Despite the Internet, cell phones, email and modern communications, every year whole regions find themselves in the dark.  Tornadoes, fires, storms, ice and even the occasional cutting of fiber optic cables leave people without the means to communicate. In these cases, the one consistent service that has never failed has been Amateur Radio.

These radio operators, often called “hams” provide backup communications for everything from the American Red Cross to FEMA and even for the International Space Station.  Victoria “hams” will join with thousands of other Amateur Radio operators showing their emergency capabilities this weekend.
This weekend the public will have a chance to meet and talk with Victoria ham radio operators and see for themselves what the Amateur Radio Service is about as hams across the USA will
be holding public demonstrations of emergency communications abilities.

This annual event, called "Field Day" is the climax of the week long "Amateur Radio Week" sponsored
by the ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio.  Using only emergency power supplies, ham
operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and backyards around the country.

In the Victoria area, the Victoria Amateur Radio Club – W5DSC, the Golden Crescent Amateur Radio
Services – K5VCT, the Coleto Creek Amateur Radio Club – W5DWT, the City of Victoria’s Mobile
Command Vehicle and the Victoria County Sherriff’s Communication Trailer will be demonstrating
Amateur Radio at 800 Briggs Boulevard (formally Clark School Road) in the grassy area behind Citizens
Healthplex beginning at noon, Saturday, June 23rd until noon Sunday, June 24th.  The Crossroads Chapter of the American Red Cross will be supporting the event with their ERV (Emergency Response Vehicle).

They invite the public to come and see ham radio’s new capabilities and learn how to get their own FCC
radio license before the next disaster strikes.  To learn more about Amateur Radio, go to www.emergency-radio.org.