Letter Re: Amateur Radio for the Rest of Us

Mr. Rawles,

Thank you for including the recent article on amateur radio in SurvivalBlog. I have been an amateur radio operator for about 35 years and have been playing with radios for over 40 years.

I am amazed with the depth of knowledge of the readers on your blog. In many of the topics covered, I know very little. I have one criticism of amateur radio operators concerning “emcon” or emergency communications. Many hams like to participate in the organized drills with their local Emergency Government officials. This is a big mistake in a SHTF scenario. Think of yourselves, your family, and those closest to you first.

While it may be advantageous to be on good terms with law enforcement, they really don’t care about us. Public safety agencies pay millions of dollars on high tech, complicated communications systems. If they still fail in a TEOTWAWKI situation, any civilian communications gear can be seized, upon gunpoint, in an emergency. They may also be seized to prevent any civilian communications.

Most police lack user discipline on radios. They really don’t understand radios. I consider a good working knowledge of communications as complicated as a working knowledge of firearms. We would use our firearms to protect ourselves and our loved ones first. Think of communications gear the same way. Forget about all of this nonsense about amateur radio as a “public service”. Think of radios in terms of communications only. The license is not going to matter in a SHTF situation. Only your knowledge of radios and communications in general will make the difference. Best Regards, – Randall S.