Ebay does have a lot to offer, handhelds, 12vdc models you can put in the car, or get a dc converter and use it in the house too.
I haven't bought a antenna yet! they are super easy to make.
you can buy used,but IMHO new is better.
as a new technician, you are limitet to 2 meteror 144-148 mhz, which is a lot for local comms.
if they are in your area( they usually are) you can hit a repeater that will carry your 2m signal farther.
you can even use the internet to broadcast.
Radio Shack used to be a good source of radios and accessories, if you are lucky,you have a ham store nearby, and they are always willing to help.
most of all, get the radio you can afford, and get talking, fellow hams have the best answers to questions.
the links above have a wealth of info.
I would suggest a handheld model, YAESU is a good brand, but a bit pricey.
to get started expect to pay about 100-150 startup, less if you go the used route.
i say you are limited to the 144-148 mhz. range, but if there is an immediate threat to human life, you are allowed to use any means necessary.
I also purchased bigger HF rasios to listen in until i upgrade my license. late at night is best, and depending on your antenna, you can here just about anywhere. and if the SHTF, toy will be able to communicate of there is an emergency on ALL bands.
ham is the way to go!
hope this helps you.
try out the practice questions, and the websites, google "ham radio" there ia tons of stuff .
pm me if you need any other info