Looking at practical solutions that may or may not include amateur radio
Hey Tom, have you played around with Project Owl and the ClusterDuck Protocol? I have 4 devices that I am programming up and will be deploying them soon. Take a look at the Puerto Rico deployment. ITDRC has been working with them.
Project OWL deploys DuckLink wireless devices to rapidly create mesh networks on the ground. A DuckLink is a small Internet-of-Things (IoT) device that provides connectivity to consumer electronics over WiFi or Bluetooth, and can talk to other DuckLinks over 915Mhz LoRa, a long-range and low power radio. These wireless technologies in one device can provide an off-grid, off-telecoms networking solution when traditional infrastructure is offline.
I live in an isolated community "40 miles from everything." We are 10 miles from the end of the cable so our internet is DSL. When we lose power in storms it takes out internet and cell phones. In an earthquake--we are 15 mi from the ocean and 200' to 500' elevation--we will likely lose the three nearby river bridges, resulting in total isolation from the rest of the word with no electric, electronic or highway connection to anywhere. The local Amateur Radio Club is planning on building a GMRS repeater along with the ham network that will serve the area. However, at the moment, I am the only ham in the community and know of no family with FRS, GMRS, or MURS capability. The local public service repeaters would probably survive but they only connect with county dispatch. I don't now if they have point-to-point capability or whether the local EMT's are trained in that use of their handhelds or ambulance radios. In the scenario I have suggested, the ambulances would be unavailable and unable to travel to our community or to the hospital.
What would you suggest for our community? I doubt we are unique.
Rattlegram / Ribbit seems has huge potential for just the situation you describe. It’s “just another app” that’s parked on your smartphone until you need it. In a SHTF situation, turn on the FRS radio and tune to the neighborhood freq and send out a broadcast via the app, or listen for bulletins.
The problem with a lot of solutions for emergency comms is that emergencies (usually) don’t happen that frequently. Thus you lose your memory for how the EMCOM system works.
Rattlegram / Ribbit is easy to practice with - just two phones within six inches of each other (acoustic coupling).
Unfortunately Rattlegram / Ribbit is only Android at the moment - no IOS app.
Dan Romanchik's Technician Study Manual is free in PDF format. I recommend it. I paid for and used his extra study manual for my 3 day review ahead of taking my exam. https://www.kb6nu.com/study-guides/