From the Upper Peninsula of Michigan along the southern shore of Lake Superior ~ Station  K 8 L O D

   
Field Day 2005
 
AMATEUR RADIO ENTHUSIASTS READY TO TEST THEIR SKILLS
DURING ANNUAL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS EXERCISE

 
On June 25 and 26, Amateur Radio ("ham") operators across the country will leave the comfort of their home-based radio "shacks" for a weekend of emergency preparedness activity called "Field Day."  The event is designed to test operators' skills in setting up and operating radio communication equipment in situations where electrical power is limited or unavailable.  The idea is to simulate the conditions that can occur during a hurricane, tornado or other emergency, including man-made disasters.  The event is sponsored by ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio.  The first Field Day took place in 1933.
 
During Field Day, operators set up radio transmitting and receiving equipment in local parks, at shopping malls or even in backyards, and get on the air using generators, battery or solar power to run their equipment.  This type of exercise, along with the operators' dedication to public service, allows them to step in and help emergency officials and relief organizations when disaster strikes.  Cell phones, the Internet and other communications technologies have yet to replace what Amateur Radio operators can do.  They have a long track record of getting the message through when all other systems fail.
 
Field Day is a serious exercise, but it's also a lot of fun for participants.  It's also the most popular "on-air" operating event each year.  During Field Day, Amateur Radio operators attempt to make radio contact with as many participating stations as possible, simulating the sort of speedy on-air skills needed during an emergency.  In past years, more than 30,000 Amateur Radio operators in the United States and Canada have taken part.  This year, for the first time, Field Day has been opened up for participation by ham radio operators in virtually all of North and South America and the Caribbean.  Today there are more than 680,000 Amateur Radio operators in the United States and more than 2.5 million worldwide.
 
To find out how to get started in this exciting hobby and whom to contact in your area, call or write the American Radio Relay League, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; toll-free 800 32 NEW HAM. Or you can visit ARRL on the Web at http://www.arrl.org/.
 
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