Have you noticed how there is a rebellion against social media, in favor of good, old-fashioned meeting up in person and having a chat? And the sales of paperback books are now overtaking eBook sales once more. We are longing for a simpler life, where our existence isn’t dictated by 4G cellphone networks and sharing what we had for dinner on Instagram. Hobbies like knitting, baking and gardening are being taken up by the younger generation, and amateur radio (also known as ham radio) is having a well-deserved revival. It’s more than just a hobby though, ham radio could actually save your life.
What Is Ham Radio?
Ham is a term that means unskilled, and was used to describe the amateur radio operatives that were sending morse code in the 1800s. It is a mildly derogatory term, used in the way that we would say that someone is a ham actor, or is ham fisted. However the word has become a label that amateur radio operatives now wear with pride like being a geek or a nerd. Ham radio is inexpensive to take up, yet you can communicate with people all over the world. And more importantly, in an emergency, whether it is a mega-hurricane, or The Walking Dead, you can always use radio.
Learning About Local Emergencies
Where do you go if you want information about a local emergency? Do you head to Facebook? Not if you want to have to wade through hoaxes, gossip and fake news. If you want to find out what’s going on straight from the horse’s mouth, then radio is fast and reliable. This is why the emergency services rely on radio transmissions to share information with each other. Many ham operators also have in-car radios so that they can also transmit whilst on the move. A lot of the government agencies use the identical VHF and UHF frequencies that ham radio operators do, meaning that you can receive communication about an emergency as it happens. One of the most used radio transmissions is from the National Weather Service – they have automated weather alerts that are invaluable in an emergency. There’s also valuable online resources available to learn more about Ham radios. For example, check out Amateur Radio Wiki for more ham radio info.
Stay connected when there is no power
Back in 2012, one of the most powerful and destructive hurricanes hit the Eastern Seaboard. The damage that Hurricane Sandy caused, cost over $70 billion to put right. It completely destroyed the infrastructure, and there were 285 tragic fatalities. There were homes across America that spent weeks and weeks without power. Many of them had no way of contacting the emergency services. Hurricane Sandy may have disrupted the power and the cell phone network, but even during a super storm, it couldn’t disrupt the radio signals. Ham radio operators were providing a vital service during this time, being able to prepare the public for the days and weeks ahead, and also keeping them informed about what was happening in the world outside. They were part of the valuable fight to keep the world connected at a very dangerous time. They were helping communities, families and the Red Cross.
How To Learn To Be A Ham Radio Operator
If you want to broadcast across the airways in America and Canada, it’s not like running a podcast. You need to get licenced. The good news is that you can learn all about radio operation online, or take some classes at a local college. You can also join one of the many groups that run, such as the American Radio Relay League or the Amateur Radio Emergency Service to learn about becoming a ham radio operator.
Having a radio in your home can help you stay connected with the world if there is a national emergency. If the power fails, then there will always be radio broadcasting across the airwaves.