It's possible that OP is young and has come of age in an era when almost all forms of telecommunication are all dependent on a hardware backbone: fiber optic cables, a host of servers, an array of communication satellites, a cellular network, etc. Maybe he's not used to the notion of electromagnetic radiation freely propogating through space and bouncing off of layers of the atmosphere.
Just a thought. And if so, it is understandable.
That's what I'm thinking. I grew up on CB radio and scanners and eventually got my ham ticket. I have played with SW listening for decades. Many people have never had this type of exposure to the hobby. The basic workings of radio is still a mystery to them.
To answer the OPs question, after a major disaster or PAW event, tehre will likely still be plenty of radio communication. As one survival show on Discovery Channel pointed out, the equiptment and knowledge will not all be lost. As long as you have a source of power, AC or DC and a simple radio transmitter hooked up to a compatable antenna and someone fasions a similar receiver it will happen.
CB radios are very simple, low power, AM and Single Side Band transmitters in a shortwave band. Hook them to a 12volt power supply like a car batttery and a half decent antenna and you can transmit AND receive for days. Range may be local or atmospheric skip may send your signal for hundreds of miles. Batteries can easily be recharged and these radios can run for years. There are members of this forum which are still using CBs built back in the 1970s. It's a good bet that you will find Cb use increase after a disaster.
Ham radio has lots of flexability. The radios are freuency agile meaning that there are seldom any set 'channels' and the number of bands available gives you lots of room to find the optimum combination of freq and band conditions. Most of the radios can operate on vey low power which means batteries or generators aren't as taxed. Yet you have the option, if the supply is available, to operate at extreamly high power levels too. Different modes are also a big factor. CW, aka morse code, is still around and used by many hams. So are digital modes like PSK31 or even slow scan television. Don't forget phone, aka talking into a microphone. All of these modes are available as long as you have power without the need for repeaters or fiber optic cables or other support facilities. On the way to work this evening I spoke on my ham radio to a local ham friend who stayed up the night before making contacts via SSTV. Sitting at his home near Baton Rouge he pulled signals from France, Germany, Russia and Austrailia to name a few places.
After a major disaster there will be radio. Mankind will seek out others and make contact.
President/Founding member of Louisiana Open Carry Awareness League (LOCAL) http://www.laopencarry.org/