Hello, my friend and welcome back! As some of you know, I’m a Ham Radio Operator (K5IVR) and as such do a lot of work with our local Ham Radio club. In today’s post, we are going to lookat learning Emergency Communications while having a lot of fun doing it. Grab a cup of coffee my friend and have a seat while we visit.
If you think that being a ham radio operator takes a lot of studying, just to sit in front of a radio and talk to people, then you’re dead wrong. It takes very little studying to get a technician license and in fact, we have very young children as young as 6 years old with a license. It’s just that easy to get.
Once you get the license, the fun really begins. Most, if not all, ham radio clubs focus the majority of their efforts on Emergency Communications. We learn everything from what frequencies would be best to use in the case of SHTF, and even how to build our own antennas. That, however, is only the tip of the iceberg, because we do a lot of other things as well.
Our local club is the “AARA” and we just had our 57th annual Hamfest which is the largest on the Gulf Coast. In fact, I’m the head of security for it. If you are wondering what a Hamfest is, let me explain. One person, I know calls it a “Geekfest” because there are all kinds of electronics on sale there, in a convention like set up.
Hamfest is where radio operators sell their old equipment and buy new ones, it is also where radio Manufacturers demonstrate their latest and greatest radios to the public. It’s almost a fair like atmosphere with food and drinks as well as hourly door prizes given away. We even have bingo for anyone who has no interest in what is going on with Ham Radio. In other words, there is something for everyone.
Most Hamfests also have seminars on different aspects of using a ham radio such as communicating with FEMA in an Emergency and making your own antennas, etc. Radios and antennas are not the only things you can buy at a Hamfest; they have computers, electronic kits and even used military surplus items of all kinds, and many tables of hand made jewelry, décor, and more.
Everyone has a lot of fun and we all usually learn a few things while we are at it. Even if you are not a ham radio operator, you should visit one at least once in your life. You can also take the test for your license at most Hamfest like ours.
Now don’t miss understand me, it’s not all fun and games, we take Emergency Communications and being prepared in the event of an emergency very seriously. We train from time to time on setting up communications in the middle of nowhere and communicating with other people across America and the world. From Lafayette, LA we contacted Hams across the US and other countries as well.
If you are a serious Prepper, then you need to know as much as you can about Ham Radio. What frequencies to monitor in the event of an emergency, how to set it up under adverse conditions, which voices on the radio are trustworthy and which ones should be taken with a grain of salt. Knowing who you can trust and where to get reliable information in an SHTF situation could make the difference between life and death when it comes right down to it.
There are other things we do like what we call a “Fox Hunt”. We take a transmitter and set it up, while we use directional antennas and handheld radios to track it down. Think about if there was an enemy camp set up near you, but you don’t know exactly where they are? This exercise would help you pinpoint them if they are using radios to communicate with.
We also do SHTF simulations where we take a disaster scenario such as Hurricanes, Nuclear Attack, etc. and work through setting up reliable information networks. We also train with the Red Cross from time to time, and in fact, during the bad flood in August of 2016, we actually assisted them in finding out which areas were under water, as well as helping people get the word out to their family that they were OK and where they were.
Being a ham radio operator is a rewarding hobby and something that will be a must have in any disaster you may encounter. We get together and meet or train once or twice a month so it doesn’t take up a lot of personal time. If you are a serious Prepper, then you need to get a ham radio license and join a local club if you hope to survive. In an SHTF situation, knowing what is going on in the area around you and in your country will be a must, and you can learn how to get the information you will need now and have fun doing it.
Ham radio is not expensive anymore and a handheld radio costs as little as $25, and $10 to test for your license, so there is no excuse for not getting involved and learning what you will need to know in an SHTF situation. When the time comes you will be very glad you did. I’m going to add some links at the bottom of the page that I think you might enjoy.
Well, that is it for today and I hope you have enjoyed today’s post. Until next time, stay safe, stay strong and stay prepared. God Bless America!