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Read: a Message for Member Volunteers

A Message for ARRL Member Volunteers for Responding to COVID-19

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March 26, 2020

Dear Member Volunteer,


The ARRL staff team has received many inquiries from our members seeking guidance or offering suggestions during the current crisis. We hope everyone is adhering to CDC and local health department guidelines by staying home, maintaining safe distances when around people, and following sanitary practices. Many radio clubs have canceled upcoming meetings, exam sessions, hamfests & conventions. ARRL has established a web page with news, information, cancellations, and resources of interest to ARRL members and our global amateur radio community. Visit www.arrl.org/COVID-19.

With many radio amateurs staying home there are opportunities to get on the air and call CQ or meet on the local repeater. We certainly don’t need a reason to get on the air, after all, that’s what hams do.

In terms of ham radio preparedness, this current crisis has not disrupted communications on a national scale. We know many of our members practice and train for a personal radio communication capability that can be called on when disaster strikes. Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) volunteers and our partners in providing emergency communications already routinely monitor the information and requests from Emergency Coordinators and the like. Station and skills readiness are tenets of the Amateur Radio Service – and this current crisis hasn’t changed this.

If you are a radio amateur serving your community through ARES or by volunteering with any of our partners in providing public service communications, thank you. ARES members routinely monitor the information and requests from their ARES Emergency Coordinators. We are grateful for all the ways you stand-ready to support the emergency service personnel in your communities when disaster strikes.

Again, we encourage all member volunteers to remain safe, and to follow the guidelines and requests of your national and local government officials and public health leaders. For those members who are healthy and safe at home, we can encourage you to get on the air:

  • Get on the air. As online fatigue and a feeling of isolation will inevitably creep into our “new normal,” being on-air will introduce variety into our communication practices. As many of us are now homebound or working and studying from home, turning on a radio to connect with your ham radio peers will be welcome respite!
  • Radio Clubs. Think of this current challenge as an opportunity to encourage our club’s members to get on the air. Move (short) meetings to the club’s repeater, and encourage check-ins. Organize skeds, nets, and challenges. Try different bands (HF, VHF, UHF…) and modes. This will also help new radio amateurs gain practical operating experience.
  • Readiness. Station and skills readiness are tenets of the Amateur Radio Service. Any time we spend on the air will contribute to developing and practicing our personal radio communication capability.

Every day, we draw inspiration from members who share our passion for radio communications. We are grateful to support radio amateurs in our common pursuit of skill, service, and discovery. ARRL remains steadfast in serving you.

Thank you. We hope that you and your loved ones remain safe.
 


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