Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,
After purchasing an NOAA emergency alert radio and an AM/FM radio, most families have the majority of their communication needs met.
For some families, y'all might want to purchase a shortwave receiver. These shortwave radios are used to listen to international programs.
io9 - A Great Way to Listen to Those Mysterious "Number Stations"
There is a difference between shortwave receivers and shortwave transceivers. Shortwave transceivers receive and send communications or information. Unlike, a shortwave receiver that can only ...
There is some bad news. Shortwave transceivers require a license to use, and the shortwave community does a really good job of policing themselves.
If you're thinking "Hey, I'll get a transceiver, and we'll be able to use it. Screw that licence" It's not going to happen. The 'Hams' won't talk to you, and they'll report you to the proper authorities.
Did I mention? It's against the law.
Then, there's that whole issue of some governments actively seeking out illegal transceiver users and throwing then in prison, if they're lucky. (Think Nazi, the Resistance, and WWII or North Korea, People, and Death Camps)
There is good news!
The entry-level license is (I don't want to say ..) easy with some effort by you and your family.
You thought your children won't need a license?
American Radio Relay League - Ham Radio Licenses
Ham Universe - Home