Amateur Radio is not only a grand and glorious hobby, Radio Amateurs serve people through providing emergency communication systems; especially in natural disasters or in other emergencies as a voluntary, noncommercial communication service. Amateur Radio experimentation is yet another reason many people become part of this self-disciplined group of trained operators, technicians and electronics experts are the assets to a country. Hams pursue their hobby purely for personal enrichment in technical and operating proficiency, without any consideration for payments. Below are some examples.
1. During any natural disaster, Amateur Radio operators set up and operate organized local and long-distance communication, as backup of the Government and emergency official communication system, as well as non-commercial communication for private citizens affected from the disasters. Amateur Radio operators are most likely to be active after disasters that damage regular lines of communication due to power outages and/or destruction of the telephone infrastructure.
2. Talk around the world – With HF radios hams can talk to other hams in literally any part of the globe. They can talk from the top of the mountain to deep sea.
3. Talk around town – With small portable VHF and UHF transceivers hams enjoy extremely reliable communications within their local community. They can talk with a minimum range of 20 Kilo Meters up to 500 Kilo Meters by using multiple repeaters.
4. QRP – Communicating with “very low power” is a challenge that many hams enjoy. QRP is usually practiced on the HF bands.
5. Packet Radio – The internet over ham radio? Not really … but ham radio operators enjoy a digital network of their own, all without wires!
6. Amateur Television – It’s just like real television because it is real television. Slow Scan TV Send pictures around the world for little or no cost.
7. Contests – They can put their radio operating skills up against other hams and teams of hams.
8. Hopefully they will use their radio less for calling the fireman, the police, and emergency road-side assistance, 911 and other telephone-linked services.
9. Emergency and other volunteer services – Floods, hurricanes, mudslides, earthquakes, ice storms … when ever normal communications go out, hams are ready to use their radios to provide emergency communication services to their communities.
10. Satellite Communications – Hams have their own satellites. Amateur’s satellites are easy to Use. Even Hams can talk with the astronauts of ISS (International Space Station or Alpha Station) and they used to talk with MIR station on the space.
11. Emergency Traffic Handling – “Ham Telegrams” are used to send messages to people around the world at no cost to the sender or the recipient; all done by ham radio operators Volunteering their time and resources.
12. Emergency Medical Support – Ham Medical Team formed with some Doctors who are HAM. This kind of team work on any natural disaster and urban incident.
This unique mixture of fun, convenience and public service is the distinguishing characteristics of Amateur Radio. Although people get involved in amateur radio for many reasons, they all in common have the basic knowledge of radio technologies, regulations and operating principles, which is demonstrated through passing an examination leading to a certificate of proficiency. And through getting an authorization to operate on radio frequencies known as the “Amateur Bands.” Radio amateur reserve these bands for use at intervals from just above the AM broadcast band all the way up into high microwave frequencies.
Hams exchange pictures of each other using television. Some also like to work on electronic circuits, build their own radios and Antennas. Anyone above the age of 12, no matter gender or Physical ability and educational qualification can become a Ham. There are Actors, Politicians, Astronauts, Engineers, Doctors, Bankers, Pilots, Sailors, Kings and Queens are Hams.
Hams also swing into action during the emergencies and natural calamities such as cyclone, storm, earthquake, floods and other disasters. Amateur Radio Stations act as the ‘SECOND LINE’ of communication when existing public or government communication links fail to act.
Hams also assist in sport events like the ASIAD, CAR RALLY and many other CAR AND MOTORCYCLE rallies taking place throughout the year. They provide vital communication links from the remote rally routes assisting the sports officials and they really enjoying doing it.
How can Amateur Radio help the people at the time of disaster
It seems that Amateur Radio is a Hi tech hobby and is used for the research of Radio and Electronics. Apart from these HAM radio can be used in different public services. Say different kind of sports, marathon competition and in serious natural disaster Amateur Radio Operators can help as volunteers. Amateur Radio operators help the police also in many countries. We see in America they have Military Affiliated Radio Service (MARS). At the time of First World War approx 4 thousand HAM worked as radio experts to exchange information through Radio. At the time of natural calamities in any country, amateur radio operators play important role. Amateur Radio Operators can help the Govt. and Citizens of our country as volunteers at the time of natural calamity. Almost every year we face cyclones, floods and different kinds of natural disasters near the coastal areas, which damage human lives and properties. After these kinds of cyclones or floods different Govt. and non Govt. organizations start their work. Many medical teams go there with them at that time. Though this team has sufficient medical aid but only for the lack of communication they can not distribute aids properly even they cannot send information to head office or capital city. At that time sufferers can only understand the importance of communication.
At this situation Only Amateur Radio Operators can help them with their complete radio communication system as volunteers and they can setup Emergency Amateur Radio Communication Networks within a very short time. This way it is very convenient to send information from coastal area between different working medical teams and capital or control rooms. As a result a combined rescue work becomes reality. At the time of earth quack and tsunami the importance of Amateur Radio is unbelievable. Amateur Radio Operators can work with Red Cross, Rover Scout, Girls Guide or BNCC as volunteer only for establishing radio communication.
How can Amateur Radio help with news gathering during a disaster
During a disaster, media representatives sometimes use Amateur Radio as a source of information and news stories about conditions in the affected region. Many Amateur Radio operators are willing to provide interviews with reporters concerning information from the disaster site. In addition, reporters may wish to develop stories on Amateur Radio’s role in disaster relief e.g. handling health and welfare traffic out of the site. Under Canadian regulations, Amateur Radio may not be used for active news gathering or program production purposes. For example, it would not be legal for a reporter to use Amateur Radio in a professional capacity to interview someone in another location. Amateur Radio operators are permitted to assist news media representatives in gathering information to be relayed to the public from areas where normal communication has been disrupted. This is so, particularly when the information involves the safety or life of individuals and no other channels of communication are available. The operator may ask questions of, or relay media questions to, Amateur Radio operators in the area. The questions and responses may be recorded by media representatives for a news broadcast. Amateur Radio must not be used to assist the news media in gathering information when telephones or other commercial means of communication are available. The news media may monitor Amateur Radio transmissions, but recording and rebroadcast under certain conditions (in or from war zones, for example) may not be legal or prudent, and may endanger the operator. Amateur Radio operators may not retransmit radio and television broadcasts.