I would seriously keep in mind that most communications in a WWIII/SHTF scenario would be in the <25MHz bandwidth (1KHZ - 20KHz most likely)which is
commonly outside of the bandwidth of most scanners.
Most police frequencies are now digitally encrypted and cannot be listened to. Fire and ambulance services are either digital or soon to be, so many
of which cannot be listened to either.
Aircraft and Marine are all open frequencies, but most long range marine is in the bandwidth mentioned above and will require an appropriate
It might also pay to check out receiving weather satellite data as the satellites will(hopefully) be up and active in a WWIII scenario.
Also checkout collecting packet data via the scanner (POCSAG is a pretty good program from memory) for receiving pager messages. Most hospitals use
pagers and the info is broadcast wholesale in an unencrypted form. Some ambulance, fire & engineering services also use pagers and can be a good
source of info if the media is down (power out).
If money isn't a concern, you might want to consider getting your hands on an amateur radio(HAM) and a license).
Failing that I would recommend supplementing the scanner with a short-wave radio.
BTW the Uniden's also have specialist batteries (My BC3000XLT is around $50 for a generic replacement.) and will cost a pretty penny.
Sorry....just saw the newer models use standard batteries.
edit on 6/5/2012 by OccamAssassin because: (no reason given)