Having a two way radio system set-up and ready for an emergency or disaster is a very practical thing to do. Keeping in touch with others in your neighborhood or group and monitoring other radio activity in your area just makes perfect sense.
Preppers today have more communications choices than ever and two-way radio gear is not as big of an expense as it used to be. Pre-owned ham gear and retired public service gear can usually be found on Ebay at bargain basement prices. There’s an ever-growing selection of inexpensive new transceiver options on the market now too.
This subject has brought thousands of radio discussions to prepper forums all over the web and, depending on the website, the conversation can lead to whether or not a license should be obtained before using a particular piece of radio equipment. These discussions usually include input from those that will and those that won’t abide by the FCC regulations.
The usual excuses given for not obtaining the proper license can range from simple lack of time all the way up to deliberate defiance of government regulation. Sometimes the radio owner feels that they will only need to use their equipment after an emergency strikes when all radio licensing regulations will supposedly be null and void. Other radio owners feel that their radios are either operating on an absolutely vacant frequency or are so underpowered that it should be OK to operate without a license.
After recently reading an entire forum thread on this very topic, it dawned on me that these people may not have had the chance to read anything about the individuals that have experienced an official visit from an FCC field agent.
So with that in mind, we did some research on the subject. The FCC keeps an online record of all of their citations and we came up with four very good examples. The text in italics below is copied directly from the FCC website. I’ve edited out the specific names and addresses. My personal comments follow each example.