Amateur "Ham" Radio Operators Show How Important They Are During Emergencies

by Marta Holmes June 26, 2017, 0:35
Amateur

"It helps the community in time of need even though we have cell phones and all the modern technology".

Atop a slight hill, they established a communications village with a network of antennas, aerials, transmitters and six two-way radio stations that were set up in portable screen tents, while humming generators and batteries provided necessary electric power.

"We demonstrate to the public the ability of ham radio operators to provide communications literally on a shoe-string budget and a make shift operation", Ed Berkowitz, club member said.

Several amateur radio operators in Maryland took part in a 24-hour national preparedness drill.

The event was held in Martinsburg, but there are hundreds across the nation.

It's also a contest of sort against other amateur (ham) radio operators. "The ham guys on microphones can't do that".

Amateur Radio is growing in the US.

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One member recalls a disaster when demonstrations like this one became reality.

He's been able to make contacts as far as Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Czaikowski said he's been a ham for 54 years and he sees more people becoming hams than 50 years ago.

Rocker has been operating ham radios for almost 40 years.

Josuweit says the operators serve at the call of local, state, and federal officials and routinely are called out in times of storms, flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.

"I call it real time texting or real time email", Alan Swinger, club member, said.

Amiable and outgoing, Christovich should know because over the years he's been in the hobby he has connected with hams in more than 200 countries.


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