Benefits and Uses of Shortwave Radio

It feels like most everything is falling into place for our next power grid failure. When I watch the news, I see the world becoming more unstable by the day. It’s as if there is a countdown to the next major power outage and everyone knows it but no one talks about it.

The media goes out of its way to reassure us with fact-free propaganda that everything is fine and the power grid is 100% reliable. Any time someone dares say something is wrong, they are immediately branded a conspiracy theorist and an alarmist.

But it isn’t just me saying this. The Wall Street Journal stated in 2010 “there are two huge reliability problems in particular that are getting worse as the years go by. The threat that a terrorist might blow up a substation, and the possibility that somebody might step up the game and start taking out transformers one by one, instead of going for one big blast.”

So why do we continue to maintain a power grid that is so vulnerable? Maybe because it’s cheap to maintain? Maybe this vulnerability is intentional so when we do finally have a massive power outage, it will be sudden and devastating. That way people will remember just how important it is to never take their infrastructure for granted. Then maybe our leaders can build new systems that actually work.

Many people are still under the impression that shortwave radio does not have much to offer as far as options are concerned. This is because the advantages of shortwave radio might not be clear at the first glance:

  • If the grid goes down, your radio just stopped broadcasting. People are going to be looking for communication channels. The way you do have communications is using a shortwave radio. That is by far the most effective way of having long-distance communications. Shortwave radio is not an option. It’s an absolute necessity in any sort of emergency situation. And we’ve seen it on a number of occasions where stations all around the country, even stations like ours that are in the same state, can’t reach each other due to weather-related events. But people that have their equipment, their radios, and their batteries all charged up and ready to go are able to communicate back and forth with each other and get a hold of loved ones

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  • Shortwave radio is also used around the world for disaster communications and emergency preparedness. Amateur radio operators volunteer their time and resources as amateur radio emergency service providers. They can serve as a lifesaving link when disasters strike and cell networks fail. Citizens in the US can sign up for FEMA’s Emergency Alert System through their cell phones with a simple app that is available on iOS and Android. With multiple channels available and the ability to reach farther and wider than any other single tool, it is also a cost-effective way to keep in touch with loved ones. Routinely, stations on all seven continents broadcast detailed reports of weather events and natural disasters as they unfold. As recently as 2004’s Hurricane Charley, listeners were alerted to evacuation advisories with critical information such as the location of shelters before the mainstream media was able to report the details.
  • Shortwave radio is not dependent on the electric power grid for its continued operation, yet it is available all over the world, with a growing number of stations transmitting in English, French, and Spanish.
  • Shortwave broadcasts are generally not jammed or interfered with by local governments, providing an un-jammed communications channel in times of political instability or natural disaster.

Final words

A post-electronics world is likely, and the sooner you prepare for it, the better. If a hurricane, tsunami, or other natural disasters (including war) takes down your local power grid, what’s left? There’s no cellphone service because all of the cellular towers have failed. There’s no landline phone service because the telephone poles have been snapped in two. There are no computers because they use electricity and their batteries are dead. 

Even if there were any paper left in your printer, it would be the wrong type to print out a simple list of items you need to rebuild your world. A shortwave radio receiver will still work, though, and you can get one for free right now at no charge to you. The device, called a shortwave radio, is just like an ordinary radio, except that it can pick up long-distance waves that are always in the air. These waves can travel thousands of miles and even beyond the Earth to space.


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