Ham radio operators demonstrate emergency communications

Thousands of Ham Radio operators will be showing off their emergency capabilities this weekend.

Over the past year, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications in emergencies including the California wildfires, Oregon and Michigan storms, tornadoes and other events world-wide. During Hurricane Katrina, Amateur Radio – often called “Ham radio” - was often the only way people could communicate, and hundreds of volunteer “hams” traveled south to save lives and property.

On Saturday and Sunday, the public will have a chance to meet and talk with these ham radio operators and see for themselves what the Amateur Radio Service is about. Showing the newest digital and satellite capabilities, voice communications and even historical Morse code, hams from across the USA will be holding public demonstrations of emergency communications abilities.

This annual event, called Field Day, is the climax of the week long Amateur Radio Week sponsored by the ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio. In the Maryville, Alcoa and Blount County area, the Smoky Mountain Amateur Radio Club will be demonstrating Amateur Radio at Shorty’s Lake on Saturday June 28 and Sunday June 29. The public is invited to come and see ham radio’s new capabilities and learn how to get their own FCC radio license before the next disaster strikes.

To learn more about Amateur Radio, go to the Smoky Mountain Amateur Radio Club web site www.smokymountainarc.org

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