Thousands of Ham Radio operators will be showing off their emergency capabilities this weekend. Over the past year, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications in emergencies including the California wildfires, Oregon and Michigan storms, tornadoes and other events world-wide. During Hurricane people Katrina, Amateur Radio – often called “Ham radio” – was often the ONLY way could communicate, and hundreds of volunteer “hams” traveled south to save lives and property. When trouble is brewing, ham radio people are often the first to provide critical information and communications. On the weekend of June 23-24, the public will have a chance to meet and talk with these ham radio operators and see for themselves what the Amateur Radio Service is about. Showing the newest digital and satellite capabilities, voice communications and even historical Morse code, hams from across the USA 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 ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio. Using only emergency power supplies, ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and back yards around the country. Their slogan, “Ham radio works when other systems don’t! ” 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 30,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated in last year’s event.
In the Orange area, the Orange Amateur Radio Club will be demonstrating Amateur Radio at the American Red Cross 3901 IH10 June 23-24. It’s a 24 hour event, starting at noon on June 23 and running through noon June 24. They invite the public to come and see ham radio’s new capabilities and learn how to get their own FCC radio license before the next disaster strikes.
To learn more about Amateur Radio, go to www.emergency-radio.org. The public is most cordially invited to come, meet and talk with the hams. See what modern Amateur Radio can do. They can even help you get on the air! Check out www.qsl.net/w5nd for club information or Rocky Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.