Communication groups are individuals within an organization that must have communication in the event of an emergency or catastrophe when normal communication is disrupted. These individuals could include the leader or the organization along with department heads.
Every organization needs to have an emergency plan when something occurs that greatly effects the organizations ability to function and communicate. If a catastrophe comes along and there is no plan in place you are looking at anarchy in that organization.
It is clear our world is experiencing catastrophes of biblical proportions. Floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, terrorism and war are going to be a regular occurrence for some time to come. Planning for such an event would be wise.
What if a natural or manmade disaster does occur and all normal communication is disrupted for an extended period of time in an area of the country. Organizing help from within and outside the affected area will require communication.
Satellite phone communication is the most reliable form of communication when landline and cellular communication has been disrupted because satellite communication does not rely on the local communication infrastructure. Satellite phones basically use a constellation of satellites that use ground stations most likely outside of the area of the disaster.
The calls from the satellite phone can be switched to cellular phone networks or landlines outside the area of disruption. Satellite phones of the same service provider can also communicate with each other within the area of disruption organizing efforts within the affected area. This is why it is important for your organization's communication group to use the same satellite service provider for all the satellite phones they use. Difficulties can arise when calling from competing satellite phone providers because the public phone network would need to be used to switch the calls from different ground stations.
One example is if a Globalstar phone calls an Iridium phone the call may go to a Globalstar ground station in Florida and it would need to be sent through the public phone network to the Iridium ground station in Arizona which can be costly and more dropped calls could occur.
It is important to periodically test your satellite phone equipment to make sure the phones are still active with service because someone could have failed to pay a service bill and the phone could be de-activated. Testing also makes sure the phones are in working order when they are needed. Keeping the batteries charged is important because batteries left uncharged can fail. It is important for your communication group to become familiar with the operation of the equipment. Certain satellite phones like the Iridium satellite phone do not use a North American dialing pattern. The users of the communication group must be aware that they must use handheld satellite phones outside away from tall structures and trees. Not knowing the proper use of a satellite phone makes it worthless so periodic training of the use of the phone is important.
Failing to plan is planning to fail, so it is important to form a communication group and have an emergency plan in place.