Many of us disconnected our land line phones and have become dependent on our cell phones for communications. Those are really convenient as we take them with us wherever we go and the apps available give us quite a bit of information at our fingertips. But, there are problems with them in case of some emergencies.
Cell phones can become useless if cell towers are knocked offline out or down for whatever reason. When that happens, amateur radio can become a life saver and conduit to communications with the outside world.
Your radio equipment does not need to be complex or very expensive when you first start. $20 hand held VHF/UHF radios are quite common, especially among preppers. You can even get started without a license using FRS radios available for for as little as $15 a pair. The downside to these FRS radios is their communication distance is very limited to maybe a mile or so. However, they are very good for local communication with the family car to car or around the campsite. The more advanced radio operators will want to upgrade their equipment to mobile radios and/or base stations located in a fixed location.
Here are a few internet web sites to explore with tips and recommendations for choosing low cost radios:
- FCC site – General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS)
- 6 Best Handheld Ham Radio for Survival & Emergency Scenarios
Amateur radio (or HAM) operators are required to obtain a license from the FCC in order to transmit on their radio. The licenses are valid for 10 years and are available after passing a 35 multiple question test on radio theory, regulations and operating practices.
Here are a few internet websites with information for preppers:
AmRRON Channel 3 Project
In case of emergency AmRRon radio operators will take to the air on multiple radio frequences to provide help. With the Channel 3 Project, every 3 hours (Midnight, 3am, 6am, 9am, noon, 3pm, 6pm, and 9pm), you’ll want to tune to channel 3 on your FRS, GMRS, or CB Radio to monitor or call for help. To conserve batteries, you’ll want to limit your time on air to around 3 minutes.