Ottumwa Amateur Radio Club makes contact

The historic district was not immune to the crashes

Amateur radio, sometimes known as ham radio, is an interesting way of communication because it can reach great distances without the use of the internet or phones.

Howard Thompson, with the Germantown Fire Department explained.

"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. "We've seen it go down on several occasions, and the radio operators can perform their duties without any of the modern conveniences around".

"The exercise [is] where ham radio groups all over the country set up temporary stations and facilities like this", said Randy Robinson, the field day chairman. More than 35,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated in last year's event.

Licensed Ham Radio public relations officer Melanie Reap said one of the missions of the club is to provide communication during emergencies and promote interaction with the general public.

"The commercial communications tend to fail during an acute disaster like that", Rocker said, "Ham radio will always work". "We're only missing a few section in Canada and they're not the heavily populated ones", said Hawk. Whitley County "hams" will join with thousands of other Amateur Radio operators showing their emergency capabilities the weekend of June 24-25. Operators must also give the number of radios at the station as well the power source for those radios.

The practice is a hobby that could be used should other means of communication be impacted during a disaster. There are now over 700,000 Amateur Radio licensees in the USA, and more than 2.5 million around the world.

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