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Emergency Communications

In times of crisis and natural disasters, amateur radio is often used as a means of emergency communication when wireline, cell phones and other conventional means of communications fail. ... It is dispersed throughout a community without "choke points" such as cellular telephone sites that can be overloaded.

One of the real uses of Ham Radio is to assist with emergencies. There are organizations that specifically deal with this aspect of ham radio.

Here is what the ARRL has to say about Emergency Communications and about ARES

They also discuss training Here

Then Wikipedia has good info Here

The Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) is a standby radio service provided for in Part 97.407 of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules and regulations governing amateur radio in the United States. Here are a few links to RACES info

Wikipedia info about Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service

Here is a description: RACES volunteer operators are: Licensed Radio Amateurs Certified by a civil defense agency Able to communicate on Amateur Radio frequencies during drills, exercises and emergencies Activated by local, county and state jurisdictions and are the only Amateur Radio operators authorized to transmit during declared emergencies when the President of the United States specifically invokes the War Powers Act.

You can see the FCC Part 97 Here

Another RACES site Here

Closely related is ARES. Info Here from Wikipedia

Emergency preparedness from a Counterintelligence Agent has a ton of good information. Heading is "How to communicate when the world goes silent". Sub headings: CB radio for emergency comms, How good are satellite phones in an emergency?, GMRS/FRS/MURS radios, Amateur radio (ham radio): the best emergency communication system (with common frequencies used in emergencies), Using stealth to operate an amateur radio, The Foxhole Radio, Crystal Radios, Homemade AM transmitter, and lastly The spark-gap transmitter.

Here are some great stories about how Ham Radio is being used in emergencies
Amateur Radio’s Force of Fifty Answers the Red Cross Call in Puerto Rico
A CNN story Ham radio operators are saving Puerto Rico one transmission at a time
Another ARRL story Amateur Radio Volunteers Aiding Storm-Ravaged Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands

Amazon has a paperback book called Personal Emergency Communications: Staying in Touch Post-Disaster: Technology, Gear and Planning

The Oakland County Amateur Radio Public Service Corps can be found Here

REACT International Do you have an interest in helping your community? Then REACT is for you. Find out more today! The About page says REACT International, Inc. (REACT) – consists of Teams of Skilled Communications Volunteers – is a non-profit registered 501(c)3 organization. REACT has been monitoring the airwaves since 1962, and since its inception REACT volunteers have been providing a wide range of radio related services to the public. More information on Wikipedia

For lots of videos about using Ham Radio for Emergency Communication go to Youtube and search for "emergency communications ham radio"

Here is a good article from CNN

Another from ARRL read how Hams “Could Save Our Lives” in a Disaster

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