When services crash, our most familiar means of communication can go with them. Tornado, hurricane, earthquake and terror or cyber-attacks can interrupt TV, cable, internet and some radio. An EMP attack threatens do to worse.
It is important to have, at a minimum, a crank-powered radio to receive whatever news might be available. Beyond that, the possibilities open up greatly. Standard NOAA, AM/FM crank radios are everywhere. Get one. Get two. They are inexpensive. If you have the cash and means to power one, get a combination of the above with shortwave reception included.
The king of radio efforts, though, are the sets that can communicate both ways, and with varying methods. I won’t be happy with my own setup until I am outfitted with a HAM radio transceiver and shortwave as my base means of communicating. I’m a believer in HAM repeaters and the networks that they can enable.
Outside of the more likely threats, there are the other scenarios that come to the fore quite often – the really BIG stuff. Seems to me that the bigger the chaos, the more important the need to gather information, and perhaps to share it. Communications is a huge topic. To get an understanding of it, a guy needs to read up. Here are a few resources.
American Radio Relay League – Founded in 1914, The American Radio Relay League is the national association for Amateur Radio in the USA. Today, with more than 156,000 members, ARRL is the largest organization of radio amateurs in the United States.
AC6V’s Amateur Radio Guide – A truly massive collection of links to all aspects a AR.
W5YI Group – Resource aimed at getting operator’s licenses.
Foothills Amateur Radio Society – Resources Page
HR Radio Org – “your resource center for shortwave listening and amateur radio
propagation, news, dx, education, and more ”
Shortwave Radio Index – Lists most of the current and recently discontinued shortwave units available today.
Getting to the point where you are comfortable enough to buy your first set will take some work. I recommend that you search for forums where radio discussions are ongoing. It’s best to follow your interests and leading on this, but for a start, you can become a member of the SurvivalistBoards.com and get going.