Amateur Radio Operator – the True Survivalist by David Malin

If there is one thing this hobby teaches its students is personal preparedness.  Amateur Radio operators, also called ham radio operators, are usually hobbyists in radio electronics that like to plan for the unexpected and naturally perform emergency drills and for power outages.  Most of these operators eventually purchase a generator, spare batteries and participate in at least one major disaster exercise per year, called Field Day.  This event occurs every year during the month of June where Ham Radios operators across the world operate their equipment by Non- commercial power (Solar, Battery, Generator, Wind Turbine, etc).  This exercise becomes not only a contest between ham radio operators regarding who can make the most contacts over a weekend period, but it also becomes a social gathering between friends and family.  It’s an event that truly makes you think what would you do if you were to lost communications and power for an extended period of time.  The recent Southern California windstorms caused residents in the Pasadena, Arcadia area to be without power for 8 days.  This one minor event caused businesses millions of dollars of lost revenue and residents to have all their refrigerated food to spoil.  This one event was minor and completely overloaded local resources beyond the capabilities to restore services in a short period of time.  Most people take for granted that they can call for help at any time and things will be taken care of in a reasonable amount of time.  This is not the case during a disaster.  A disaster is simply the damaged caused exceeds local capabilities to respond.  One windstorm affected the entire Pasadena region for over a week.  What do you think will happen if Southern California gets hit with an 8.0 earthquake, which we are way overdue?  You have a choice, become a victim or become a survivalist.  Interested in learning about becoming an Amateur Radio Operator yet?

There are many ways to become Ham.  To learn more about the hobby, you can do a Google search and look up Ham Radio Clubs in your area and show up for a meeting.  Trust me when I tell you there will be many people at these clubs meetings willing to help explain the process of going about getting your license and aiding you in the process.  In order to become a Ham requires that you earn a license (pass a 35-question test) issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  If need more help or assistance getting started you can still contact me and I will get you going in the right direction.   David Malin, Amateur Radio callsign AA6RV, CaptMalin@aa6rv.com

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