What I find amazing is the apparent ignorance of what Amateur Radio Operators have to do to get their license in the first place, or what the limitations are. Yes, hams are involved in emergency communications, but that has as much to do with situation awareness as anything else.
If you are interested in getting into amateur radio, go for it. The barrier to entry for the technician license is to correctly answer 25 questions out of 35 questions out of a pool of about 350 questions, and a nominal fee of less han $20 per exam attempt. If'n you're an overachiever, for that same fee, and learning of a few more questions, you can walk out having passed all three exams.
Granted there are limitations that might affect a few readers, affecting people with felony convictions, and such. And there's the minor issue of buying equipment. Quite a bit of low cost equipment in the VHF/UHF showing up on the market over the past couple of years, as that's the range of frequencies that China is happy to let it's Amateur Operators use, since it is pretty much a line of sight set of frequencies. If you want longer range comms, you're going to want to look for other deals, unless you've got cash burning a hole in your wallet.