Porterville’s Radio Hams provides emergency demo to public

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The Porterville Amateur Repeater Association will be demonstrating Amateur Radio from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, at Veterans Park.
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. These radio operators, often called hams provide backup communications for everything from the American Red Cross to FEMA and even the International Space Station. Portervilles hams will join with thousands of other Amateur Radio operators showing their emergency capabilities.
We will be running off of emergency generators, said Glenn Ricketson of Porterville Radio Hams about the demonstration. While this is primarily in the United States, it is worldwide. The event is to show the public what ham radio is about about; show the difference between ham and CBs.
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 California wildfires, winter storms, tornadoes and other events worldwide. When trouble is brewing, Amateur Radios people are often the first to provide rescuers with critical information and communications.
On June 28, the public will have a chance to meet and talk with Portervilles Walkie talkie operators and see for themselves what the Amateur Radio Service is about as hams 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. Using only emergency power supplies, ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and backyards around the country. Their slogan, When all else fails, Walkie talkie 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 or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis. More than 35,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated in last years event.
The fastest way to turn a crisis into a total disaster is to lose communications, said Eddie Orosco, president of PARA. From the earthquake and tsunami in Japan to tornadoes in Missouri, ham radio provided the most reliable communication networks in the first critical hours of the events. Because ham radios are not dependent of the Internet, cell towers or other infrastructure, they work when nothing else is available. We need nothing between us but air.
For more information about Amateur Radio, visitwww.emergency-radio.org.

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