Just curious how many other ham radio operators there are on here and how it plays into your emergency preparedness plan. I know in the ham world there is a lot of discussion about ARES and working with CERT, etc and those are great for helping in areas of disaster and relaying traffic to emergency service personnel. Back when I was first licensed I really wanted to do a lot with ARES, but I was 13 and there is really nothing someone can do until you hit 18/21... so I fell back from that group. They said "you can run nets" -- whoop-de-do! Now, especially since 9/11, you have to go through all of these FEMA courses and there are some State of Oregon background checks to go through, etc -- a lot of paperwork and that just does not interest me. When I was a Boy Scout part of my Eagle Scout service project was putting a 440Mhz repeater up in Sandy... but if something bad happens I don't think repeaters will be around - it will mainly be simplex VHF/UHF and then HF for long distance. So now, I look at ham radio in a survival role as communicating with others in my group and others in my area... or if it isn't a SHTF scenario but a "I am lost/hurt while hiking" scenario then I will use it to ask for help. I remember a few years ago I heard a call for help from a man stuck in the snow.. he gave his GPS coords and we relayed them to the local sheriffs department. Ham radio saves lives!