Cape May Court House - Cape May County’s “hams” will join with thousands of Amateur Radio operators who will be showing off their emergency capabilities this weekend.
Over the past year, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications during unexpected emergencies in towns across America including the California wildfires, winter storms, tornadoes and other world-wide events. During Hurricane Katrina, Amateur Radio or “Ham Radio” was often the only way people could communicate and hundreds of volunteer “hams” traveled south to save lives and property.
Locally, the Amateur Radio Community of Cape May County is a communications back-up for emergencies in the County. Frank McCall, Emergency Management Director for Cape May County said, “ The radios are portable and can be used at any location. In Cape May County there are approximately fifty volunteers in the HAM Radio Community that are available to help when emergencies occur”.
On June 25th and 26th, the public will have a chance to meet and talk with Cape May County’s ham radio operators and see for themselves what Amateur Radio Service is about. Showing the newest digital and satellite capabilities, voice communications and even historical Morse code, hams from across the United States will be holding public demonstrations of emergency communications abilities.
This annual “Field Day” is the climax of the week long “Amateur Radio Week” sponsored by the ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio. Using only emergency power supplies, ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and backyards around the country. Their slogan, “When all else fails, ham radio works” are more than just words to the hams, as they prove they can send messages in many forms without the use of phone systems, Internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis. Also, the Field Day Operation includes a contest for the most radio contacts in a 24-hour span using voice communications and Morse code.
In Cape May County, the event will be held at the 4-H Fair Grounds located at 355 Court House-South Dennis Road from 2 p.m. on June 25th until 2 p.m. on June 26th. The event is open to the public and all are welcome to come and see what Ham Radio is all about.
More than 35,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated in last year’s event.