I'm sorry that I missed the discussion at Sunday's meeting pertaining to prepping and communications for increasingly challenging times ahead.
The YouTube channel CanadianPrepper does deep dives on a wide variety subjects, and he's particularly good on food dehydration. He is not on board with the plandemic narrative, and I don't believe that complex geo-political analysis is his strength, but certainly gear reviews and preparedness considerations are squarely in his wheelhouse.
Vermont Ham Radio Ops is an open facebook group monitored by some of the more active HAM radio enthusiasts in the state. They are a wealth of information. These operators maintain our VHF repeater network. For neophytes- VHF (Very High Frequency) is a bandwidth that is commonly used for handheld and vehicular radio communications. Its range, point to point, is limited to a few miles depending on antenna size, terrain, and power output, however the strength of VHF is that handhelds can be setup to work with a repeater. Repeaters GREATLY extend the range of handheld devices, and can even be connected to the internet to allow for global communication through a handheld radio. In a grid down scenario, the repeaters will still function on backup power for a period of time and in an extended emergency, individuals in the HAM community would make an effort to keep these repeaters operational. Emergency repeaters can be created Ad-hoc. The Lincoln Peak repeater covers much of Northern/Central Vermont. Online there are regional tables listing these repeaters and the necessary information needed to program them into your device. On using devices-- a License is required to broadcast on HAM radio frequencies. After passing your exam, you will receive a call number- mine is KC1FDP. You end your transmission with your call sign. To obtain a license you need to study from a manual and pass a multiple choice test. At one point learning morse code was required but this is no longer a requirement. The test questions and answers are all available to study. Tests are administered by HAM clubs. If you are interested I would reach out on the facebook group.
On what to buy- there is a Chinese company called Baofeng that makes a very cheap but perfectly serviceable handheld unit. It's a pretty low cost of entry to get a couple handhelds that would be useful for an emergency. Anybody can buy one. Anybody can listen/scan radio without a license. to Legally transmit you must have a license. IN AN EMERGENCY- IE rule of law no longer applies, or it is a life or death situation, a license will not matter. I recommend getting a license if any of this is interesting to you. https://www.amazon.com/Baofeng-UV-5R-136-174-400-480Mhz-1800mAh/dp/B074XPB313/ref=asc_df_B074XPB313/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=242015686760&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2831968620598352985&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9003088&hvtargid=pla-570582273961&psc=1