Daily Point of Light # 2647 Mar 29, 2004

In a disaster or emergency, communications are critical! During an emergency, there are large increases in the volume of radio traffic per channel on public service radio systems and that means there is a waiting time to gain access to pass a message. Often there are equipment problems at key locations or the need arises for one agency to talk with another agency they normally do not talk to or radio systems are incompatible or they need an unattainable frequency or they may need to contact a location at a distance far beyond the range of their radio system. The first 72 hours of an emergency are the most important, as it can take so much time to get everything set up and working. It takes time to activate the mutual radio system.

The Tri-State Amateur Radio Club works with the Red Cross and Salvation Army and, during an emergency, sends hundreds of emergency radio telegrams for people in the affected area, to their family and friends – at no cost!

During an emergency, when the public radio system is overloaded, that is when there is the greatest need for information. This lack of information results in further attempted use of the telephone and cell phone system, which is already overloaded. The Tri-State Amateur Radio Club helps with all of these problems.

During an emergency, the organization’s volunteers meet a very important community need. They serve the whole community by demonstrating how effective amateur radio is and encouraging others to become involved so the next time there is an emergency they can handle it themselves. They give hands on training on the spot and as people become trained and licensed, they are better prepared to deal with the next emergency which gives them an even better connection to their community.