National Association for Amateur Radio Focuses on CERT

Climate-controlled emergency shelter

Climate-controlled emergency shelter

The July 2015 newsletter of the ARRL, National Association for Amateur Radio, includes several articles highlighting CERT activities and partnerships with amateur radio club members. We appreciate Roberta Maddox for sharing this with us. Here is an excerpt from the newsletter editorial.

This issue of the ARES E-Letter has focused on the Citizen Corps/CERT program for good reason: we as radio amateurs are potentially critical links in the community and neighborhood disaster survival chain. During the immediate aftermath of a disaster, “first” responders will likely be overwhelmed and not available to assist you, your family and neighbors. Your neighborhood could be isolated for a period of time. You will be first responder, relying on your own interventions for survival, mitigation of, and adaptation to, disaster after-effects. The best approach to personal disaster management I’ve seen is the CERT program, and under its umbrella, the development of your own neighborhood emergency response team.

HAM Radio Class and License Test

Lenoir Amateur Radio Club members during annual Field Day

Lenoir Amateur Radio Club members during annual Field Day

Foothills Community Workshop  will be offering an Amateur Radio Technician level license class on three consecutive Saturdays, August 8, 15, and 22 from noon until 2pm.  With some additional on-line exercises, this class is intended to help prepare for the entry level Technician level Amateur Radio Exam.  This class is free and open to the public.

Topics include:

  • Rules and regulations
  • Station setup and operation
  • Operating procedures
  • Basic electronic  terms, components and calculations
  • Electromagnetic waves, bands, and modes
  • Propagation and antennas
  • Safety

The testing will tentatively (confirmation pending) be on Saturday, August 29 at noon and is available to anyone wishing to obtain or upgrade an Amateur Radio license.  The testing fee is $10.

See the FCW webpage for directions.

Contact Michelle, kd4ytu at 828-754-5002 or  for more details.

Amateur Radio (HAM) Field Day

Amateur Radio Holds

Public Demo of Emergency Communications – June 27 & 28

Lenoir NC June 20, 2014 – Despite the Internet, cell phones, email and modern communications, every year whole regions find themselves in the dark. Tornadoes, fires, storms, ice and even the 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. In Lenoir, these radio operators, called “hams”, provide emergency communications for the Caldwell County Emergency Operations Center, the American Red Cross, and others. The Lenoir Amateur Radio Club “hams” will join with over 50,000 other Amateur Radio operators showing their emergency capabilities at Field Day 2015 to be held at Redwood Park in Hudson NC. The event begins at 2:00 pm, Saturday June 27 and continues for 24 hours –through the night and wee hours of the morning—until 2:00 pm, Sunday June 28. The public is invited to come see ham radio’s capabilities and disaster readiness as well as have a first look at the Caldwell County emergency shelters.

Over the past year, the news  has been full  of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications during unexpected emergencies in towns across America, including the tornados in the mid-West and South, California wildfires, winter storms, and other events worldwide. When trouble is brewing, amateur radio operators are often the first to provide rescuers with critical information and communications. Their slogan, “When All Else Fails, Ham Radio Works” is more than just words to the hams as they prove they can send messages in many forms without the use of phone systems, Internet, electrical power, or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis.

“The fastest way to turn a crisis into a total disaster is to lose communications,” said Tanner Greer, President of the Lenoir Amateur Radio Club. “Our local hams work closely with Caldwell County Emergency Management to be ready to provide the most reliable communication networks in the first critical hours of an event. 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. All our support is free to the served agencies.”

In addition to emergency situations, the Lenoir Amateur Radio Club provides communications support for many local public events such as bike races, festivals, and run/walks.

Amateur Radio is growing in the US. There are now over 700,000 Amateur Radio licensees in the US, and more than 2.5 million around the world.  “It’s not just an old man’s hobby!” Entire families are getting their amateur radio licenses so that they will be able to communicate should an emergency event impact their community. Amateur radio skills transfer into employment in the electronics and communications workforce. Come out and get on the air with the help of a local ham and learn how to get your FCC radio license.