4 Reasons a Survival Mom Should Be an Amateur Radio Operator

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image by Angela

I’m a mom and an Amateur Radio (also called Ham Radio) operator.  You may be wondering why in the world a mom of small children and in her right mind would choose to tackle the physics, algebra, wires and cables that make up a Ham Radio license.  Don’t we moms have enough going on just tackling homework, cooking, cleaning, and diapers?  Well, here are four reasons why I did it and why you may want to consider getting a ham radio license yourself.

  1. It’s a social hobby. This is one you can do with your spouse or significant other.  If he gets involved in ham radio, at least he’ll know what to get you for Christmas!  Plus you’ll meet tons of other friendly folks at amateur radio club meetings and on the air.  And what mom couldn’t use a little more adult conversation in her day?
  2. Communication in times of trouble.  If you’re in your car in a remote area and need some help, your cell phone may not work, but chances are there is a radio tower or frequency that you can call for help on.  In a large scale emergency, cell towers can be overloaded with folks trying to make calls.  As a ham radio operator, you have the option to make contact with your ham radio.
  3. Be part of the solution, not part of the panic.  In an emergency, ham radio operators are often asked to help with communications.  It is a great service to others and if you’re able to transmit information from your location, you may be able to get help for those around you who need it.  Ham radio operators are a valuable asset to any community during an emergency.
  4. Information.  Battery powered radios still work when the power is out, so even if you’re not joining in on the emergency communications you can listen in and be privy to some information you may not otherwise get.  And the more you know, the better decisions you can make for yourself and your family.

And don’t worry, algebra is only a small portion of the test and you don’t have to understand the whole radio world all at once.  It will take some time to get used to it all if you haven’t had an electronics hobby in the past.  Join up with your local amateur radio club and ask questions–there will be some experienced hams that will be willing to help you learn what you need to know to get on the air.  And remember to enjoy the challenge!

73’s all.  KF7JLZ

More resources for AMATEUR RADIO:

Guest post by Angela who blogs at Food Storage and Survival.

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I'm the original Survival Mom and for more than 11 years, I've been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more with my commonsense prepping advice.

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22 thoughts on “4 Reasons a Survival Mom Should Be an Amateur Radio Operator”

  1. Good advice! If only I could get my wife to get her license. 🙂 I've been licensed since 1988. (Wow, that makes me feel as old as dirt.) It's a great hobby and a great way to meet and make new friends. The technology changes and improves all the time so you will never get bored!

  2. I found a club near me in Norwood MA and I am planning on attending their open meeting at the end of the month. All I know about ham radio is that I want to learn about it. Is there anything I should know before I walk in or do club members welcome absolute beginners? I don't eve qualify as a rank amateur.

    1. Martha, this is a great way to get started! I am involved with two clubs in my area and we always encourage people to come who are just exploring. We have had people show up that knew nothing, and we still kept them interested and got them licensed. There are many great books you can check out from the library too! Just FYI if the people at the club talk about "Elmering" you, all this means is they want to mentor you through the process! Nothing else. If you have other questions before you go, ask right here!

  3. I took another step along the road to getting my license. I bought my very first book on ham radio last night. I am excited about this. I do have a question that I hope isn't too stupid. Why is amateur radio called ham radio?

    1. Try this site http://www.eham.net/exams You can take practice exams and prepare for the test for your license. You can take it as many times as you want so that you can see where you stand before you actually go take the test. Good luck.

  4. Only one objection… in a SHTF scenario… there will be people that maybe have no food or supplies, but have a HAM radio… wouldn't be great for them to pretend that there are in an emergency to lure you, towards them?

    I know that is a long shot, but have it in mind… you never know… 😉

    1. Those not qualified to operate ham radio are extremely obvious to say the least to those of us that are licensed. This is not CB radio trust me. Have a great day and thank you for the constructive advice.

  5. I suggest you get to know some of your contacts. I'm working on our area, (half acre lots) getting some kind of neighborhood watch. If there's trouble, we can come to each others aid. If you DO meet some people, set up a secret, non written code word or lie. For if they are in trouble and being coerced to trick you or provide false information. You, walking into a trap, helps no one.

    A car battery, CB, and small Solar charger can be very useful indeed.

  6. It is very often to be betrayed by people that you think friends and relatives. When SHTF, human relationships will be very difficult and tricky. Even your "contacts" could sell you off.

    What i am saying is… always watch your back! You don't know when and from whom, you'll be betrayed.

  7. I'm a mom with a ham radio. If you think the licensing exam is hard, I passed the first time, and so did the 11-year-old girl sitting next to me — in fact, she finished way before me. I probably studied too much. Her trick was taking the practice tests on-line.

    Now, if only I could hear something on my hand-held radio besides static! When SHTF, I sure don't want to be alone in the dark with a total communications blackout.

    1. KJ6EGA – Hand held may not reach out too far unless you connect to a repeater. If there is someone out there you may be able to reach them with a CQ. If you have a local club in your area you might just drop by and chat with them. Failing that you may drop by the license place where you took you license and talk to them. I am sure thay would help you set up comms in your area.

  8. I"m taking the first real step on the road to getting my ham license. Tonight I'm going to the local ham radio club meeting near me. I'm a little nervous because this is something totally new to me, but I'm also excited. I've been looking forward to this all month.

  9. Well, I went to the ham club meeting last Thursday. It was great. What a warm, inviting group of people. They made me feel very welcome. I didn't understand much of what they were talking about, but they took the time to explain it and encourage me. I was a little unsure of just showing up to their meeting, but, conveniently, the topic of the meeting was how to get new members! They asked how I heard/found them, and told them about Survival Mom. They were impressed. I told two of my friends what I did, and they are very excited and interested in coming to the next meeting. Thank you for promoting this skill of the month! I'm off on a wonderful new adventure.

  10. Esther Miller

    I’ve been licensed since 1987, my children were licensed at 10 and 12, and my grandson at 10. I led an ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services) group for a number of years. I highly recommend ham radio as a hobby. BUT…
    To the men who say “I wish my wife would get licensed” I have to ask “What hobby of hers have you taken an interest in?” If you expect her to study a book about something she has no knowledge of, take a written test to obtain a license, then learn how to use radios with a dizzying array of options, I have to wonder if you have put the same amount of energy and effort into one of her interests. If you haven’t, don’t complain too loudly if she is not interested in ham radio, no matter how much you love it. Just sayin’…

    73 de KK6AD

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