Sue Cauhape: How Ham Radio operators are your friends

I found the following story on Southgate ARC and found it interesting about the changing world we live in.  From my own point of view, being a ham, I’m wondering even how I would handle it.  To start with my call display would be showing some number I’ve never heard of.  My first thought is Am I getting a call that my windows computer is corrupt, then when I hear the story about my loved one how much money do I have to send and the list goes on and on.  30 years ago my reply would be thank you for the update and send along a thinking of you reply.  But today, of course, the jaundice eyes are thinking scam, evasion of my privacy and all of that.  Oh how times are changing and probably not for the better. Being a volunteer myself I know from personal expoerence that 97% of the people are thankful for our donated time and the other 3% as what happened yesterday just come to abuse a volunteer.  I’ve opened up the comments section, let us know what are your first thoughts when the phone rings and it’s not a familiar number and are you going to believe the ham on the other end with news from a loved one or friend?

Lahontan Valley News reports on the Sierra Intermountain Emergency Radio Association

A recent radio conversation between two HAMs raised a disturbing issue that surprised both of them.

The conversation involved the NTS (National Traffic Service) that uses amateur radio operators throughout the United States to relay information during large-scale emergencies, such as earthquakes.

When phone connections are down, residents in stricken areas want to contact relatives outside the area. HAM radio operators offer this volunteer service to anyone able to come to their locations

One of the HAMs in the above conversation stated that sometimes in calling people with such information, he is met with suspicion and even hostility. Is he a telemarketer? Is he a drug dealer? Or worse yet, is he a terrorist?

Surprisingly, most people haven’t even heard of amateur radio. If they have, they consider it an obsolete technology. HAMs still perform many services for their communities by providing communications for large sports events, parades, and point-of-delivery vaccination operations.

In Carson Valley, SIERA (Sierra Intermountain Emergency Radio Association) has stepped in during last winter’s floods. Many members also work through CERT, DCART and other emergency organizations to provide assistance, either at the 911 Call Center or in setting up the Red Cross shelter for residents of a Gardnerville mobile home park.

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