When all of us were forced to switch from analog to digital TV reception, we were slow at my household to get set up for it. Because we live in a mobile home, we have to use an outdoor antenna. Satellite and cable are off the table due to budget constraints.
Personally, I wouldn’t care if TV went away altogether, but I have to accommodate the wishes of others who live here. I don’t like the signal dropouts, which I understand many experience even in town in locations near TV stations.
I was talking with Jim, a friend I haven’t spoken to for a while. He lives in a rural area as I do, and he brought up something I hadn’t considered.
Jim has a large TV antenna on his roof, which he’s had for years. It’s not one of those small squares or rectangles. He says digital TV reception is spotty at times, even with the use of his antenna rotor to fine tune reception.
It’s especially troublesome when it rains or storms. He believes people are going to have to get their weather information, such as the local radar picture, from the Internet or radio. In his case radio would include monitoring the local ham radio club’s repeater for weather spotter reports. So much for TV stations and their highly touted weather coverage.
As a ham radio operator myself, like Jim, I can monitor the local ham net when there’s severe weather. It’s an excellent way to get up to date reports before the local media know anything.
As for radar images from the Internet, I don’t know how it is for you, but when there’s lightning nearby, I unplug my computer and the wireless router. I don’t want to take chances, knowing that lightning has ruined a friend’s equipment a couple of times.
Don’t think your cell phone will be the ultimate answer either. Technology is great when it works like it’s supposed to, but it may not always be readily available when severe storms blow through.
The point is that it’s important to have a good battery operated weather radio on hand. If possible, get one with the alert feature. Some of the companies featured in the DestinySurvival Prep Mart offer emergency radios with weather band capability.
Severe storms and tornadoes can pop up quickly. If off-the-air digital TV won’t be dependable, use resources that are. It could save your life.