If you are thinking about getting into HAM Radio then you need to take a look at dcasler.com/ham-radio/training/. There is lots of information and videos. I am studying for the Technician’s license now. I know there are preppers out there at say, when SHTF no one is going to care if I have a license. While that may be true, if you want to put in any practice now, which everyone should do, it just makes sense to get the license. If you are concerned about the exam just pick up a copy of The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual and you will have everything you need.
To start out in HAM radio I recently purchased the BaoFeng BF-F8HP handheld radio. This one is hands down the best value on the market for preppers today. It does 8 watts output, whereas almost all other handhelds only offer 4 watts. It also comes with a larger battery to power that double output. We have been able to get in real world applications 3 miles in the city, almost 10 miles in hilly terrain, and I have heard it can get up to 25 miles from mountain top line of sight. It also covers two bands (136-174MHz VHF & 400-520MHz UHF) which is a must in my opinion.
For more information, check out The official site for the American Radio Relay League.