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|Transmission by nonlicensed persons in emergencies||Jan 24th 2012, 21:05||3||777||on 28/1/12|
|Transmission by nonlicensed persons in emergencies||WA7MC||on 24/1/12|
|In our church we have organized local ham nets among the members for the day when we have an serious emergency, such as an earthquake or severe weather, so as to enable intercommunicatons between the various congregations in order to identify those who might need aid and assist in providing it. In the recent severe winter weather we had in Western Washington, normal communications were disrupted and we activated our emergency comm net.
In this event, two of our leading clergy who would normally be expected to help organize assistance efforts were cut themselves cut off from normal comms. As it turned out they both have 2m band radios, and because the state governor had made an official declaration of emergency, they felt that their role in helping to organize things and the emergency made it OK that they could operate without licenses (normally they merely monitor when we hold our weekly nets). Accordingly, they used their radios in a somewhat limited fashion in order to direct some of our efforts and to keep informed on what was going on. The storm also isolated them physically so they couldn't move to a place where their cellphones would work (AT&T had cell towers down in their vicinity).
My question is, were they legally justified in using their radios in this fashion and in this situation? To make it clear, neither of them were physically in danger -- they were merely isolated at their residences.
Thanks for any replies.