COMMUNICATIONS: Factor Ready is not a Communications Dealer or Distributorship and we do not stock, ship or sell ham radio supplies. We can nevertheless supply you with beneficial "prepping" tips per this article, and direct you to some good supply sources we have discovered. Radio Communications in America are assigned and administered by the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) who controls who uses what frequencies. Several of these bands are assigned for Amateur Radio usage, popularly known as the Ham Radio Hobby. Operators in this realm have had FCC licensed legal use privlleges since 1912.
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO COMMUNICATE: How do you plan to communicate should a factor disable all local power, phone lines, internet service and cell towers? We recommend you cover this vital base by promptly obtaining an FCC approved Amateur (Ham) Radio License and at minimum a compact (battery operated) hand held radio to access one or more of the Ham radio bands. This will also in many areas (depending on frequencies) monitor local law enforcement and fire services as well. There are now well over 750,000 Americans participating in this most useful and rewarding hobby. Cost can easily be kept under $100 to fully join in, including a radio purchase. The typical Ham HT (Hand Held Transceiver) 5 watt unit as example will operate a distance of up to approx. 20 miles, depending on radio quality, terrain and antenna. However, thanks to private and/or Ham Club owned permanent mounted Repeaters available for 24/7 radio access in most areas, that distance is greatly increased. Even state-wide access is available via nets in some areas. Please download and read our “How To Get Started In Ham Radio” PDF document under the Downloads section at the FactorReady.com web site. It is also posted at our local Ham Club internet site, W5JAS.org. You can further visit the Amateur Radio Relay League national organization web site at ARRL.org for a world of good information on the Ham hobby (including test study books and find clubs in your area, etc.). Once you are into the hobby you may well have interest in a higher class ham license that will permit use of additional frequencies with long range abilities. This can allow continental or even world wide contacts with appropriate antenna and radio or computer gear. Note: Morse code is no longer required for any of the 3 level ham radio FCC licenses. Our local club (and others) can administer the relatively easy multi-choice test questions for any class license sought, Technician, General or Advanced (Extra). The entry (Technician) level test as example is only about 35 questions with 26 correct answer needed for a passing score and re-tests are offered if needed. Pre-study is accomplished via approved designated materials such as economical books, online internet courses or club classes. FCC Ham Licenses are valid for 10 years with no further testing or costs required for renewals.