The following information is from the Mt. Diablo Amateur Radio Club:
During the Mt. Diablo fire on September 8th fire crews bravely and tirelessly combed over step terrain to fight the Morgan fire near Clayton, California. It’s during emergencies like these that a number of emergency service groups operated by volunteers jump into action to help out however they can. One such group of citizens ready to do their part during any crisis are Amateur Radio operators or HAMs. Throughout the country, and in fact through out the World Amateur Radio operators offer a backup communication system unmatched by most modern day cellular networks. In an instant, messages can be communicated around the World at the push of a button.
While the fire on Mt. Diablo was burning, amateur radio operators working as members of RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) and SATERN (Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network) helped coordinate delivery of food, water, and other supplies to the brave men and women fighting the blaze. In other disasters around the country amateur radio operators have jumped in to setup communication networks even when local cellular and phone networks have failed. Radio is a communication medium that is always available and doesn’t rely on any service company to keep it running. News travels fast, and with HAMs it’s at the speed of light!
Amateur Radio clubs all over the Bay area offer training programs to help license anyone interested in becoming a HAM. Amateur Radio has attracted people from all walks of life over the years. Many people keep radios in just in case of an emergency to be able to communicate with loved ones, others use it to find new friends on the other side of the World. Amateur Radio can even be used to transmit television signals from your own home station.
One local radio club is working with the ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay League) to host the largest West coast gathering of Amateur Radio operators known as Pacificon this October. MDARC (Mt. Diablo Amateur Radio Club) has been partnering with ARRL to host Pacificon and bring Amateur Radio operators together for a weekend to educate, collaborate, and socialize face to face with vendors and other Amateur Radio operators under one roof. This year’s Pacificon is taking place in Santa Clara on October 11th, 12th, and 13th at the Marriott. If you’re interested in HAM Radio then this event should not be missed. For something a little more local MDARC has club meetings on the 3rd Friday of each month in Lafayette. You can find out more on how to become a HAM by going to their website at www.mdarc.org.