The Prepper’s Tablet Computer

Samsung Galaxy Tab with an Otterbox

Samsung Galaxy Tab with an Otterbox

When you imagine the archetypal Walking Dead or Hurricane Katrina type disaster scenario, creatures of comfort like us may find the thought of our electronic gadgets being rendered useless utterly terrifying (or liberating).

Hardware and software used to send, store, and receive information (“IT” or Information Technology) is even more valuable than it was before in a disaster scenario.

If the power goes out for an extended period of time, we will not be able to access “Cloud” (buzz word for “on the internet”) services such as this blog, Google Drive, or DropBox but we can still readily retrieve the information we need to survive if we plan ahead.

While information and knowledge are not a substitute for skill (gained from a routine of sound practice), our time is limited and has to be balanced with other commitments so having knowledge ready to deploy can make things easier.

Why a Tablet Computer?

Tablet computers are lightweight, can have a large screen, have a decent battery life, and can be “hardened” against the elements and other accidental damage.

“What kind of tablet should I get?”


I prefer a 10 inch screen since it is conducive to book reading but if you want to save on space, an 8 inch tablet will do just fine.

Operating System

I personally prefer the Android 4.x operating system over Apple’s iOS simply because you can easily add and remove files compared to the iOS platform.


Now having said that, the Android tablet that I currently recommend are the Samsung Galaxy series tablets.

There are a number of “budget” tablets out there, but I have not tested them or put them to as much extensive use as I have with the Samsung Galaxy series.

Features and Specifications

Stay away from tablets that have less than 1 GB of RAM. Modern operating systems tend to have a lot of apps running in the background that will eat up RAM in short order. Some PDFs are HUGE and become unreadable if your tablet cannot store them in RAM while you are reading.

The most recent consumer tests indicate that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 inch model currently has the longest battery life among commercially available tablet computers.

“What tablet accessories do I need?”

“What information and applications should I keep on the device?”

  • Legally-owned PDFs of survival manuals
    • Be sure that your PDFs can be searchable by text in iBooks or any other reader application that you use.
    • You can do this by purchasing Adobe Acrobat and selecting the OCR text options
  • Survival Apps from the App Stores
  • A Flashlight App (but not as a substitute for an actual flashlight!)
  • Theodolite or a similar program for measurements
  • FireChat or other mesh networking applications
    • Mesh networking will be discussed in a later article.
  • A color identifier
  • Medical Apps
  • GPS Apps
  • Camera and Video Apps
  • Motion Detector Apps
  • You are only limited by your imagination in terms of what apps you can get.
  • Pictures or copies of identification papers and/or property records or prescriptions
    • Be mindful that it is generally illegal to photocopy or scan any sort of US military ID or US Government issued ID.
  • UTorrent for all lawful uses.
  • Legally-owned Audiobooks
  • Legally-owned Cartoons for the kids (little ones and big ones!)
  • Legally-owned Music
  • Legally-owned movies and videos.
    • I would recommend a set of a TV series to prevent boredom.

“How do I put stuff on my device?”

  • Connect the tablet via USB to the laptop.
  • Drag and Drop files onto the device

“What other things do I have to keep in mind?”

  • With the Android tablet, be sure to get the biggest microSDHC card that it will support.
    • The Galaxy Tab 3 series and later models will support 64GB storage cards.
  • Keep your tablet software up to date!
    • This protects against malware infiltration of your tablet.
  • EMP Shielded bags are available however you can’t see the screen…
  • During a situation in which there is no internet access, be sure to turn on “Airplane mode” to maximize the battery life.
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Posted in Cybersecurity, Equipment Testing, Preparedness
One comment on “The Prepper’s Tablet Computer
  1. Scott Johnson says:

    Add an offline map app like
    Wikipedia provide offline dumps for downloading yearly. Typical 9gb+ without pictures and 39gb+ with pictures. Kiwix is a good reader for these files.
    If the cell network goes down make sure to put your tablet on airplane mode. My Asus MemoPadHd has a cellphone circuit but no antenna and always looks for a cell tower. I keep it on airplane mode.
    For a long term situation Sandisk has a mobile media drive with a sd card slot. I’ve copied files from my tablets microsd slot to the Sandisk’s card slot. Always good to be able to backup files without the internet or laptop or desktop computer.
    So many people don’t think about solar panels for small electronics.

    Liked by 1 person

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