FEMA Administrator Calls Amateur Radio “The Last Line of Defense”


My father, K9RJ, recently came across the following article on ARRL.org, which really shows the validity of Amateur Radio as a mean of providing effective emergency communications… something the Church has always recognized. Enjoy!

Mark

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The ARRL Article: In an FCC forum on earthquake communications preparedness, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate described the Amateur Radio operator as “the ultimate backup, the originators of what we call social media.” The forum– held May 3 at FCC Headquarters in Washington, DC — brought together officials from the White House, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the United States Geological Survey (USGS), FEMA, the FCC and the private sector. Fugate and FCC Bureau of Public Safety and Homeland Security Chief Jamie Barnett gave the opening remarks.

Later in the forum, Fugate spoke more on Amateur Radio. “During the initial communications out of Haiti, volunteers using assigned frequencies that they are allocated, their own equipment, their own money, nobody pays them, were the first ones oftentimes getting word out in the critical first hours and first days as the rest of the systems came back up,” he told the forum. “I think that there is a tendency because we have done so much to build infrastructure and resiliency in all our other systems, we have tended to dismiss that role ‘When Everything Else Fails.’ Amateur Radio oftentimes is our last line of defense.”

Fugate said that he thinks “we get so sophisticated and we have gotten so used to the reliability and resilience in our wireless and wired and our broadcast industry and all of our public safety communications, that we can never fathom that they’ll fail. They do. They have. They will. I think a strong Amateur Radio community [needs to be] plugged into these plans. Yes, most of the time they’re going be bored, because a lot of the time, there’s not a lot they’re going to be doing that other people aren’t doing with Twitter and Facebook and everything else. But when you need Amateur Radio, you really need them.”

You can watch a video of the forum on YouTube. Fugate’s remarks begin at 18:55.

Re-posted from: http://www.arrl.org/news/fema-administrator-calls-amateur-radio-the-last-line-of-defense

3 thoughts on “FEMA Administrator Calls Amateur Radio “The Last Line of Defense”

  1. Easy to get Amateur Radio license: No Morse Code, question bank published. Get 26 out of 35 right then get FCC Technician License. Mostly common sense rules and regulations. Can pass with zero electronics knowledge. About like getting a car drivers license. Lots of training on YouTube etc. If you can get to Provo, Utah we have a fast class. Starts on Saturday AM By Lunch are ready for the test. Radios are cheap BaoFeng 2 band radios are under $50. 2000 channels. With repeaters and Internet: Echo Link or IRLP covers worldwide. Gary N7JZN

  2. Cell phones: The first to fail the last to recover!!
    Find Ham / Amateur Radio person to help you:
    http://www.qrz.com/lookup/ Look under county or address.
    Indonesia Tsunami: only ONLY! communication from Sri Lanka was one Ham operating out of their White House. After 16 hours government radios got going. 2 Months later, Utah County Hams set up EchoLink.org station in Colombo. UCARES.org
    200,000 unprepared killed by Tsunami. With good warning could have saved 150,000.
    Japan quake would have killed 500,000 but they were ready and trained.
    Gary N7JZN

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