Prepper Ham Radio Frequencies: A Guide to Reliable Communication in Emergencies

a close up of a radio with a lot of wires
Photo by Sven Verweij

Prepper Ham Radio Frequencies

When it comes to emergency preparedness, having reliable communication is crucial. In times of crisis or disaster, traditional means of communication, such as cell phones or landlines, may not be available. This is where ham radio comes in. Ham radio, also known as amateur radio, is popular among preppers for its ability to provide long-range communication without relying on infrastructure.

What is Ham Radio?

Ham radio is a hobby that allows individuals to communicate with each other using designated radio frequencies. It operates non-commercially, and licensed operators can use various frequencies to transmit and receive messages. In emergencies, ham radio operators can play a vital role in communicating when other methods fail.

Choosing the Right Frequencies

When it comes to prepping, choosing the correct frequencies for your ham radio is essential. Here are a few options to consider:

1. VHF and UHF Frequencies

VHF (Very High Frequency) and UHF (Ultra High Frequency) frequencies are commonly used by ham radio operators. These frequencies are ideal for short to medium-range communication, making them suitable for local and regional emergencies. The most popular VHF frequency for preppers is 146.520 MHz, also known as the National Simplex Calling Frequency.

2. HF Frequencies

HF (High Frequency) frequencies are ideal for long-range communication. They can bounce off the Earth’s ionosphere, allowing for communication over hundreds or even thousands of miles. The most commonly used HF frequencies for preppers are the 40-meter band (7.200 – 7.300 MHz) and the 80-meter band (3.500 – 4.000 MHz).

3. Digital Modes

In addition to traditional voice communication, ham radio operators can use digital modes to send messages. Digital modes such as PSK31, FT8, and JS8Call allow for more efficient and reliable communication, especially in poor propagation conditions. These modes can be used on various frequencies, so you must familiarize yourself with the specific frequencies used for each mode.

4. Local Repeaters

Another option for preppers is to utilize local repeaters. Repeaters are devices that receive a signal on one frequency and retransmit it on another, effectively extending the range of communication. Many repeaters have backup power sources, making them useful during power outages or other emergencies. Check with your local ham radio club or online resources to find repeaters in your area.

5. Emergency Frequencies

In addition to the above frequencies, specific frequencies are designated for emergency communication. Various organizations monitor these frequencies, which can be used to request assistance or relay important information during emergencies. Some examples include the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Emergency Centre of Activity frequencies and the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) National Traffic System frequencies.


Access to reliable communication is essential for any prepper, and ham radio provides a versatile and effective solution. By choosing the correct frequencies and staying informed about emergency protocols, ham radio operators can play a crucial role in providing communication during times of crisis. Whether local or long-range, ham radio frequencies offer a reliable means of staying connected when other methods fail.

Related Post