Or War, or Anarchy, or Natural Disaster. Instapundit is looking at the question and the idea (necessity really) of amateur radio comes up. Now two way communication is excellent. But just being able to listen is good too.
I like this radio:


It covers from 150 KHz to 29.999 MHz in 1 KHz steps (with fine tuning you can get as close as your fingers will allow – good for SSB [Single Side Band]). It can do that funny Amateur Radio stuff like CW (Morse Code) and SSB. Plus the FM band (88 to 108 MHz) And 100 presets. Very handy come the revolution.
I must say that if you want to tune around a band it is kinda clunky. Everything is buttons (except for fine tuning). It has a search function that is kinda iffy for weak signals. So you kind of have to step around if you are searching for weak station DX (distance in radio parlance). But if you want to listen to Radio Moscow at 11,720 KHz – no problem. Or the comrades say they are going to be at 7,251 KHz USB (upper sideband) – easy. A few keyboard entries and you are done.
The radio also has an alarm (several in fact) plus you can wake up to the radio or fall asleep to it.
BTW with modern wall warts (plug in power supplies) you need a strong local station to overcome the power supply noise. So if battery use is an issue get rechargeables (4 – AA cells). This one looks nice. And the price is decent.
Sony Cycle Energy Power Charger with 4 2500 mAh AA Batteries

You are also going to need an antenna. This one for quick field setup (one like it came with my radio) is nice:
Sangean ANT-60 Short Wave Antenna

A pretty nice radio if you want to keep up with what the comrades are up to without giving away your location with a transmission.
Cross Posted at Power and Control