Amateur Radio Society to Show Off Kent Emergency Role

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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 for the International Space Station. Kent County’s “hams” will join with thousands of other Amateur Radio operators showing their emergency capabilities yet again this year.

For over 100 years, Amateur Radio — sometimes called ham radio — has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, as well as provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet. Field Day demonstrates ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent communications network. Over 45,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated in last year’s event.

The Kent Amateur Radio Society (KARS) will be demonstrating Amateur Radio and their support for Kent’s Office of Emergency Management at Worton Park on June 27 – 28. They invite the public to come and see ham radio’s new capabilities and learn how to get their own FCC radio license before the next disaster strikes. Anyone may become a licensed Amateur Radio operator. There are over 725,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 5 and as old as 100.

The KARS Field Day site will be located next to the football field in the middle of the park. Visitors can park in the parking lot across from the tennis courts, near where Worton Drive meets the park loop. Setup begins early in the morning and official on-air operation times are the 24 hour period between 2PM Saturday and 2PM Sunday, which is the recommended time for visitation so visitors can see Amateur Radio in action. For more information, email Bobby Kelley Jr. at n3wgc@k3ars.org. To learn more about Amateur Radio, go to www.emergency-radio.org.

To learn more about Field Day, go to www.arrl.org/what-is-ham-radio. The public is most cordially invited to come, meet and talk with the hams and see what modern Amateur Radio can do. They can even help you get on the air!

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