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Amateur radio operators, known as hams, from the Tri-County area will be gathering for their annual Field Day on Saturday and Sunday, June 23-24.
The theme for this year’s event sponsored by the American Radio Relay League is “When All Else Fails, Ham Radio Works.” The emphasis this year is that when events like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, ice, snow and even the cutting of fiber optic cable leaves populations without phone, cell and other communication services there will be ham radio to help them communicate. Last year’s event drew more than 35,000 amateur radio enthusiasts to the airwaves.
“The fastest way to turn a crisis into a total disaster is to lose communications,” said Allen Pitts of ARRL. “From the earthquake and tsunami in Japan to tornadoes in Missouri, ham radio provided the most reliable communications networks in the first critical hours of the events. Because ham radio operators are not dependent on the Internet, cell towers or other infrastructure, they work when nothing else is available. We need nothing between us but the air.”
In addition, ham radio operators can often be a link between loved ones serving in the military and the family back home.
Activities for local hams from Gilchrist, Levy and Dixie counties will be in the Gilchrist County Emergency Operations Center this weekend.
The public is invited to come out and meet and talk with the ham radio operators and make new friends.