Q- What do you do when the power goes out?
A- Light candles, hurricane lamps, camp lanterns, dig out flashlights,...
Q- What do you do when the heat goes out?
A- Pull out all those extra blankets and emergency space blankets and extra coats and clothing.
Q- What do you do when the weather turns bad?
A- Store up food and water so you aren't bombarding the store for bread & milk.
Q- What do you do when all phone lines go down and cell phone service no longer works?
This actually is a situation faced in our recent history. Think back to hurricane Katrina and the devastation from that event. Think to even nearer history as Haiti suffered similar devastation. You can prepare for some things, and indeed we do try, .... but how do you prepare for communication outages?
True enough, its the "nerdy" people who get involved with ham radio because they are the ones interested and actually GOOD at taking apart and reassembling electrical components that become a communication device. They are the ones with a technical creativity to build units that carry our voices all over the world and even up into space. When those horrific disasters strike and there are no phones available, ham radio operators are the ones who get the word to relief agencies nationwide that come to our aid.
Studying and becoming an amateur radio operator is not difficult at all. I just did it myself and I am SERIOUSLY not gifted with this talent! Start by going to QRZ.com and click on Main Menu at the top. Then choose the practice amateur radio exam and choose technician. Go from test to test and practice. You'll learn the answers and be prepared to take the licensing exam just from doing that. Now to be GOOD at it and to be able to do something with that license, you'll want to get in touch with local hams who are always communicating with each other anyway. They are all over the place and not difficult to find. They are kind people who help without expectation of payment or reward, and they will help YOU become the very same! These are the people who assist emergency personnel, weather reporters, accidents, and much more. They practice regularly and they experiment with new options all the time.
If you are not a radio operator, and if you don't personally know someone who is,..... who will be helping YOU communicate if all else DOES fail?