It almost goes without saying that hurricane winds wreak havoc on power lines and make it harder to communicate — and that those damages often occur at precisely the same time when communications are critical.
When that happens, there are volunteers who stand ready to step in and help.
They’re called ham radio operators.
Volunteer amateur radio operators provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster or emergency — without the need for a cellphone or the internet.
Members of the East Pasco Amateur Radio Society recently took part in the national Amateur Radio Field Day, to demonstrate the ability of ham radios to work reliably, under almost any condition and from nearly any location.
The field day exercises were held over the weekend of June 25 and June 26, at the San Antonio Train Depot, 32700 Railroad Ave., in San Antonio.
The field day demonstrated how ham radios can be used to establish an independent communications network.
The East Pasco Amateur Radio Society is affiliated with Pasco County Emergency Management and many members of the group belong to the Amateur Radio Emergency Services. Some are certified in Pasco County’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
The Amateur Radio Emergency Services consists of FCC licensed amateur radio operators who are trained in emergency communications and voluntarily registered with their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in public service, when called upon or when a disaster strikes. It provides support as a reliable back-up system, if regular means of communications fail.
The Amateur Radio Emergency Services provides communications as public service to the federal, state and local governments, as well as nonprofit organizations.
For more information about the East Pasco Amateur Radio Society, visit EPARSonline.org.
Published July 13, 2022