Some things one may look at for communication if SHTF happens is, CB radio, Usually this is cheap and has a fair distance to it. Or one may go the little more expensive Ham Radio, which has a longer range, more power and more versatile, some are very small and lightweight. Both can be gotten for use with a car battery and /or AC outlet adapter/plug.
Hand held walkie-talkies are OK but have limited range; there are a few expensive one that can reach out to ranges of 15 miles +/-. These offer some added advantages in that many have memory that can be programmed to access a given channel at a given time.
Prepaid cell phones would be great except when most people get one they screw up something vital to personal security that it makes them useless. That being their name and address that they put on the activation page of it when they are activating the prepaid cell phone.
An object of SHTF is anonymity and stealth. The cell phone can be activated by transmitted code and you can be tracked with a group or agency using your very cell phone as the tracking device. So if you had a cell phone and some ultra social-ist government agency, group, or osamaobama’s Hitler youth was looking for you it would not be too hard to find you. If one was to buy a prepaid cell phone and list a fake name address ect. To it then they do not know it is you, there fore they would not see you but would be tracking someone else.
Something that is overlooked in communication in an SHTF scenario is a small portable computer using wireless Internet. A desktop is out of the question sense it is not portable. A regular laptop is a little heavy and bulky to pack with you. Today though we have very smell and light weight hand held computers that are someplace in the range of 1 Gig Ram, 120ish Gig Hard Drive and weigh just a few pounds like this one Acer Aspire One AOD250-1326 Netbook - Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz, 1GB DDR2, 160GB HDD, 10.1" WSVGA, Windows XP Home, 3-Cell, White LU.S690B.037 at TigerDirect.com
The significances of this type of device being used as a communication device are that you can register under a fake name. It will allow you to up load and use encryption programs for sending receiving encrypted messages to others who are set up like you are. The power supplies is light and rechargeable with a lightweight foldable solar panel. One can pre-type and encrypt the message then connect to the Internet via wireless connection send the message very fast and disconnect hopefully before a trace/track can locate you. And just as important if you have the right encryption program it is virtually impossible for the government to break the encryption.
This type of Notebook is running for as little as $199 up to and around $500. Not to mention that a smart guy should be able to adapt some form of Ham/CB radio to it for comms. use without breaking into the wireless arena.
A definite plus would be multiple communication devices, but weight would be a concern here. The Notebook with wireless LAN and also using a connection to a ham radio would allow 2 deferent methods of communication transmition. If one was to say rotate the transmission sources it would make it harder for the bad people to get a fix on you sense they would detect you on one sources and most times they will listen to that sources only waiting for you to use it again.
Ham radio is not all but forgetting by the bad people, but does not gainer the constant monitoring by them as much as the internet and cell phones do now days so there is a chance you will not even be discovered at all or at least for quite a while.
Regardless if one gets a CB radio, or a Ham Radio one thing to make sure that this unit does not have is a Navigational device with it such as GPS. Why one may ask? Well it is because the bad guys can track you via GPS real easy and only takes a few seconds to know where you are.
Remember if it has any transmit capability (with the exception of Ham/CB) the bad guys can use it to find you.