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Energy & Communication

7 Considerations to Choosing the Right Mobile Ham Radio for Preppers

A lot of preppers get caught up in getting their bug out bags right with emergency food and water supplies. But there’s also a reason why a mobile ham radio should be included.

Survival is more than just keeping yourself alive with plenty of food and water. There’s also the need to communicate with people who know what’s going on.

Disasters and emergency situations happen in any number of ways and pop up at the most inconvenient times. There’s also very little warning when they strike, leaving many people to fend for themselves.

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But for the majority, the disaster doesn’t end when the winds die down or the waters recede. The real disaster may stretch on for days, weeks, or even months.

Whilst your water and food supplies may last you and your family well into the next century, there will come a time when one key piece of equipment will take center stage of your life.

That piece of equipment is one that provides you and your family with regular updates on how the rescue efforts are proceeding, whether the disaster is over, or even whether to expect another.

Some disasters don’t just have a single attack. Some arrive in multiple waves, while others may occur several times for a number of days and weeks. A 7.1 earthquake that hit Ridgecrest in California in 2019, had 80, 000 aftershocks in the 3 weeks after it struck. The strongest of these aftershocks measured 6.4, itself a sizable event.

That’s what makes information so important when dealing with the aftereffects of a disaster. Given the complexity of many emergency situations, having a form of communication that gives you up-to-the-minute information will be crucial.

The Mobile Ham Radio for Preppers

Ham radios are not new, having been around for many years. Whilst many look down on some of these operators, there’s a reason this type of communication is perfect for prepping. Below are 7 considerations you need to think about before adding a mobile ham radio to your prepping plan.

7 Considerations to Choosing the Right Mobile Ham Radio

Consideration #1: Signal Strength

Ham radios have far more signal strength than other options for hand-held communication devices. This will come in mighty handy whether you’re stuck out in the middle of the woods, desert, or mountainous areas of the world.

But handheld Ham radios don’t have the same power as base stations, some of which transmit for hundreds, even thousands of miles.

Consideration #2: License Requirement

Ham is definitely not a turnkey option when it comes to handheld communication devices. They are far from the simple 2-way radio options anybody buys off the shelf from a local electronics store.

A lot of states require operators to hold a license, only obtained after passing a required test. Including study time, this may take a few days, depending on your ability to remember the points.

Consideration #3: Emergency Broadcasts

Whilst the primary purpose of many handheld radios is communication, you need to consider whether your radio allows you to listen to emergency broadcasts. This type of information is imperative during a disaster, particularly if the disaster repeats itself.

Consideration #4: Ability to communicates with emergency services

Communication for any handheld radio is important, but there’s also another aspect that may influence your choice. Communicating with emergency services may be quite high on your list if caught out during a disaster with limited supplies or injured family members.

Having a mobile ham radio that communicates directly with emergency services could be lifesaving.

Consideration #5: Cost of setting up

One of the big influential factors concerning many preppers is the cost of setting up appropriate communication channels. Thankfully, mobile ham radios prove to be very affordable, with multiple models available for very little money when compared with other options.

Consideration #6: Popularity

The one thing I always consider whenever choosing a piece of technology is how popular it already is amongst the community where they prove most popular. With a little bit of research, it isn’t hard for you to find the best model to suit your needs.

Consideration #7: Easy to fix and modify

Just like every other piece of technology, things break, normally during the worst time imaginable. That’s why understanding how easy a communication device is to fix and modify is crucial, especially when caught in an emergency situation where access to replacement parts may be limited.

Given that mobile ham radios don’t cost a lot, there may be options to purchase replacement units instead of parts.

Final Thoughts

Communication is one of those high-priority items often forgotten about. Overlooking it may just be a matter of perspective, but for me, it should be high on anyone’s list of prepping priorities.

The mobile ham radio is an inexpensive option that covers a lot of the requirements you’ll need when dealing with the aftermath of a disaster. Once licensed, you’ll have access to a multitude of services, making it perfect during an emergency.