Radio & Energy

Why You Need A Portable Ham Radio Before SHTF

The phones are down.  The internet is offline.  You can’t call the ambulances or the police for help.  The power is out.  The water is no longer running.

In this kind of a mess, how the heck are you supposed to communicate across long distances?  How are you supposed to get in touch with friends and relatives who live out of town or out of state?  How are you supposed to find out what’s going on in the outside world?

The answer is you need an emergency communication device that will continue to function even after the power grid has gone down.  But which emergency communication device then are you supposed to use?

Well, you have a number of emergency communication options available, but quite arguably the very best is the Ham radio.

Why is the Ham radio the best emergency communication devices for preppers and survivalists?  Let’s find out:

Why The Ham Radio Is The Best Emergency Communication Device For Preppers

There are many different kinds of emergency communication devices, from CB radios to GMRS radios to FRS radios to walkie-talkies, but a Ham radio is arguably the best one for a number of different reasons.

The first reason is that a Ham radio is very easy to learn how to use.  You can also use it to get in touch with emergency communication services, so you can hopefully learn more about what’s going on with the outside world during a disaster.

In addition, a Ham radio has a very wide signal range and you can get in touch with someone across the world, regardless of whether you’re in an urban or rural environment.  In contrast to this, other kinds of communication devices such as CB radios, have very limited range of only a few miles.  Walkie-talkies have slightly greater range out to about forty miles or so, but still, that’s very restricted.

Another big advantage to the Ham radio is the fact that you will have access to a much wider range of frequencies in contrast to the other kinds of radios.  CB radios, for example, only have access from 26 MHz to 27 MHz.

In summary, the reasons why it can be compellingly argued that the Ham radio is the best type of radio for preppers is as follows:

  • It’s easy to use
  • It has a very wide range
  • You have access to a much larger range of frequencies
  • You can easily get in touch with emergency communication service

What’s It Like Getting Into Ham Radio?

A Ham radio is not something that you can just buy and start using today.  Rather, it requires you to get an entire license in order to operate.

In fact, there’s really an entire community of people who use Ham radios.  Basically, those who want to communicate with someone else across the world using wireless technology are those who use them, along with emergency rescue services and preppers.

Today, there are approximately seven hundred thousand Ham radio operators in the United States alone, with a total of over two and a half million across the world.

Ham Radio Frequencies

As was noted previously, using a Ham radio means that you have access to more frequencies in contrast to other kinds of radios.

Ham radios use frequency bands across the entire radio spectrum, as permitted by the FCC for use by amateurs who possess licenses.  You can operate at or above the AM broadcast up to the gigahertz and microwave ranges as well.

If you want to make a transmission during daylight hours, your best bet would be to use the fifteen to twenty-seven MHz range.  At night, you’ll want to lower your range from two to fifteen MHz in order to get the best results.

Getting Your Ham Radio License

As was mentioned previously, you have to attain a license in order to use a Ham radio.

The three types of licenses for Ham radio use are technician, general, and extra.  When you get any of these licenses, it will be good for ten years, but you will need to pass a test in order to attain it.

How are the licenses different from one another?  Basically, they allow you access to different frequencies.  The ‘extra license’ affords you access to more license than the ‘general’ and ‘technician’ licenses, and the general more so than the technician.  You get the idea.  Think of it as beginner, intermediate, and expert.

At the entry level technician license, you’ll have access to any amateur band over 30 MHz.  The general license will allow you access to amateur bands under 30 Mhz.  The general license affords you access to HF bands, so you can talk to people who are literally hundreds or even thousands of miles away.

In order to become licensed to use a Ham radio, you will have to take the test at the amateur radio club that is nearest to your location.  These tests are usually conducted monthly or quarterly throughout the year.

It should cost you around twenty dollars or less to take the test; it really varies depending on the radio club.

The test will be given by a volunteer examiner, who will ask you thirty-five questions.  To pass, you need to get at least twenty-six.

Upon passing, your results and information will then be mailed to the FCC.  You should then receive your Ham radio license within two weeks.


In conclusion, ham radios are among the best emergency communication devices in existence, due to their simplicity, ease of use, wide range, and accessibility to several different frequencies.

You will need to take a test to receive a license in order to legally operate one, but if you are willing to spend the money and take the time to do that, you can feel comforted in knowing that you have one of the very best emergency communication devices in existence for a disaster or SHTF scenario.

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