Most of the HAMs are whackers
Day after day I find more hams who say they are so important because they are the ones who will run communications during emergencies when no one else can do. Unfortunately, they do not really know what is all about. Just think of it, for the moment when SHTF, that moment when all of the following things go down (to use a local example):
- The P25 trunking network
- The "main" P25 site that everyone is trained to use (in site trunking mode) if the core fails
- The backup conventional P25 repeaters, in case the core and that other site fail
- The old VHF network, that we kept around "just in case"
- The cellular networks
And obviously electric power for the whole city.
I am 100% sure, no ham will show up where he is really needed during an emergency like that. They will be a their homes or trying to manage the damage caused by a disaster at their own home. Just after they know every loved one, property, etc they have is safe a secure, they will try be on the radio asking for information about the disaster, just to know for their own. Next they will go out to find a place to show up, to be in the spot and feel important, usually distressed places where there is TV coverage with satellite uplinks, army and navy, etc. They will have no coordinated plan between them, usually no backup power further than the remaining battery on their cheap HT. They do not have a reliable backup power source for their HF radios. I bet they will not carry paper and pen, no raincoat, etc.
Honestly, if the authorities need you for communications, they will go after you, thats why they have your name and address, etc. And honestly, it would be more helpful if you can help them to have their systems up and running, than you passing a message to someone on another country passing your poor message to another ham in your country that might be on the coach. For example, Mexico have less than 2,000 hams, must of them have a cheap HT and no HF radio, no backup power and do not know how to program their own radio. It’s sad, it’s true.
If you want to really do something, invest on real comercial radios, reliable backup power, real local Professional repeaters with reliable backup power. Have a real traveling kit ready, so you can be deployed by the government when they recall your help, and previously have a real plan with local hams to work in an reliable manner with the required knowledge to handle communications.
Being able to deploy a profesional repeater on the authorities band can be more help full than you and your friend with and HT asking for power to charge its battery. That way you will be communicating hundreds of trained people and not only you and your friend.
Think about it...