While there are a lot of choices out there for communications choices, the best choice in my opinion is HAM Radio (Armature radio) . It is affordable, and cost effective while at the same time offers excellent range even in a portable radio. They come in everything from an inexpensive hand held that cost about $28 up to pretty much as you want to spend. The one draw back for most people is the need for a license. What most people don’t realize however is that the License is cheap and it is relatively easy to pass the test. I know a young man that past his technician class license when he was just 5 years old. The test are not hard and no longer require you to know Morris Code. The license cost is just what you pay to take the test which is usually $15 and it is good for 10 years! That is a great deal if you think about it.
The question I hear the most on this subject is “Why do I need to worry about getting a license, when SHTF comes, no one will need one?”. while that may be true, let me ask you this: “Would you buy a new gun and not shoot it till SHTF hits?”. Of course not. You would want to be proficient at using it so that when you needed it, you would know how. Right? The same is true of your Communications equipment, when you need it, you will want to know how to use it. In order to do that, you will need to get a license. There are many advantages to getting your license and getting on the air. Did you know that a large number of HAM radio operators today are Preppers? It’s true. There are even Radio clubs and Organizations that are set up just for SHTF and Prepping. Some of these are AMRRON and Radio Free Redoubt a well as the Northern Nevada Preppers Group just to name a few. There are also clubs such as USRACES and ARES that provide Emergency assistance to others in the event of a Natural disaster.
All of this aside, meeting new people and making valuable contacts all over the US and the world will be well worth the small effort of getting a HAA radio license when SHTF happens. There are even special frequencies that many Preppers use as well as special call signs, but without a license and getting on the air, you will never know about them. I can assure you that once SHTF hits, they will be very weary of sharing any information with people they are not familiar with or can not validate as being trustworthy. Take the time and spend the $15 to get your license, you will be glad you did! I can honestly say that I have met more Preppers since I have gotten in to HAM radio than I ever would have if I had not. It’s a great hobby and a great way to prepare. If you would like more information on how to get your license, you can find it here HamsOnWheels.com and here at the National Association of Amateur Radio.
Emergency communications is something that needs to be taken very seriously as it can mean the difference between life and death. Take the time now to get your Communications equipment, and learn how to use it. You will be glad you did! Until next time, keep your batteries charged and keep on preparing! 🙂