Public demo of emergency communications June 22-23
Despite the Internet, cellphones, email and modern communications, every year whole regions find themselves in the dark
Tornadoes, fires, storms, ice and even the occasional cutting of fiber optic cables leave people without the means to communicate. In these cases, the one consistent service that has never failed has been amateur radio.
These radio operators, often called “hams,” provide backup communications for everything from the American Red Cross to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and even for the International Space Station. Your community’s “hams” will join with thousands of other amateur radio operators, showing their emergency capabilities next weekend.
Over the past year, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications during unexpected emergencies in towns across America, including the California wildfires, winter storms, tornadoes and other events worldwide. When trouble is brewing, amateur radio’s people are often the first to provide rescuers with critical information and communications. On Friday and Saturday, the public will have a chance to meet and talk with local ham radio operators and see for themselves what the Amateur Radio Service is about as hams across the United States will be holding public demonstrations of emergency communications abilities.
This annual event, called “Field Day,” is the climax of the week-long “Amateur Radio Week” sponsored by the American Radio Relay League, the national association for amateur radio. Using only emergency power supplies, ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and backyards around the country. Their slogan, “When All Else Fails, Ham Radio Works,” is more than just words to the hams as they prove they can send messages in many forms without the use of phone systems, internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis. More than 35,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated in last year’s event.
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