If you are what you consider a serious prepper and for communications you purchased a handheld "Ham" radio, I'm sorry to say you got taken. As I have explained in prior articles, and in the video here, those radios are great for local communications on a whole bunch of frequencies, but they are useless for long distance. Most handhelds, including the cheap and common Boefeng UV-5V, transmit UHF and VHF signals. Neither of them will bounce around the globe like traditional "Ham Radio" signals in the HF range.
The problem with real Ham radios is that they are expensive if you want power and flexibility. Please check out my prior articles for some advice on 100 watt hybrid tube/solid state radios, and lower wattage multiband radios. In general it is tough to get under a $400-$500 investment, including the antenna for multiband.