So, yeah, if you're gonna talk to your pals and the SHTF, you could get by without a license but until that point you'll probably want to talk to folks - which means a license. If you were using the ham bands without a license before the SHTF somebody would probably report you as an unlicensed station and with the FCC amateur auxillary, DX'ers, and the bored Intel ELINT weenies sitting on their Trojan Spirits believe it or not, the FCC does investigate that stuff and you might find yourself the recipient of fines and gear confiscation. I'd get the license if you are on the fence about it.
....but that's just my $0.02 ;)
Did I not just say:
1) I DON’T TALK ANYWAY
2) I WOULD BE WILLING TO PAY A FINE IF I USED THE HT IN EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES
BTW, if a HAM (like the operator of a repeater or the clubs here that monitor them) refused to respond to a call for help, licensed or not, they could be sued bigtime.
As though I don’t know “how it works” after 40+ years of reading about this stuff and using it in DX mode with sophisticated antennas, etc.
Yes, I guess the FCC could confiscate my $108 Chinese handheld after I made an emergency call about a broken back. Big loss.
I've been told by an OO that knowingly working someone without a license can be grounds for losing one's privlidges. (I assume that would be for repeated and known offenses, not just one.)
I must concur.
Out here we used a cram session approach to teach people to take the test in one day. The program is moderated by local CERT members, many of whom are local firefighters, search and rescue, and deputy sheriffs.
If you're going to get an amateur radio license, you might as well get in good with the local emergency responders. At the very least, you'll know that your family is higher up on the "make sure they're safe" list.
I already hooked up with my local CERT coordinator and hope to join them soon. They always need radio operators to help relay messages across the region in the case of an emergency (storm, flood, earthquake, etc.)
Oh, and if you're worrying about being recorded in a local FCC database, then you're forgetting the meaning of SHTF... what good is a database when power is out nationwide and civil society collapses?!?