3-3-3 Radio Plan for SHTF Communications

Radio Master Reports
Survivalist Communicator 3-3-3 Radio Plan
This is the “When, Where, and How” to make radio contact with each other for SHTF. The 333 Radio Plan was designed for SHTF communications. Versions of it are used by survivalist prepper and emergency communications groups. It is based on the easy-to-remember “Survival Rule of Three”. It is often called a Radio Schedule, or a SKED. It is like the communications equivalent of a Rally Point or Disaster Meet-Up Plan.

Here’s how the 3-3-3 Radio Plan works:
Turn on your radio. Every 3 hours. For at least 3 minutes. Channel 3.

Always use your Local Time for local area communications with the 3-3-3 Radio Plan. At the “top of the hour”, each 3 hours:
Noon, 3pm, 6pm, 9pm.
Midnight, 3am, 6am, 9am.

At the top of every 3rd hour, turn on your radio. Even if you don’t need to make a call yourself, always turn on your radio and listen for calls for at least 3 minutes. If you have sufficient battery power, or if you have not connected up for a while, then you should listen for 15 minutes. You never know if someone may be trying to reach you, or may need help. If you need to check in, make a short transmission at this time. Say “This is me, just checking in.”



Synchronize your watch with other radio operators whenever possible. If you doubt your watch accuracy, compensate by keeping your radio turned on for a longer duration, before and after every 3rd hour. If you don’t have a watch, try listening to an AM broadcast radio station, they always identify their call letters at the top of each hour.

Channel 3 is CB-3, FRS-3, or MURS-3.
CB, FRS, and MURS are the most common types of radios used by survivalists and preppers.


1. Easy for everyone to remember the “Rule of Three”.
2. Conserves precious battery life for walkie talkies.
3. Gets everyone on the air at the same time.
4. Sets a schedule of 8 times per day to call each other.
5. Avoids impractical hourly schedules that can be a burden in real-life scenarios.
6. Enables the use of short transmissions for optimum success and security.
7. Three hours between contacts is enough time to rest in a survival situation.
8. A person can walk 8 miles in 3 hours, the practical distance limit of handheld radios over average terrain.
9. 3-3-3 is fully interoperable and compatible with the alternative 3-2-1 plan.


Ham radios don’t have channel numbers. They have frequencies instead. A channel is really just a specific frequency that has a purpose.
Most hams use 146.520 MHz FM Simplex (No PL) as their 3-3-3 channel.
Some organized Prepper Ham groups use 146.420 FM Simplex.
Non-aligned Survivalist Hams use 146.550 Simplex as the Bug Out Channel (BOC) and 3-3-3.
The most commonly used local ham frequency could become a 3-3-3 channel for your area. But it probably should not be a repeater channel, because repeaters may cease to function when SHTF! Instead, hams could use Simplex FM on the output frequency of the repeater.

Feel free to copy, print, and distribute the 3-3-3 Radio Plan for your fellow preppers and survivalists.

The 3-3-3 Survival Rule is a well known principle in survivalist training. It commits fundamental skills or procedures to memory. The 3-3-3 Radio Plan builds upon the Survival Rule of 3, otherwise known as the Rule of Threes.

Disclaimer: Content provided in PSVB is included for the sole purpose of providing educational information on a passive basis. This information may be useful to the public in the event of emergencies or disaster recovery, especially when normal techniques are not an available option. Users of this educational information are solely responsible for their actions.