The mere fact that you’re following the articles on this site suggests that you might be:
A. Developing your own bug-out plans, or
B. You’ve already done that, or
C. You are thinking about it seriously enough that you are looking for some direction.
Any list of the essentials you will need in your bug-out bag, (or, at your bug-out location) certainly includes a reliable radio. This will allow you to keep up with events around you, perhaps especially in the area you just evacuated.
Braun T 1000 CD by Benjamin Heinecke | Creative Commons 2.5
Commercial radio stations – both AM and FM broadcasts – may be compromised, either by the circumstances that caused you to bug out, or simply by the absence of means to broadcast: lack of power, damaged towers and equipment, or missing support staff. Many of these same conditions will probably limit or defeat any use of your cellphones, too so you might find yourself pretty well out-of-touch with what’s happening around you.
Not all commercial radio is limited to just AM & FM bands, though. Shortwave radio broadcasts programs worldwide so, even when stations in an affected area may be out of commission someone, somewhere is sure to be beaming their antennas in your direction.
Many low-priced receivers are equipped with all these bands, as well as weather bands, and you can often find them at auctions and garage sales for very low prices.
Even if Commercial radio is still on the air, the best it offers is a one-way communication. So while it may keep you informed, what do you do to exchange contacts with others when you need advice, intelligence or help?
In this series of articles, we will look at some of the alternatives, the pros and cons of off-the-shelf solutions like CB (Citizens Band) radio, FRS (Family Radio Service) radios and other “Walkie-talkie” devices that can keep you connected within a radius of a couple miles or so.
We’ll also look in a little more detail at one of the least expensive alternatives; a radio that fits easily in your shirt pocket, transmits and receives halfway around the world, and costs less than $20.
Throughout this series, we will, as much as possible, include links to the resources we have used ourselves in pursuit of the topics we are discussing. In the final installment of the series we will provide a list of all those links for your easy reference. This way you won’t have to dig through the content later on, when you’re ready to go to work on your communication options.