Despite modern communications -- Internet, cell phones, and email, every year whole regions of the country 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. In Caldwell County, amateur radio operators provide emergency communications for the Caldwell County Emergency Operations Center, the American Red Cross, and others.

The Lenoir Amateur Radio Club “hams” will join with over 40,000 other Amateur Radio operators nationwide in showing their emergency capabilities at Field Day 2021 to be held at Redwood Park, 470 Redwood St, Hudson NC. The event begins at 2:00 pm, Saturday June 26 and continues for 24 hours –through the night and wee hours of the morning—until 2:00 pm, Sunday June 27. The public is invited to come see ham radio’s capabilities and disaster readiness as well as have a look at the Club’s Communication and Antenna trailers that can be deployed when needed.

Over the past year, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications during unexpected emergencies in towns across America, including flooding, wildfires, winter storms, and other events. When trouble is brewing, amateur radio operators are often the first to provide rescuers with critical information and communications.

“The fastest way to turn a crisis into a total disaster is to lose communications,” said Mitch Mast, President of the Lenoir Amateur Radio Club. “Our local hams work closely with Caldwell County Emergency Management and area Skywarn to be ready to provide the most reliable communications in the first critical hours of an event. Because ham radios are not dependent on the Internet, cell towers or other infrastructure, they work when nothing else is available. All our support is free to the served agencies.”

In addition to emergency situations, the Lenoir Amateur Radio Club provides communications support for many local public events such as bike races, festivals, and run/walks.

Amateur Radio is a lifetime hobby as well as a critical resource during emergency situations. Entire families are getting their amateur radio licenses so that they will be able to communicate should an emergency event impact their community. Amateur radio skills transfer into employment in the electronics and communications workforce. Come out and get on the air with the help of a local ham and learn how to get your amateur radio license.