Radio Is There When You Need It
From its inception, radio has always been a reliable means of communication. The first broadcasts brought music that most people would otherwise never have heard into their homes to make their lives more rich and meaningful. Radio has been used in wartime and in peace, and as such, has impacted the lives of almost every person on the globe. Even in these days of internet communication, radio still has a place.
Radio was extremely new when World War I broke out, but even so, it was quickly deployed for use in the battlefield. Prior to this time, sending messages was problematic as such methods as signal flags, pigeons, and runners had to be used for communication on the battlefield. The telephone was still in its infancy and had little place on the field, but radio soon found a home there. Whereas messages ordinarily would take a certain amount of time to be delivered, and were dependent on the messenger actually reaching its target alive, information and instructions sent by radio could be delivered instantly.
World War II made even greater use of radio, and not only on the battleground. Relatives were able to follow the course of battle and troop movements back home. Radio was also used to provide entertainment for the troops and as a means of propaganda, and this last was definitely used by both sides in the conflict.
Before the advent of television, millions of people would gather around the radio in the evening to listen to a wide variety of programs. There were comedies and mysteries and educational programs besides concerts, theatre performances, and lectures. Many people bemoan the coming of television as those who listened to radio had to use their imaginations to flesh out the stories or skits they had tuned in to.
One of the most famous radio programs was the 1938 Halloween performance ‘War of the Worlds’. Although it was meant only as fiction, many people thought that it was an actual news broadcast. Some people evacuated the areas in which they lived and even thought that poison gas had been released near them. Although the station and H.G. Welles, who broadcast the event, came under heavy criticism, the storm blew over in time, especially as events in Europe were becoming more serious.
When serious disasters and emergencies occur, very often electric power will be lost. Our means of communication are basically dependent upon electricity, and once there is an outage, our computers, televisions, and most radios will not function. Battery powered or wind up radios, however, will always be there to provide needed information during a crisis. Not only are these radios valuable in the home, but they are also indispensible when hiking or camping in the wilderness, during an evacuation, or when sheltering in a safe room during a tornado.