.

There are many information databases available online, but make sure their databases are downloadable and that you have plenty on and off device storage. At this point, entire family albums, modern DVD collections and valuable information can be stored on a handful of small microSD cards.

Think utilitarian and even think outside your thinking box by downloading advanced apps that you might never use but could be useful to advanced tinkerers and other brainiacs you may run into in the new world.

Hardware -

Choosing your hardware usually means choosing something you want more for it’s communication abilities than it’s ‘unconnected’ abilities. But this is really the least important feature in a long term survival scenario. Assuming the worst, your cell phone/tablet becomes a repository for information and a tool for advanced mathematics. Oh and even a GPS. That is if you can keep it running that long without grid power. So you’ll need a portable solar charger, (or two) to keep it going.

Long term you want a powerful processor and possibly a decent way to document the new history that arises out of the ashes of our technocracy.

In the way of security, a GSM device is your priority as you can simply remove the SIM card to no longer identify you to the Cellular network. With a CDM device, it will attempt to identify itself as soon as you power it on.

A Cell phone is a computer today, and a computer is an awesome thing to have. But it’s functionality has long since been overlooked by its ability to perplex humans with endless, random, and sometimes just downright BAD information. In a long term collapse scenario, that ability will more than likely subside as the remaining technology is put more and more to use as a tool rather than a playground.

Thanks for reading and for joining me on the journey of life.

Timothy Dickshttp:\\
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