This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, I’ll receive compensation at no extra cost to you.
The HAM radio has been around for quite a while. HAM is an acronym for HYMAN- ALMY-MURRAY, the last names of the people who had the first broadcast back in 1908. HAM—also known as amateur radio has a further range than CB, GMRS, FRS or MURS radios. In addition, they also have a wider audience. In the event of a major disaster, you’re more likely to be able to contact another HAM operator than you would with other forms of communication. You can connect with many different organizations and government entities to get information in a time of disaster. For instance, you can listen to broadcasts by the Red Cross, the NOAA weather broadcasts and the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Guard.
There are some downsides of HAM radio. First, you need to get a license before you use one. That’s not a huge problem, since the licensing is easy to pass. However, for some people, the thought of giving out your information and the fact you have a HAM radio to a government entity is far less desirable. Many of these people are preppers that worry that either the list of names will get into the wrong hands or there will be a governmental coup with the power going to the wrong hands, leaving the HAM operator vulnerable. Other preppers feel that the benefits outweigh the negatives of giving out your information.
Once a person is licensed for HAM radio, they can use certain amateur frequencies above 50 MHz, plus a few others. By doing further study for a different license you can have access to even more bands. Many people start out thinking that the original license will be all they need, but get hooked on the enjoyment of talking to others at a distance and proceed to the next level of expertise.
While the range of a HAM radio may not be that far, repeaters extend that range for miles. Repeaters receive weaker signals and retransmits them with more power and at a higher level so it covers more area. These are often located on tall buildings or hilltops, since the higher the locations the more distance the signal goes. The higher your antenna, the more distance it goes and the further away you can receive contact from others. To achieve the extra height, a tower is often used. Some locations don’t allow towers to be built for a variety of reasons, so be aware of your local ordinances before you put up a tower.