Category Archives: EMCOMM

Ready and Reliable – When All Else Fails

by Larry Gierer
Ledger-Enquirer, Columbus GA
When other means fail, ham radios get the message through

There might be a day when everything fails.

Telephone lines become spark-spewing snakes dancing on the pavement. Cell phone towers are reduced to tall, useless eyesores. Transformers boom like drums in Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

Everything becomes quiet, dark.

But not all would be lost in the storm.

“There will still be the ham radio operators,” Chance Corbett says.

Thank goodness for that.

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Governor is 1 of Maine’s 4,000 hams

by The Associated Press
Bangor Daily News

AUGUSTA – Just in case disaster strikes, the governor’s at the ready with his radio.

To other amateur radio operators, or hams, he’s KBI-NXP. To everyone else, he’s Maine Gov. John Baldacci.

Baldacci said he was inspired to go for his federal amateur radio operator’s license when he observed the important role hams could play in January 1998 when Maine was wracked by disaster.

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Ham Radio Operators Stand Ready – Just in Case

By Sarah AuBuchon
Suburban Journals –
St. Louis, MO

Picture this: A massive tornado touches down in Jefferson County, whipping its way through Cedar Hill, Hillsboro, Festus and Crystal City. Power lines are down for miles and cell phone towers crumble in its path. Police and fire departments radios are off the air. Jefferson County Emergency Services Director Brian Counsell declares a state of emergency.

Enter the amateur, or “ham,” radio operator.

Members of the Jefferson County Amateur Radio Club have developed a plan to aid emergency services in the event of a disaster.

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Ham Radio to Supplement Storm Communications

by Tim Donnelly
Beaufort Gazette,
Beaufort SC

While professional, state-of-the-art equipment will take center stage during the area’s recovery from a hurricane, an old hobbyist pastime just might come to the rescue if all else fails.

Hilton Head Island is joining a growing disaster preparation trend by installing amateur radios to use as a backup system if the multitude of other communications systems is knocked by a storm.

It’s the same system — ham radio — hobbyists around the world have used to talk to each other for almost 100 years. It’s also the same one that helped relay distress signals and emergency information during Hurricane Katrina and other disasters while other lines were down or jammed.

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Office of Emergency Management Deputizes Hams

Arlington OEM Deputizes Ham Radio Group to Assist with Emergency Communications
Feb 15, 2007 News Release
Government Technology Magazine online

Twenty-five volunteers have graduated from a year-long course of weekly radio communications exercises and stand ready to assist Arlington County Government with crisis communications and response.

The local Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) volunteers have received their RACES certificates of graduation from Arlington’s Office of Emergency Management. The certificates qualify them to help in emergency situations such as weather catastrophes and terrorist attacks.

Each graduate passed a County-authorized character/background check, attended emergency communications classes developed specifically for Arlington County volunteers and participated in regular weekly radio communications exercises managed by the OEM Emergency Support Function team. After more than fifty weeks of exercises, the group has achieved the first level of competence required. Additional training and exercises are required to maintain active Arlington RACES affiliation.

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Tenn. Emergency Crews Train w/ Ham Operators

WTVF News Channel 5

FRANKLIN, TN, Jan. 20, 2007 – What would happen if disaster hit Middle Tennessee and wiped out emergency radio communication?

It turns out many communities would rely on amateur radio operators.

When county radios and cell phones won’t work, battery-powered radios manned by ham or amateur radio operators would still be up and running.

A network of such operators would help deliver crucial information and get help where it’s needed. For example, after Hurricane Katrina made landfall along the Gulf Coast in 2005, some of the first calls for help came from ham radios.

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HAM Operators Practice for the Times they’re Needed

Saturday, January 6, 2007
By Curt Hodges
The Jonesboro Sun

JONESBORO — While the Internet, cell phones and other modern means of communications are the hot things today, amateur radio is still the old standby.

During disasters, when all electricity is gone, ham radio operators are still the first-line crew — after practicing for the time they will be needed.

They’re all volunteers, giving of their own time, equipment and other things, said Jack Richardson of Jonesboro, a longtime amateur radio operator and retired as Craighead County’s director of emergency services and preparedness.

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