One question I hear fairly often is: “Why do I need a license? After the SHTF, who will care and monitor the ham bands? I recently found a link that really does a good job of explaining why. I recommend that you read http://www.geekprepper.org/why-do-you-need-a-ham-radio-license/
The Eastern Ozarks Amateur Radio Club meets every 2nd Saturday at the Bonne Terre Airport at 7444 Williams Lane outside Bonne Terre. The general club meeting starts at 2PM, with the ARES group meeting at the conclusion of the regular meeting. Testing is available with advance notice (so that we can ensure enough Volunteer Examiners be present) beginning at 1PM. Testing is available for all classes of licenses. One of the benefits of testing with the EOARC is that you may continue testing until you fail for the one testing fee, currently $15. For example, you can show up for the Technician exam and pay your testing fee. Upon passing the Technician exam, you can attempt the General exam, and if you successfully pass it, you can try the Amateur Extra exam. Theoretically, you can arrive with no license and leave with the highest level of license all for $15. It is recommended that you take the next level of testing while you are testing, if only to see the type of questions on the exam.
The club does offer a couple of times a year a HamCram or a Ham-in-a-Day, where you arrive early in the morning and study the questions and the correct answers continuously for several hours before trying the test. We actually have about a 90-95% pass rate with this method. Once you get your license, you can listen in and learn as you go.
The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization, is eligible for membership in the ARES®. The only qualification, other than possession of an Amateur Radio license, is a sincere desire to serve. Because ARES® is an amateur service, only amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.
Here is a copy of the ARES application. Please feel free to use this and come join us at our monthly meetings immediately following the Eastern Ozarks Amateur Radio Club meeting on the second Saturday of the month at the Bonne Terre Airport, located at 7444 Williams Lane, just outside of Bonne Terre.
I found an excellent review on the Bao-Feng radios. No money made by me from these radios or for promoting the site. Just a good fair review of the goods and the bads.
This same site also has a good intro to Amateur Radio:
An interesting interview…
The last weekend in June is always an event across the country called Field Days. The idea is to make as many contacts as you can in 24 out of the 27 hours of the contest. We will be meeting at the Bonne Terre Airport that weekend to see how many contacts we can make on all of the bands. Come on out and play with us. Even if your license does not allow certain bands, as long as the control operator is there, you are welcome to try your hand.