You are correct, sir. According to Wikipedia Sirius satellites are currently all in highly elliptical orbits which make reception difficult in some parts of the States. "...Sirius intends to launch a geostationary satellite to improve service..." at some point in the future.you'd think they would all be geosychronous, yet the Sirius must point Northerly, they must have a satellite in non-geo sych. orbit..?
When it really goes bad and all the local stations are out or on low power only, IMHO, my big old GE Super radio is the one. Cheap and does the job on D cells. You really want good AM reception, good intelligible sound reproduction, and long lasting battery use. FM range is limited even in a non-emergency. Like with everything these days, YMMV
Be cautious with earth grounds and external antennas. I hadn't mentioned grounds before because a decent earth ground is a 6' to 8' copper rod driven into moist soil. Most people won't bother. By using an earth ground and especially an outdoor antenna you bring the danger of lightning into the equation. ALWAYS disconnect an external antenna from the radio, and preferably ground the antenna to earth before lightning gets close. How close? If you can hear even the faintest rumble of thunder, lightning is close and dangerous.
A few years ago there was an article in a communications magazine about a radio enthusiast who said he should have known better than to leave the extrenal (outdoor) antenna attached to the radio any other time than when he was actually listening but he paid the price of a destroyed radio and a damaged electrical system. He was not seriously injured. His lapse in judgement was partly due to the fact that it was in January, not a real popular month for lightning in northern climates. Yep, lightning can strike at any time so leave the antenna disconnected and grounded to earth unless you are actually using the radio. He also mentioned that an antenna switch set to "ground" was not enough. Disconnect and ground.