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Ham radio operators ready to help with hurricane

Hartford

Amateur operator at Oak Island near Cape Fear North Carolina recently report a sustained with off 68 miles an hour,” could be heard coming out of a speaker at W1AW.

That’s the Ham radio station run by the ARRL, American Radio Relay League. Station manager Joe Carcia stays tuned into the Hurricane Watch Net frequency.

“They keep it clear normally just in case somebody in the affected area says oh my gosh I need help I need help,” explained Carcia.

He’s at the ARRL’s national headquarters in Newington but around the country there are 730,000 licensed amateur radio operators.

“It’s people who love public service they want to give back,” said David Isgur, the spokesperson for the American Radio Relay League.

The ham radio operators are well trained volunteers who assist local and federal agencies responding to emergencies like the Hurricane in the Carolinas.

“There are operators who can bounce signals off satellites and send them back so if you are skilled as an operator you know how to get your message out,” said Isgur.

And that comes in handy when you’re dealing with treacherous conditions. 

In order to help keep the lines of communication open the ARRL sent down Ham aid kits to South Carolina and Virginia earlier this week. They allow the folks down south to set up mobile communication stations.

They were sent to the emergency operations center in each state and can be deployed where needed.

“Sometimes that’s setting up at a shelter so then that shelter can then communicate it’s needs back to the operations center,” said Isgur.

Ham operators can also relay safe and wellness messages for those worried about loved ones when other communication lines like cell phones are down. 

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