Amateur radio operators gather for preparedness drill

Fun and games – but braced for catastrophe – with HAM radio operators in Pointe-Claire

"The objective of it is kind of a public relations event to introduce ham radio to the population at large, give people a change to see what it's all about and also to emphasize the emergency preparedness aspect of it", said Ray Rocker, president of the association.

They typically will use electrical power from generators, wind power, or solar power.

Amateur radio is an important tool, as people can often still use it to communicate when all else fails, according to Steven Czaikowski, who was stationed in the Morse code trailer.

Members of the Holmesburg Amateur Radio Club in the Philadelphia area prepare for their weekend Field Day exercise operation in Horsham.

The event was held in Martinsburg, but there are hundreds across the nation. "It's also a way to get the public out to show them what HAM radio is about and how some of these things work". "The ham guys on microphones can't do that".

About 30,000 ham radio operators from around the country are participating in the drill, Christovich said.

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Amateur Radio is growing in the US.

Rocker has been operating ham radios for almost 40 years. In order for a contact to be made there must be an exchange of information between operators. He believes one of the reasons is because it has become simpler to get a license, which is acquired by passing an examination.

Czaikowski said he's been a ham for 54 years and he sees more people becoming hams than 50 years ago.

Josuweit says the operators serve at the call of local, state, and federal officials and routinely are called out in times of storms, flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.

Field day wraps up Sunday at 1 p.m.

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