35,000 HAM Radio Operators Meet to Practice Emergency Drills

Salt Lake City, Utah – Recent disasters around the world are first-hand evidence that being prepared is not an option, in most cases it is clearly a prerequisite to survival. In virtually every disaster those impacted quickly learn that the only reliable means of communication is Ham Radio. And this has been the case with every disaster since the early part of the last century. Our instant communication and messaging mentality has conditioned us to believe that we can contact friends and loved ones as soon as a disaster strikes. But the reality is that our modern technologies are often times the first things to fail in a disaster.

Each year for one weekend in June over 35,000 Ham Radio operators in North America participate in an emergency drill to practice and demonstrate their abilities in providing emergency communications. The event, called Field Day, happens this year on June 25-26 and for Hams is the single most exciting activity of the year.

On this weekend Hams will set up emergency operations in remote locations throughout the United States and Canada. They do this for three reasons, 1) to practice emergency procedures, 2) to enter a nationwide contest associated with the event to see who can make the most contacts, and 3) it’s a great excuse to go camping, play with radios, eat great food, and have a lot of fun!

Last year the Utah DX Association, a club with about 100 members, placed second in its category and eighth overall out of over 2600 entries.

There are almost 700,000 Amateur Radio operators in the US, and morethan 2.5 million around the world. Years ago most hams had a technical background. Today many hams joined the hobby as a way to prepare for emergencies, but in the mean time they have a lot of fun talking to people around the world. In fact, entire families have joined the ranks so that during an emergency they would have a dependable method to communicate.

The slogan for the Ham Radio hobby is, “Ham radio works when other systems don’t!” And on June 25-26 a lot of Utah hams will be out to prove that slogan correct!

For more information contact: Richard L. Williams, UDXA Public Information Officer (801) 942-0300 or vleadership@earthlink.net.

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