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David Thorson

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If you're a ham radio operator and have time on your hands, you might consider volunteering for Public Service, it is one of the most worth while things you could ever do. Volunteering for Disaster and Emergencies would mean doing some training but you easily be instrumental in getting people rescued from a flood or organising a rescue team to dig people out of a collapsed building. Why waste your talents? It could change your whole life.

Unlike commercial systems Amateur Radio is not dependant on terrestrial facilities that can fail, such as cell phone sites that can be overloaded, Electricity, Telephone and Water.

Amateur radio operators can use hundreds of frequencies and can quickly establish networks tying different agencies together to improve their operations. Radio hams are resourceful people and can improvise antennas as well as power sources and happily most of today's equipment can be powered by an ordinary car battery.

Examples this century are the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in Manhattan in 2001. Next came the North American Blackout in 2003 when ham operators passed emergency communications throughout the blackout. On September 2 2004 ham radio was again used to update weather forecasters with information on Hurricane Frances live from the Bahamas and on December 26 of the same year an earthquake and the resulting tsunami across the Indian Ocean wiped out all communications with the Andemon Islands, except that is for the DX-pedition that provided a means to coordinate relief efforts. During Hurricane Katrina radio hams were used to coordinate disaster relief activities when all other systems failed; this was the largest disaster response by US amateur radio operators ever. When Katrina first made landfall it was as a Category 1 hurricane as it went through Miami, Florida on August 25, eventually strengthening to Category 5, more than 1000 amateur operators from all over the US converged on the Gulf Coast in an effort to provide emergency communications assistance. Congressional hearings have since highlighted the Amateur Radio response as one of the few examples of things that went right in the disaster relief effort.

More recently Amateur Radio Operators in the Peoples Republic of China provided emergency communications after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake and the US did the same following Hurricane Ike.

Every ham has some emergency communications capability and those who are particularly interested in Public Service usually associate with an organised group for disaster training, emergency skills and quick mobilisation.

One thing you may be interested in is the ARRL Field Organisation, this divides the US into 71 administration sections Many consist of a single state but a few really large states ie. California and Texas are divided into two or more sections.

The membership in each section elects a System Manager every two years, their job is to recruit ARRL volunteers to staff eight crucial programmes, emergency communications, volunteer training, message traffic, support of affiliate clubs, government liaison, RFI problem solving, encouragement of technical activities and publishing on-air bulletins.

You don't need to be strong or fantastically fit, but you and your radio can still make a difference. There's a place for everybody. You can get a form from the ARRL website.

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If you would like to learn more about CB radio or 10 meter radio you can visit us at ThorsCBradio.com. 10 meter radio has become more popular because they offer greater power than a traditional CB radio
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MLA Style Citation:
Thorson, David "Amateur Radio in Disaster and Emergency Situations.." Amateur Radio in Disaster and Emergency Situations.. 28 Nov. 2011 Isnare.com. 24 Aug. 2017 <https://www.isnare.com/?aid=642440&ca=Short+Stories>.
APA Style Citation:
Thorson, David (2011, November 28). Amateur Radio in Disaster and Emergency Situations.. Retrieved August 24, 2017, from https://www.isnare.com/?aid=642440&ca=Short+Stories
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