|At an FCC conference
in May 2011, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate
mentioned that "When
Everything Else Fails. Amateur Radio often
times is our last line of defense."
He said that we often rely on cell
phones and public safety communication for their
resilience, but we must remember that they
fail--"They do, they have,
they will!" Mr. Fugate went on to
recommend that "A strong
amateur radio community," "be plugged into"
emergency communications plans. He emphasized
that amateur radio should be included in
emergency planning, because "When
you need amateur radio, you really
need them." In closing he included
amateur radio communications as part of a broad
mission which has one objective--to meet the
needs of survivors of a disaster.
in New York City, 9/11
had the effect of emphasizing an already significant
role of amateur radio with respect to public service.
Amateur radio was active with the Mayorís Office
of Emergency Management, under Director Jerome
Hauer, throughout the 1990ís and early part of this
century. In recent years, amateur radio has played a
greater role in various regional public events and
emergency activations across the United States. Radio
Amateurs remain highly relevant and have the ability
to assist in emergencies for the following reasons:
Amateurs have a unique and qualified range of skills
and experience in using multi-band radio spectrum
for amateur services and providing backup systems to
facilitate disaster relief and life-saving
information, when other means of communication are
blocked or congested.
Amateurs are a communications infrastructure
extender that can provide extra radio operators, equipment and
communications channels for backing up and
reinforcing the communications network for various
government emergency services and disaster relief
agencies to save more lives.
radio is useful for emergency communications because
it does not depend on any city infrastructure. That
means amateur radio does not rely on the electrical
power grid or any cabled network.
cell phones and the internet have wireless
capability, they are still dependent on fixed
antennas and cabling which can be severely disrupted
by a natural or man-made disaster; so while very
useful in an emergency, cell phones and the internet
cannot be relied upon completely.
the phone lines are down and the electricity is off,
it is still possible to communicate locally or
worldwide with amateur radio using only battery
radio still gets through when everything else has
2012 FCC report concerning Amateur Radio
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