An email from my kid’s school carried a suggestion from a parent that a satellite phone would be helpful in a natural disaster. It might be fine for contacting people outside of the affected area, but within the affected area, you are dependent on the local phone infrastructure, which has a strong likelihood of being out of commission. A handheld ham-radio doesn’t rely on anything external for communications, although it can optionally make use of repeaters.
Interleaved with kid-tending today, I fired up my Yaesu HT and listened to a local 2M repeater which was supporting the local marathon, complete with a net controller and tactical callsigns. After dinner, the repeater nets started coming alive, (first Sunday of the month is apparently a thing,) with checkins from all over the state and part of the neighboring state. I even heard there is an upcoming exercise that is attempting to simulate traffic flows generated from a 9.0 earthquake under field-day (no grid power) conditions. (I’d participate, but I need to get my license back first.)
As in my youth, all hams still seem to be at least a couple decades older than me, but maybe the demographics change in the digital modes, which I have yet to explore.
Or perhaps this is just another iteration on a passing hobby that my eye has currently focused on?