This month the national spotlight will focus on a dedicated group of individuals and a technology that you often don't hear much about, until disaster strikes. Saturday was Amateur Radio Awareness Day. Sponsored by the 163,000-member American Radio Relay League, Awareness Day recognized the more than 650,000 enthusiasts in the United States who have Amateur Radio licenses and the important contributions Amateur Radio operators make to their communities.
In times of disaster, Amateur Radio operators, also called "hams," are often the first to volunteer their services. Earlier this year for example, when tornadoes hit parts of Tennessee and Wisconsin, local Amateur Radio operators quickly responded to the need for back-up communications assistance and helped the Red Cross with damage assessment. Ham radio operators also helped support communications efforts during the wildfires in Los Alamos, New Mexico.
Even when they are not making news, hams are often behind the scenes helping coordinate communications at local parades or introducing radio technology to students.
Today's Amateur Radio enthusiasts are people of all ages and from all walks of life. They are astronauts, teachers, engineers, entertainers and everyday people who enjoy making new friends around the world.
If you want to know more about Amateur Radio, contact the Carson Valley Radio Club at 775-267-4900 or by e-mail at email@example.com.