Antenna TV Matters in Emergencies

If a natural disaster tears through your town and leaves downed trees and power lines in its wake, you’ll be glad you have a TV antenna.

No matter where you are in the U.S., you’re at risk for a natural disaster. People who live on the East Coast have to worry about hurricanes and severe floods. People in states on the Gulf Coast face these risks, as well. Midwesterners with tornadoes, while the West Coast trembles at the threat of earthquakes. These unfortunate and tragic situations often leave people without power and means of communication, sometimes for days on end. In these tragic situations, one of the most important things you can have is a TV antenna.

After the Lights Go Out…
In a natural disaster, the power is the first thing to go. Anyone who’s been through a hurricane, tornado, or similar situation will tell you this. High winds snap trees, which fall and take out power lines, including cable TV and Internet. This essentially cuts you off from any news on when power might be restored, etc. Even if you have a backup generator, you still won’t be able to get updates on TV if you have cable or even satellite. This is why having a TV antenna, either indoors or outdoors depending on your need, is so important.

There are many reasons why a TV antenna is useful during emergency situations, which include:

  • When properly installed, TV antennas have been known to remain intact during high winds.
  • If your TV antenna does get knocked down by the storm, you can always set it up again once the weather clears.
  • A portable TV can be powered by a just a few AA batteries. Portable TVs are inexpensive and easy to find at convenience stores and big box stores, especially as the holiday season rolls in. This will keep you updated on road closings, weather forecasts, and other pertinent information.
  • Because local TV is not on shared bandwidth networks, such as cell phones and public Internet, your reception won’t be affected by overuse.
  • Local TV broadcasting isn’t dependent on power. If power goes out to your area, cell towers will drain their emergency batteries and you’ll lose all communication.

Survival Tips for Cord-Cutters
If you already have a TV antenna that’s great, but that alone won’t keep you connected in an emergency. If you lose power, and chances are good that you will, you’ll have nothing to power your antenna or the portable TV units needed to watch TV. If you truly want to be prepared in case of an emergency, these tips will keep you and your family connected to the outside world:

  • A professional-grade TV antenna. Some areas may require it to be mounted outside.
  • At least one small, portable TV. (These units don’t require much power to operate.)
  • An emergency power generator, if you’re going to power a larger TV.
  • Plenty of bottled water and non-perishable food items.

If you’re in a colder region, think about a fireplace and plenty of dry wood. If your home doesn’t have a fireplace, make sure you have extra blankets and warm clothes. If you are in a warmer region, have plenty of ice on hand to keep food from going bad.

Something to Consider…
You might have heard (or read on The Solid Signal Blog) that the FCC is in the process of “reverse auctioning” television licenses. The goal here is to reduce the amount of broadcast “space” reserved for TV broadcasting. This could mean that many of your TV channels could go dark, or it could mean the channels that are there could simply be “repacked” to take up less space. Even if your area loses some TV channels, the FCC is not going to let any market go without TV, so there’s nothing to worry about… in an emergency, a TV antenna is still your best bet.

About the Author

Jake Buckler
Jake Buckler is a cord-cutter, consumer electronics geek, and Celtic folk music fan. Those qualities, and his writing experience, helped him land a copywriting gig at Signal Group, LLC. He also contributes to The Solid Signal Blog.