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Review: Yaesu FT-60R vs BaoFeng BF-F8HP for new ham radio operators

Ham radio can be overwhelming, especially when you’re new and trying to pick your first (and maybe only) radio. I recently earned my Technician license, and I referred to The Prepared’s best handheld ham radios article for guidance. The guide recommends the Yaesu FT-60R as the main pick with the BaoFeng UV-5R as the budget pick. I wanted to dig deeper to figure out if the FT-60R is worth an extra $75-125 over a comparable BaoFeng radio for my needs. More: If you’re brand new to ham r

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My one experience of evacuation so far was in 1989, in the Loma Prieta earthquake, which was a big 7.1 quake that hit Northern California, quite near where I lived at the time. I was visiting a friend in the next town over from mine. The quake was followed by many, constant aftershocks (very unnerving because no one knew whether an even bigger quake was coming) but people had started to settle down, mostly outside their houses, when the authorities came around and told everyone to leave because of a possible coming tsunami, which never arrived. I must say that the evacuation itself was a mess in my location. The police and fire departments consistently created panic and confusion on the ground even when there was none to start with. But what I want to say is that the civilians divided pretty cleanly into two groups. One group became frantically self-centered. I saw a shopper at a local mini mart get into a grappling match with the cashier over the last set of batteries. I saw drivers lose their cool when they were delayed in getting through the traffic on a local street for even a minute. The other group became wonderfully cooperative and philanthropic.  People stopped their cars to help strangers on the street. One guy went around houses in the neighborhood turning off everyone’s gas. The second group really pulled together. It was wonderful. The first group is obviously dangerous. But that’s because they’re scared. It’s important as much as possible to stay out of their way and/or help them feel safer. Escalating conflict with them should be a last resort. The second group is golden. I think that people will be found within it who will be there for you. I imagine that if I had stayed in the area and wasn’t evacuated, some good disaster community building could have happened with them.

Redneck, why food that doesn’t require cooking? Living for two weeks on cold rations is pretty hard. I don’t really think being super stealthy is a viable strategy in my neck of the woods. It’s not like people aren’t going to realize that I and/or my neighbors are absent. I would think banding together would be a better strategy? But if there’s an evacuation, I’m absolutely going. I’m not going to be that person who dies because I thought I could defend myself from the fire, or whatever.  (But no, I doubt that I’m going to the country). Around here, wildfires have made evacuation a very real and unpredictable possibility every year now for about five years for all of us. It’s most dangerous in areas with a lot of foliage and/or few and narrow roads, but it could happen anywhere. Sheltering in place is not a possibility. I’ll tell you the incident that really pushed me into prepping seriously. Several years ago, in the middle of the first set of catastrophic fires up north, in the middle of windy, dangerous weather conditions, I looked out my window, in the middle of the night because a strange, quiet popping noise caught my attention. (Fortunately I stay up all night). What I saw was a car, parked across my two-lane street, extravagantly ablaze. I called 911, but to me it seemed that the building next to which the car was parked could have easily caught fire, especially with the winds. And then it didn’t seem too much to imagine that the fire could jump across the street to my house! It suddenly seemed a real possibility that I had to evacuate myself immediately. I had been sort of trying to prep for years, but never really felt like I had a good grip on what to do. It seemed like all the sites that offered advice were either dominated by crazy survivalists who loved to geek out on tech, or were run by well-meaning agencies that gave fairly vague instructions. So, I had some things here and there and some thoughts about what to do in an emergency, but at that moment I realized that I had absolutely no idea what to take, besides grabbing my dog and a bottle of water. After that I thought there MUST be some kind of Prepping for Dummies out there somewhere… and I found TP!


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My one experience of evacuation so far was in 1989, in the Loma Prieta earthquake, which was a big 7.1 quake that hit Northern California, quite near where I lived at the time. I was visiting a friend in the next town over from mine. The quake was followed by many, constant aftershocks (very unnerving because no one knew whether an even bigger quake was coming) but people had started to settle down, mostly outside their houses, when the authorities came around and told everyone to leave because of a possible coming tsunami, which never arrived. I must say that the evacuation itself was a mess in my location. The police and fire departments consistently created panic and confusion on the ground even when there was none to start with. But what I want to say is that the civilians divided pretty cleanly into two groups. One group became frantically self-centered. I saw a shopper at a local mini mart get into a grappling match with the cashier over the last set of batteries. I saw drivers lose their cool when they were delayed in getting through the traffic on a local street for even a minute. The other group became wonderfully cooperative and philanthropic.  People stopped their cars to help strangers on the street. One guy went around houses in the neighborhood turning off everyone’s gas. The second group really pulled together. It was wonderful. The first group is obviously dangerous. But that’s because they’re scared. It’s important as much as possible to stay out of their way and/or help them feel safer. Escalating conflict with them should be a last resort. The second group is golden. I think that people will be found within it who will be there for you. I imagine that if I had stayed in the area and wasn’t evacuated, some good disaster community building could have happened with them.

Redneck, why food that doesn’t require cooking? Living for two weeks on cold rations is pretty hard. I don’t really think being super stealthy is a viable strategy in my neck of the woods. It’s not like people aren’t going to realize that I and/or my neighbors are absent. I would think banding together would be a better strategy? But if there’s an evacuation, I’m absolutely going. I’m not going to be that person who dies because I thought I could defend myself from the fire, or whatever.  (But no, I doubt that I’m going to the country). Around here, wildfires have made evacuation a very real and unpredictable possibility every year now for about five years for all of us. It’s most dangerous in areas with a lot of foliage and/or few and narrow roads, but it could happen anywhere. Sheltering in place is not a possibility. I’ll tell you the incident that really pushed me into prepping seriously. Several years ago, in the middle of the first set of catastrophic fires up north, in the middle of windy, dangerous weather conditions, I looked out my window, in the middle of the night because a strange, quiet popping noise caught my attention. (Fortunately I stay up all night). What I saw was a car, parked across my two-lane street, extravagantly ablaze. I called 911, but to me it seemed that the building next to which the car was parked could have easily caught fire, especially with the winds. And then it didn’t seem too much to imagine that the fire could jump across the street to my house! It suddenly seemed a real possibility that I had to evacuate myself immediately. I had been sort of trying to prep for years, but never really felt like I had a good grip on what to do. It seemed like all the sites that offered advice were either dominated by crazy survivalists who loved to geek out on tech, or were run by well-meaning agencies that gave fairly vague instructions. So, I had some things here and there and some thoughts about what to do in an emergency, but at that moment I realized that I had absolutely no idea what to take, besides grabbing my dog and a bottle of water. After that I thought there MUST be some kind of Prepping for Dummies out there somewhere… and I found TP!


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