Radio Operators Prepare for Disaster

Friday, June 26th 2009, 5:44 pm
By: News On 6

Chris Howell

TULSA---Amateur radio operators all across the United States will practice emergency communications Saturday to simulate their response to a disaster. When emergency situations arise, teams of ham operators work with organizations such as the Red Cross to insure communications should other methods fail.

‘One of the first things we see whenever there's a large-scale disaster is communications go down,' said Jim Danforth, a member of the Red Cross Ham Radio Emergency Response Team, ‘when communications go down you can't  get the help you need, you can't get the resources you need.'

Danforth and volunteers from many ham radio clubs helped the Red Cross during the Bartlesville floods and during hurricane Katrina. He says practice sessions like to one this weekend provide invaluable experience for the inevitable real catastrophes.

‘This gives us an opportunity to see just how far we can reach, kind of refine our gear to make sure it's truly ready to go when we need it,' said Jim, ‘we always want to be ready so when everything else fails we're ready to go.'

For more information on the Amateur Radio Relay League field day visit the ARRL event website.