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+ Amateur Radio Emergency Communications By: Addison Verger.

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Presentation on theme: "+ Amateur Radio Emergency Communications By: Addison Verger."— Presentation transcript:

1 + Amateur Radio Emergency Communications By: Addison Verger

2 + Disaster Strikes When traditional forms of communication fail (wireline, cell phones, etc.), Amateur radio is often used Such crises include natural disasters (severe storms, etc.), tragedies (national crises), and public service events Hurricane Katrina September 11 attacks 2003 North American Blackout

3 + Amateur Radio Usefulness Amateur radio is not as dependent on “terrestrial facilities” (choke points) that can fail Amateur radio equipment can be powered more simply (automobile battery) Antennas and power sources can be easily improvised/set- up Operators are prepared for such events (annual field days) Hundreds of available frequencies to make communications

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5 + Organization In the United States, there are two major groups for organizing emergency amateur radio communications Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) Organization of amateur operators sponsored by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Register with local ARRL Emergency Coordinator Units are autonomous and operate locally Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) Standby replacement radio service regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Requires preregistration with a local civil defense organization

6 + ARES Activated before, during, and after an emergency Handles all emergency messages, including those between government emergency management officials May communicate with any amateur station

7 + RACES Almost never starts before an emergency, active only during the emergency and during the immediate aftermath (if government emergency management offices need communications support) Normally shut down shortly after emergency has cleared May communicate with: RACES station licensed to local civil defense organization Other RACES licensees Certain amateur stations registered with civil defense organizations Certain US government stations authorized by the responsible agency to communicate with RACES stations Stations in a service regulated by FCC (when authorized by FCC)

8 + RACES May transmit only messages related to: Impending danger to the public or affecting national defense during emergencies The immediate safety of individuals, the immediate protection of property, maintenance of law and order, alleviation of human suffering and need, and combating armed attack and sabotage The dissemination of information to the public from a local civil defense organization or other government or relief organization Communications during RACES drills

9 + Hurricane Katrina The largest disaster response by U.S. amateur radio operators Coordinated by the ARRL, some 1000 Amateur Radio volunteers served in hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast communities and at evacuee centers there and in other states Hams in the Gulf Coast region, among out of state volunteers, provided emergency communications while other systems were being repaired Hundreds more aided right from their homes by relaying messages to families around the country (informing families about people trapped in the area)

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11 + Hurricane Katrina As early as the Monday following the storm, hams throughout the hurricane zone were putting emergency stations on the air, including: WX4NHC, the amateur radio station at the National Hurricane Center, the Hurricane Watch Net, the Waterway Net, Skywarn, and the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) The rescue of 15 people stranded by floodwaters on the roof of a house in New Orleans was facilitated by ham radios Using that Red Cross chapter’s amateur radio station, Ben Joplin, WB5VST, was able to relay a request for help on the SATERN network via Russ Fillinger, W7LXR, in Oregon, and Rick Cain, W7KB, in Utah back to Louisiana, where emergency personnel were alerted

12 + Hurricane Katrina Communications: High Frequency (HF) amateur radio stations were set up in various towns to communicate out of the area to Montgomery and the outside world A communications network connecting every Red Cross facility in a town on a local short range radio frequency was also set up The network included fixed and mobile disaster vehicle stations Congressional hearings highlighted the Amateur Radio response as one of the few examples of what went right in the disaster relief effort Brought up further discussion on future of ham (threat of broadband over power lines interference)

13 + REFERENCES radio-triumphs radio-triumphs cience-wireless/t/ham-radio-operators-rescue-after- katrina/#.UWx8YY7bF0o cience-wireless/t/ham-radio-operators-rescue-after- katrina/#.UWx8YY7bF0o communications/hurricane-katrina.htm communications/hurricane-katrina.htm


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