LIHUE – Despite the Internet, cell phones, email and modern communications, every year whole regions find themselves in the dark.
Tornadoes, fires, storms, ice and even occasional cutting of fiber optic cables leave people without the means to communicate.
In these cases, the one consistent service that has never failed has been amateur radio.
“The fastest way to turn a crisis into a total disaster is to lose communications” said Randy Blake, president of the Kauai Amateur Radio Club. “From the earthquake and tsunami in Japan to tornadoes in Missouri, ham radio provided the most reliable communications networks in the first critical hour of the events. Because ham radios are not dependent on the Internet, cell towers or other infrastructure, they work when nothing else is available. We need nothing between us, but air.”
Amateur radio is growing in the U.S. There are over 700,000 amateur radio licensees in the U.S., and more than 2.5 million around the world.
These radio operators, often called “hams,” provide backup communications for everything from the American Red Cross to FEMA and even for the International Space Station.
Your town’s “hams” will join with thousands of other Amateur Radio operators showing their emergency communications capabilities this weekend.
The public will have a chance to meet and talk with Kauai ham radio operators and see what the Amateur Radio Service is about as hams from across the U.S. will hold public demonstrations of emergency communications abilities.
In Lihue, the Kauai Amateur Radio Club will be demonstrating amateur radio at the Nawiliwili Yacht Club from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
There will also be a special workshop titled “An Introduction to Amateur Radio” at NYC from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The free workshop is primarily for the newly licensed amateur operators, but everyone is welcome.
Reservations to the workshop are required. Please contact Tad Miura at ZSSQ@Hotmail.Com to RSVP or for more information.
Info: www.arrl.org or www.kauaiarc.org