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For those are interested in radio communications, but don’t want to go the ham route, I recommend shortwave. I’ve been a sw fan for about 45 years and it has a lot to offer in emergency communications. And, unlike ham, long distance communications is inexpensive, although you can only listen.

A modern sw receiver is the size of a couple of DVD cases, can run for months on a few AA batteries, and receives sw and ham transmissions from around the world with an antennae that you can put in your pocket. I live in the southwest and have received ham broadcasts in the 7 MHz band from Georgia and upstate New York. I can receive sw broadcasts from around he world.

Although you can’t talk, you can listen (I think A Chinese philosopher once said a silent man hears more). You can follow what is happening around the world, all in an easy to carry, low power requirement, quick to set up, low cost system.

Not as sexy as ham, but you get a lot of capability.