press center
COMMUNICATION DURING DISASTERS — Orange County volunteers hone their skills Jan 11, 2023

Although the 2022 hurricane season is long gone, the static and crackle sounds never stop, say area ham radio operators who are frequently the only means of communication in times of crisis.

Members of the Orange Area Radio Club and Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) continue to hold regular monthly meetings, hold Field Day exercises and educate the public on who they are and what they do.

“Hams have a long history of serving our communities when storms or other disasters damage critical communication infrastructure, including cell towers,” said Mike Manshack, Orange resident and assistant ARES coordinator.

“Ham radio functions completely independent of the internet and phone systems, and a station can be set up almost anywhere in minutes.”

For example, a ham radio operator can quickly raise a wire antenna in a tree or mast, connect to others with a NOAA radio and be able to communicate effectively, said Manshack, who is a member of the recreational group and ARES.

The emergency service group is composed of those who have voluntarily registered their equipment and call sign to keep others informed during hurricanes or other disasters as opposed to recreational radio operators.

“ARES radio operators were dispatched to the shelters to assist with shelter communications and provide auxiliary communication for the Red Cross.”

“During Hurricane Rita, ARES radio operators at the Orange Red Cross provided radio e-mail during power and communication outages,” the Orangefield resident said. “Using radio e-mail on the Winlink System, e-mail messages were sent by radio outside the affected areas to request supplies, fuel and provide situation reports.”

Orange County Judge John Gothia said that even with the $14 million spent in the last several years on improving communications among cities, school districts and residents during disasters, ham radio operators are always there to help.

Leave A Message

Leave A Message
If you are interested in our products and want to know more details,please leave a message here,we will reply you as soon as we can.