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Radio Amateurs to Demonstrate Emergency Messaging Capabilities for Red Cross, FEMA


Just days ahead of the 2019 Hurricane Season, dozens of hams along the US East Coast will demonstrate Amateur Radio’s ability to deliver messages without commercial power, infrastructure, or permanently established stations for officials of the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The Thursday, May 23 event will take place in coordination with ARRL, during a joint meeting with Red Cross and FEMA officials in Baltimore. The demonstration will be a mock response to a simulated disaster scenario — a major hurricane with mass casualties striking the east coast. Amateur Radio operators at portable stations from New England to the Carolinas will deliver messages to W1AW, which will then coordinate and deliver the information to officials attending the joint FEMA-Red Cross meeting in Baltimore.

Messaging will be handled using digital modes, which can allow for the transmission of images as well as text, as a showcase for the full range of modern Amateur Radio technology. The American Red Cross will also have a NexGen Emergency Response Vehicle parked at W1AW in Connecticut as part of the training exercise, which will take place from 1330 to 1530 UTC.

ARRL and its members have a long history of working with emergency response agencies, such as the American Red Cross and FEMA, to provide or support communication in times of disaster for served agencies and partners. A principal served agency, the Red Cross shelters, feeds, and provides emotional support to victims of disasters.



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