We all get the questions from time to time about why we do Amateur Radio. There are lots of good answers and 101 ways to enjoy the hobby. One big one, that always stands out is, Emergency Communications.
It can be surprising how often you do need an alternate form of communication. Just two weeks ago we lost land lines, cell and Internet down in Gateway. It lasted almost 6 hours. Luckily there was no emergency but it still came in handy for me, working from home. I just turned on the HF rig, fired up Winlink and sent an email to a couple of people I work with that my Internet was down and I would follow up with them when it returned. So at least they don’t think I am ignoring them. But if a family member or a neighbor was injured, I could get help. No one else down here has that ability.
Then today, you see another example. “Hurricane Ida lashes Louisiana, knocks out New Orleans power”
How about this Notice on Twitter form the Orleans Parish in Louisiana:
Our local emergency services do their best to have a rugged and stable line of communications. No matter what we do, there is something that can bring that down. Even then you still hear “The cell towers stayed up and working but you couldn’t call anyone.” That is because they were over loaded and emergency calls get priority on all cell towers. So the Fire Department might always be able to use the cell tower but you cannot.
So remind anyone that questions the use of Ham Radio as anything other than a hobby. That way when the systems are down, they know who’s house to drive to so they can still call for help or contact loved ones!
Be safe. Be Ready. Be an Amateur Radio Operator.
73, John, WJ0NF