Ham radio operators test emergency communications

Fun and games – but braced for catastrophe – with HAM radio operators in Pointe-Claire

Fun and games – but braced for catastrophe – with HAM radio operators in Pointe-Claire

"If you lost cell phone communication, if you lost the ability even to charge your cell phone and you wouldn't have communication, ham radio has a separate infrastructure that it can use to provide communications anywhere, anytime", he said.

They typically will use electrical power from generators, wind power, or solar power.

The event was held in Martinsburg, but there are hundreds across the nation. Through the ARRL's Amateur Radio Emergency Services program, ham volunteers provide both emergency communications for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies and non-emergency community services too, all for free. "The ham guys on microphones can't do that". Members of the North Augusta Belvedere Radio Club, which covers Aiken County, are participating in the exercise and taking shifts during the weekend.

That's the succinct message of local and area Ham Radio operators.

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

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Czaikowski said he's been a ham for 54 years and he sees more people becoming hams than 50 years ago. "They helped for months and for a time, it was the only way many people could communicate". "Ham radio is for making friends".

Christovich explained that while there is no disaster scenario for the drill, members are able to work on their communication skills as well as have a little fun. For Field day that information consists of the operators the state and section within that state.

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

Participants began at 2 p.m. Saturday and the exercise will conclude at 2 p.m. Sunday.

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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