Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed a proclamation making the week beginning June 21 as Amateur Radio Week in Oklahoma. Field Day closes out the week June 26-27 with many amateur radio clubs setting up Saturday and operating through noon Sunday.
From Altus to Vinita and Ardmore to Woodward, amateur radio operators will be using their radio stations to participate in a National Preparedness Drill called “Field Day”, announced officials with the American Radio Relay League.
The Governor told Section Manager Lloyd Colston of Altus that growing up in Tecumseh, her father had a number of radios and scanners with which he monitored weather conditions in Central Oklahoma.
The Governor said she is quite aware of the help radio amateurs in Oklahoma provide. She cited the recent severe weather Oklahomans have experienced in recent months including tornadoes and flooding resulting in requests for federal assistance for at least 40 of Oklahoma’s 77 counties.
For over 100 years, Amateur Radio — sometimes called ham radio — has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, as well as provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet. Field Day demonstrates ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent communications network. Over 45,000 people from thousands of locations participated in Field Day in 2014.
“It’s easy for anyone to pick up a computer or smartphone, connect to the Internet and communicate, with no knowledge of how the devices function or connect to each other,” said Lloyd Colston, Oklahoma Section Manager of the American Radio Relay League, the national association for Amateur Radio. “But if there’s an interruption of service or you’re out of range of a cell tower, you have no way to communicate. Ham radio functions completely independent of the Internet or cell phone infrastructure, can interface with tablets or smartphones, and can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. That’s the beauty of Amateur Radio during a communications outage.”
Amateur radio clubs in nearly every county in the state as well as clubs in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa will participate in Field Day. Also, some individuals have listed their Field Day operations.
Anyone interested in visiting a Field Day site near them can locate that site online at http://www.arrl.org/field-day-locator
For more information about amateur radio, http://www.arrl.org is the National Organization for Amateur Radio.